Basic Thesis Questions

Why does your thesis matter?
    Great question! I’ve struggled with this question, among others since I started this project but I think I might have an answer for you now.

    Architecture is gaze orientated. Almost all Architects design based most importantly on the visual aesthetics of space, with other sensory and social implications taking the back seat. Architects are the creators of designed space, meaning that they literally control the world we inhabit (without trying to make an architect sound like some sort of Disney Pixar super villain). The architect has the power and the control to make a space however they deem fit, all while trying to please a client and keeping their design as intact as absolutely possible. The client isn’t the one with Revit open.
    This thesis brings attention to the freedom of expression and the ability to use the artificial environment as effortlessly as possible.
    Architecture has shied away from anything sex orientated, even though the spaces that we create house such a regular and human act. By not thinking about architecture in any kind of sexual way we start to see where architecture (buildings, and the profession) misinterprets the situation and creates authorship over someone else’s body. A great example would be the Story of the Josephine Baker house. She didn’t ask for Loos to design her a house. Loos really designed her a set if anything, a set that she would sleep in when she was not entertaining guests in her swimming pool or sultrily walking around corners.
    As architects, our sole job is to serve our client in the best way possible, and that means designing a building that can help them with their everyday. Our goal should be to either hyper design to fit a client exactly based on their needs and how they want to serve and be served in their space, or design so the space is so unbelievably customisable that it is easy per person to create their own authorship of their space and their relation to space. You would think that this notion is one engraved within the building practice... wouldn’t you?

Sex work Questions

I prefer the term dancer, not stripper. Why are you using the word stripper to define?

   Cool, I will totally call you a dancer because I understand that not everyone wants to be called a stripper!
    I am using the word stripper in my thesis because it causes discomfort to many. We need to learn why the word stripper is uncomfortable, break down the negative connotations and reclaim it. We have done it to an extent with the words bitch and slut, so we can do it with this too. I am okay calling myself a bitch and with permission of others using that word too, but obviously, I don’t want Joe Blow to come up to me and call me a bitch. So I ask for your permission, and it is fully okay to not want to be called a stripper, currently, the word has so many negative connotations and is fetishized that I fully understand and support your decision! Sex Work Rights Activists like Jacq the Stripper and Elle Stanger have been working on this for years.

Why are you highlighting Stripping in your thesis, don’t you feel like you might be objectifying us for your own gain?

    I fully know where you are coming from! Historically whenever any media outside of stripper and sex work media talk about dancing they are appropriating culture, taking advantage of swers, objectifying swers, fetishizing swers, and profiting without giving anything back to the community.
I have tried my absolute hardest to not do any of that. My thesis is built up from experiences. My own experiences in the club, but also experiences from my friends, students, co-workers, sex work rights activists, and bosses. This thesis has been built using feminist methodologies, making sure that first and foremost my voice isn’t the one being amplified, it’s ours.

Isn’t there another way about talking about sexualisation without bringing sex work into the conversation?

    There are two main reasons why I am talking about stripping. One, to start to break many negative connotations that most have within their head. IT’S JUST A JOB, a mentally taxing and physically draining job, but a job nonetheless. I am not trying to demystify the experience for the customer, or put stripping on a pedestal, again, I aim to destigmatise it.
    The other reason is simple. The club is the only place far removed enough from regular society to allow a conversation to spark regarding warranted sexualisation with and without permission, and the expression of sexuality and sexualisation that train scales multiple spaces. I think the idea and the link are clear, my thesis is showing how incredibly obvious it is outside of the club setting.

Textile Questions

So how exactly does textiles relate to sex work, I can’t see the connection?  
    I know what you mean, at first it seems like the only unifying factor is clothing but the connection runs so much deeper.
    Historically (and we’re talking 1800’s) the design of textile was a man’s job. Women were sent to textile mills to make the textile. The work was pretty dangerous. The large looms caused safety hazards (it wasn’t uncommon to lose a finger), bad air ventilation and constant fibre inhalation cause deep breathing problems, the machinery was unbelievably loud causing severe hearing loss, and overexertion from repetitive work was common. Long story short, it was dangerous. Many women would try to escape since it was so dangerous and they made such little money. These women would normally go to the street. Prostitution was safer and they could earn more money from it. These women would often be picked up from the street, sent to jail, and then sent back to the textile mill.
    Both of this topic though, not speaking from history now, are related in so many other ways such as gender politics, labour rights, and adornment.
   Both types of work have been dismissed. Textile work being dismissed as a craft and therefor not worth any type of discourse or respect. Sex Work being dismissed as not respectful, wasting your body, and using yourself as a product.