Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Queer-ing Anti-urbanism

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posted on 2022-09-26, 22:30 authored by Creighton, William

Queer discourse has historically been tied to a middle-class, urbancentric and white approach to the discussion of queerness. So, the multilayeredness of queer existence has been washed away in favour of palatable queer occupation. As a result, architectural explorations which appease the heterosexual gaze have been prioritised in metronormative environments. In the search to find and create queer space, metronormative pressure has resulted in nonurban environments being continually left out of the queered built space we form. In response, Queering Anti-Urbanism explores how a queer anti-urbanist approach to spatial binaries can facilitate more egalitarian architectural occupancy. To test this, inquiry through a design-as-research methodology, where the proposition is refined through increasing scales to explore the relationship between queer anti-urbanism and architecture. This research takes non-linear and terative approach and is developed through three projects. Each project differs in both scale and complexity, and includes; a custom built installation, rural co-housing, and an urban intervention in the Cuba Street area. Architecture becomes the stage to re-imagine the complexity, intimacies, and entanglements of bodies and space and the shift from individualized movements to bring diversity, equity and a queer relationality and interdependence. A literature review and case study assessment informed the development of design phases which met the research aims. The three design scales are detailed across various modes of representation including three dimensional models, drawings and visualisations. Finally, an informed discussion of the investigation into architecturalised queer anti-urbanism. This unique work explores a novel approach to space and place making in modern Aotearoa New Zealand, expanding on the processes in which we design, facilitate and foster spaces of and for diversity.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Architecture; Design and Culture; Culture and Context; Gender and Development; Urban Design; Interior Architecture

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

Victoria University of Wellington Unit

Centre for Academic Development; Centre of Building Performance Research; University Library

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

280104 Expanding knowledge in built environment and design; 280123 Expanding knowledge in human society

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

2 Strategic basic research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Smitheram, Jan