Joel Sanders Architect


December 11, 2018


The Stockholm Nationalmuseum features exhibition design by JSA. We worked closely with museum curators to create a standardized family of display components including walls, platforms, labels, pedestals, and glass cases that would house the museum’s permanent collection while respecting the integrity of the original 19th century building.

To view the full project, click HERE.

Stalled! Summer/Fall 2018 Updates

October 2, 2018



The Stalled! team recently received 2019 NYSCA Independent Projects Award for Stalled! Online. Out of 68 applications, only 6 were funded and we are honored that Stalled! was among the ones chosen.

2018 AIA Film Challenge

We need your support! Stalled! The Video was chosen as a finalist in the AIA Film Challenge. Public Voting is now open until October 7th. To vote for us click here.

2018 AIA Innovation Awards

Stalled! recently received an honorable mention in the AIA Innovation Awards. The award honors projects that have developed new practices and technologies which will drive architecture forward. According to the jury, “What was most impressive was [our] focus on complex cultural issues and how architecture can solve them.”


Brick & Wonder recently interviewed team member Joel Sanders about “Design Activism,” the intersection of research and practice, and more. To read the full article click here.


This past June, the Stalled! team launched Stalled! Online. Check out the featured articles in Dezeen and Metrosource that discuss the our team, initiatives, and website. MIXdesign, a new inclusive design non-profit spearheaded by the Stalled! team, has been garnering press this summer. Check out the articles by Metropolis Magazine and Curbed.


Susan Stryker, a leading trans scholar and co-founder of Stalled!, discussed inclusive restrooms on several podcasts including Call Your GirlfriendLady Science PodcastSagittarian Matters, and Sex Out Loud.


September 5, 2018


Now live on our website, Wigmore Gallery is a design for the relocation of the gallery that creates an atmosphere suitable for the display of a unique collection of 20th century realist and abstract American paintings.

To view the full project, click HERE.


June 18, 2018

Stalled! Online - 2

JSA is proud to announce the launch of Stalled! Online.

Stalled! Online compiles three years of design research into an open-source website now made accessible to a wide audience. The website features design guidelines for inclusive restrooms, case-study prototypes, and essays from the Stalled! Team that situate contemporary debates within a broad historical, cultural and political context

We invite you to explore Stalled! Online and to watch Stalled! The Video – a short overview of the initiative where the Stalled! team takes you through the history of this complex problem and presents our design solutions as well as our various initiatives and activities.

Joel Sanders and Susan Stryker, founding members of Stalled!, will promote the launch today at 4:30pm with a presentation at the 2018 AIA Conference on Architecture at Booth 1739, Level 3 at Javits Center which will be available to watch here.



June 18, 2018


Equity X Design: Sketching Equitable Workplaces

Joel Sanders and Seb Choe from JSA (Joel Sanders Architect) will present a talk at the Center for Architecture titled “Equity x Design Mappy Hour: Sketching Equitable Workplaces.” The discussion will explore the design consequences of social justice issues as they pertain to inclusive workplace design.

JSA has been a strong advocate of inclusive design applied to restrooms as well as the design of everyday building types like offices, museums and libraries. More efforts should be dedicated to the creation of interactive places that engage people of different ages, genders, races, religions and disabilities who have historically been left out of the equation.

The event will take place on Monday, June 18 at 6pm at the Center for Architecture.

Stalled! Launch Reminder

Stalled! Online, an open-access website that compiles over two years of design-research on inclusive public restrooms, will officially launch on Thursday June 21st at the 2018 AIA Conference on Architecture in New York City.


June 15, 2018

Stalled! Online 2500x1570
Metropolis Video Preview-2500x1570

Stalled! Online

Stalled! Online, an open-access website that compiles over two years of design-research on inclusive public restrooms, will officially launch on Thursday June 21st at the 2018 AIA Conference on Architecture in New York City.

Joel Sanders and Susan Stryker, founding members of Stalled!, will present the project with the support of the New York Chapter of the AIA’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. The talk-show style “A+ Session” will be available to watch here – for the complete program, click here.

The event will take place on June 21, 2018 at 4:30 pm at ARCHITECT Booth 1739, Level 3 at Javits Center.


Metropolis Magazine recently featured an interview with Joel Sanders about Stalled! in a video titled, “Why Gender-Neutral Bathrooms Matter“. Watch the video to learn more about the project.

