The Architecture of Gay and Dissident Sexualities
1.10.2021 - 10.12.2021, HEAD – Genève

Cruising Pavilion is a course dedicated to the history of different LGBTQI+ sexual encounter areas, following the eponymous exhibition project presented in Venice, New York and Stockholm. Whether they are appropriate (parks, toilets, car parks, etc.) or dedicated (sex clubs, saunas, chat rooms, dating applications, etc.), the evolution of these places traces the history of dissident sexualities from their clandestinity to their emancipation. The aim is to analyse their spatial constructions and their influence on the history of forms from the 20th century to the present day. This course will present architectural case studies and artistic projects related to this counterculture. Cruising will be presented as an act of politicisation of the city, a site of invention and sexual affirmation and a laboratory for the avant-garde.

The aim of this course is to lay the foundations for a book on the architecture of cruising entitled Cruising Pavilion, an Architectural Reader. From a typology of appropriate and dedicated meeting places, we will identify the main spatial installations invented by these sexual countercultures. Architectural plans, accounts, ephemera, design prototypes and urban interventions will be part of the materials used to trace the history of this practice. Alongside this, the course will trace the influence of cruising in art, film and literature. Some of the contributions produced as a result of the course will be included in the publication project planned for 2022.

This series of courses will begin with an introduction to the culture of cruising and its various issues. Each session will then operate in the form of workshops in which students will refine their contributions to the book. They can either do a case study of a cruising space (e.g. Mineshaft, New York; Jardin des Tuileries, Paris; Laboratory, Berlin; etc.), or a visual or textual essay on an issue identified in class (e.g. sexual margins and gentrification, masculinities and ornamentations, etc.).

Lecturers: Pierre-Alexandre Mateos, Charles Teyssou, Octave Perrault
 Louis De Belle