Name, first nameGalvani OrnellaYear of birth1995UniversityHKBField of Interest / research fieldSpatial DesignTitle of projectEgalitarian CitiesAbstractIn the words of Bourdieu, we live in a society defined by "male domination" (Bourdieu, 1998 ). Women and men are divided between domestic and public spaces, with specific roles associated with each space. It is one of the oldest cleavages in our society, which makes it one of the first tools of male domination over women. Women do not have a dominant position in the public sphere. The study "The use of the city by gender" (Communauté urbaine de Bordeaux, 2011 ) focused on access to the city for women and men and highlighted a dual use of the city according to sex. Women are more afraid of crimes in public space than men, although they are less often victims in it (apart from sexual assault). Cities the mirror of gender norms as they are designed to meet economic needs by building on traditional gender divisions and family structures. In addition, cities are built by men and for men according to their needs. Today, there is still little data available on the gendered use of spaces, and gendered urban design, especially in Switzerland. Challenging the dominant model is thus made difficult since it is research that makes it possible to define new priorities.
That is why my research question is: how can the actual design of the public space could be analysed and criticize in order to come up with new ideas to improve and create more egalitarian cities?
Designers can be facilitators. They can transcribe ideas into visual prototypes. Through collaborative processes, they can build bridges between the inhabitants and the municipality. In this way, the needs of the citizens are heard and considered, and the municipality knows how to improve urban structures so that they fit the need of the people who use it. In this way, we can all participate in creating cities that are more welcoming for all and so, more egalitarian.
To achieve this goal, an innovative and explorative method will be used with a group of women. It will combine cultural probes with exploratory walks. The first step of the research will be the cultural probes to understand the individuals and their individual experiences which are also social. The women will be asked to take photographs of their environment and to write about their feelings in a journal. They will be interviewed to understand how they perceive their environment. The walks will be the second step of the research. The women will be gathered in groups of six to eight and put in relation to the built environment, architecture and design. The interviews and walks will be recorded to be analysed later with a focus on the words the women use to talk about their environment to see the kind of vocabulary they use and if they all use the same words and talk about the same places in the neighbourhood. The aim of this process is to understand what can make them like a place or not. It could be very factual or more related to personal experiences or stereotypes.
This research hopes to be able to identify some patterns in what makes a bad or good public place to be able to categorize, explain and emphasize the good practices that one should use to create public spaces that are egalitarian and more welcoming for all.
This research will be conducted as a practice-based PhD and the results of it will be presented in an exhibition, which will be the third step of the research, realized in collaboration with the women who will participate in the research after 4 years.
TutorsPriska Gisler and Charlotte Malterre-Barthes