Stalled! 2018 Updates

May 4, 2018

Joel Sanders 3
Restroom Panel 2
the sexological floorplan (3)

Noncompliant Bodies

Noncompliant Bodies: Social Equity and Public Space, a conference convened by Joel Sanders and Susan Stryker at Yale School of Architecture, assembled a group of designers and scholars to explore architecture and social justice through the lens of race, gender and disability. The Stalled! Team (Joel Sanders, Susan Stryker, Terry Kogan) presented on the session dedicated to Restrooms.

2018 Arnold W. Brunner Grant

Joel Sanders is the recipient of the Center for Architecture’s 2018 Arnold W. Brunner Grant for Architectural Research for Stalled!: Social Equity and Public Restrooms, a project that will finalize two years of research and create an open-access website. Read more HERE.

Footprint Journal

Joel Sanders’ essay “Stalled!: Transforming Public Bathrooms” was published in Footprint 21: Trans-Bodies / Queering Spaces, the latest issue of TU Delft’s Architecture Theory Journal. The full issue can be read online HERE and physical copies can be purchased HERE.

Urban Omnibus

“Noncompliant Bodies, Accomodating Space”, an interview with Joel Sanders by Jacob Moore, QSPACE, and QSAPP, is featured in Urban Omnibus’ new LGBT-focused essay series “Intersections”. Read the interview HERE.

Architectural Digest

“Neither His Nor Hers: How Design Could Save the Gendered Bathroom Debate”, an article by Architectural Digest, features an interview with Joel Sanders about Stalled! and discusses gender-inclusive restrooms in New York. Read the article HERE.

Lectures + Workshops

Stalled! offers public lectures that situate restroom debates within a broader cultural, historical, and political context, and conducts campus workshops that assemble key university stakeholders to discuss the practical challenges of implementing inclusive spaces.


Lecture at Pratt: “Body Politics: Social Equity and Public Restrooms”

April 9, 2018

Pratt E Blast Image
jsanders_041018__poster r

Joel Sanders will present a talk at Pratt Institute titled “Body Politics: Social Equity and Public Restrooms”.

In his talk, Sanders will present Stalled!, a design research project that takes national controversies about transgender access to public restrooms as a point of departure to create inclusive public restrooms that meet the needs of people of different ages, genders, religions and disabilities. Sanders will treat the public restroom as a case study; one example of the way designers can make a difference by exploring the design consequences of urgent social justice issues.

The lecture will take place on Tuesday, April 10 at 6pm at Brooklyn Campus ARC E02.

Noncompliant Bodies – This Week!

April 2, 2018

Website image - CLEAN

On Friday-Saturday (April 6-7) at Yale School of Architecture, Joel Sanders and Susan Stryker will convene Noncompliant Bodies: Social Equity and Public Space, a symposium exploring the relationship between architecture and the demands for social justice voiced by people who have been marginalized and oppressed on the basis of race, gender and disability.

A livestream of the symposium can be accessed HERE.

Noncompliant Bodies will be followed by RADcon (Radicalizing the Architecture Discipline) on April 7-8, which invites students of marginalized communities in architecture schools to build coalitions, make space for community learning, and promote discourse on the impact of marginalized communities in architecture.


NEW PROJECT! New Canaan Residence

March 26, 2018


Now live on our website, the New Canaan Residence is a renovation-addition project that respects the design integrity of a significant mid-century modernist home designed by John Black Lee in 1957 in a way that reflects contemporary lifestyles.

New Canaan Residence has been featured by Architectural Record as the House of the Month. To read the article, click HERE.

To view the full project, click HERE.

Lecture at UVA: “From Stud to Stalled!”

March 16, 2018

UVA Lecture - News Item 2500x1570

Joel Sanders is lecturing at University of Virginia School of Architecture. The lecture, titled “From Stud to Stalled!: Social Equity and Public Space” will discuss how his investigation of bathrooms parallels the evolution of his thinking about gender and space over the past two decades.

In his talk, Sanders will present Stalled!, a design research project that takes national controversies about transgender access to public restrooms as a point of departure to create inclusive public restrooms that meet the needs of people of different ages, genders, religions and disabilities. Sanders will treat the public restroom as a case study; one example of the way designers can make a difference by exploring the design consequences of urgent social justice issues.

The lecture will take place on Monday, March 19 at 5pm at Campbell Hall 153.

For more information on the event click HERE.

