The Dyke-otomy of Space and Sexual Orientation - Mapping Queer Spaces in London

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2022_Elisa Dogor
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    2022_Elisa Dogor
    2022_Elisa Dogor
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    The Dyke-otomy of Space and Sexual Orientation - Mapping Queer Spaces in London

    London lost more than half of its queer night-time venues in the ten years leading up to 2017 (Campkin & Marshall, 2017) and in 2022, there is only one singular lesbian bar left (Allenby, 2022). It is in this context that an increasing interest in spatiality is being established within queer studies. Comparatively, in Space Syntax research, there still is a shortage of consideration of current gender and sexuality studies beyond hetero- and cis-normativity. This study researches the social and spatial paradoxes of queer space from the perspective of queer theory and Space Syntax theory respectively. The work is put in context of Greater London, with a slight focus on lesbian space. First, a definition of queer space is reached by recognizing queer space as a dynamic entity, enabling transgression and revolution alike while providing a space protected from fear and shame induced by social norms, encouraging unfiltered self-expression. Second, it is argued that Space Syntax analysis like angular integration or isovist studies could contribute to queer theory through quantitative methods and promises budding potential in this area, yet the quantitative analysis reveals that these methods so far are predisposed to portray space in a rather limiting logic requiring field specific advancement to adequately express the unique essence of queer space. Third, the novel framework queer theory provides for socio-spatial concepts like integration and visibility is investigated, affirming its value as an extension to “The Social Logic of Space“ (Hillier & Hanson 1984) by revealing a dyadic relationship of power in space. Demonstrated by examining queer space, this phenomenon is relevant to any association between human behaviour and the built environment. Due to the hitherto scarcity of research in this area, this work is positioned as a starting point of challenging norms and conventions by introducing queer theories to the realm of Space Syntax.

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