As part of the WORK, BODY, LEISURE program, Het Nieuwe Instituut is collaborating with the Royal Academy of Arts in London in a panel discussion on March 5th 2018. The event will explore how architecture can help to create inclusive, liveable, and socially aware cities that embrace the full gender spectrum in an age of robotisation, debating whether automation can lead to a feminist utopia and, if it does, what those spaces might look like.
The effects of automation are rarely limited to economics or issues around the division of labour. Changes to production and the service industries that are a result of increased automation are actively shaping our cities and how we interact with them. Architecture’s engagement with the futures that come with these processes are manifold and embrace both the positive and negative potential of automation. From additional leisure time and a focus on individual agency and creativity, to dystopian visions where unemployment and inequality run rampant, it is without question that the built environment can affect the shape of things to come.
Automated environments may have eliminated certain gender associations ascribed to specific jobs, but they have also reinforced gender roles and inequalities. Technology and the direction it takes is influenced by prevalent social tensions and disparity; as such, if we are to reduce inequality and gender stereotyping, we must aim to avoid replicating existing pernicious social dynamics and, instead, unearth architecture’s potential to facilitate change. Can architecture and the design of spaces allow both men and women, humans and non-humans, to express their full potential and provide a working alternative to the status quo?
Marina Otero – Director of Research at Het Nieuwe Instituut, where she leads the long-term research project Automated Landscapes; and Curator of WORK, BODY, LEISURE, the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2018.
Nina Power – philosopher and cultural critic, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at University of Roehampton, and author of One-Dimensional Woman and many articles on European philosophy, politics and culture
Femke Snelting – Artist and designer, developing projects at the intersection of design, feminism and free software
Ellie Cosgrave (chair) – Lecturer in Urban Innovation, UCL; and Deputy Director of UCL City Leadership Laboratory
Grace Quah – practitioner working at the intersection of architecture and design; author of Silvertown Plug-In, a spatial critique of domestic labour
Susan Schuppli – artist-researcher and writer; Director & Reader of the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London; currently running the project Logistical Nightmares
Supported by the Embassy of Spain in London
Tickets and additional information can be found on the Royal Academy of Arts website