Noncompliant Bodies – Announcements

March 12, 2018

Website image - CLEAN

Noncompliant Bodies is less than a month away!

The keynote has been announced for Noncompliant Bodies, which will feature Susan Stryker In Conversation with Jack Halberstam, taking place on Friday April 6 at 6:30pm.

Registrants attending the full symposium program are eligible for 10.5 AIA Health, Safety, and Welfare learning units for AIA Continuing Education Credits.

Noncompliant Bodies: Social Equity and Public Space, a symposium convened by Joel Sanders and Susan Stryker at Yale School of Architecture, explores the relationship between architecture and the demands for social justice voiced by people who have been marginalized on the basis of race, gender and disability.



Noncompliant Bodies: Social Equity and Public Space

February 22, 2018


SAVE THE DATE! April 6-7, 2018

Noncompliant Bodies: Social Equity and Public Space, a symposium convened by Joel Sanders and Susan Stryker at Yale School of Architecture, explores the relationship between architecture and the demands for social justice voiced by people who have been marginalized on the basis of race, gender and disability. The symposium will examine three architectural types: restrooms, museums, and urban streets. Our objective will be to propose alternative futures that rethink the relationship between bodies and built environments in ways that serve the goals of social equity.

Speakers will include Barbara Penner, Sheila Cavanagh, Terry Kogan, Quemuel Arroyo, Jennifer Tyburczy, Mabel Wilson, Mario Gooden, Charles Renfro, Stuart Comer, Jos Boys, Clare Sears, Elijah Anderson, Keller Easterling, Rashad Shabazz, Alison Kafer and Robert Adams. See schedule HERE.

Please register HERE.

Stalled! Symposium at Taubman College

February 6, 2018


Joel Sanders will host the Stalled! Symposium, a series of talks and workshops developed in collaboration with the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at University of Michigan, which will examine the impact of disability, gender-fluidity, and intersectionality on architecture and design.

Taking place on February 7-8, the symposium will feature a keynote by Joel Sanders as well as presentations from Mel Chen, Dr. Jos Boys, Robert Adams and additional panelists – a full list can be found at the link below.

To RSVP and see the full schedule, click HERE.


Awards for Capsule Loft & New Canaan Residence!

January 10, 2018

BoY Hands_2500x1570
Sara award 2500x1570

JSA is excited to announce that we have received four awards for our recently completed projects Capsule Loft and New Canaan Residence, which you can learn more about below.

2017 Interior Design Best of Year Awards

Capsule Loft and New Canaan Residence were selected from over 1000 submissions to be recognized in the 2017 Interior Design Best of Year Awards. Capsule Loft took home the prize as Winner of the Small Apartment category. New Canaan Residence was one of four Honorees in the Residential Transformation category.

To see the full list of winners, click HERE

2017 SARA National Design Awards

Capsule Loft was selected for a Design Award of Merit in the 2017 SARA National Design Awards, hosted by the Society of American Registered Architects. Joel Sanders and Sebastian Choe attended the awards ceremony at the New Museum in late October.

To see the full list of winners, click HERE

2017 AN Best of Design Awards

Capsule Loft was selected from over 800 submissions to be recognized as the Honorable Mention in the Interior – Residential category in the 2017 AN Best of Design Awards, hosted by Architects Newspaper.

To see the full list of winners, click HERE

JSA receives AIA QUAD Award for UPenn ICA Concept Study

November 21, 2017


JSA’s UPenn ICA Concept Study was recognized with a prestigious Honor Award in the QUAD Design Award competition presented by the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Jurors selected 29 recipients from a pool of 234 submissions, and UPenn ICA Concept Study, which is no longer in the pipeline, was one of two projects selected to receive an award in the category of Unbuilt Projects. JSA was recognized at an awards ceremony on November 9 at the QUAD (Quality United Architectural Design) conference in Albany, New York.

The 2017 QUAD Awards spanned across four AIA affiliates: AIA Connecticut, AIA New Jersey, AIA New York, and AIA Pennsylvania, the competition being open to firms residing or practicing in these states. Jurors included Tom Liebel (FAIA, Principal, Marks Thomas Architects), Heather Cass (FAIA, Cass Associates Architects) and Jon Pemdorf (FAIA, Perkins & Will.)

To learn more about the project, click HERE.

Lecture at Freud Museum: “Freud’s Uncanny Interior”

November 20, 2017

Freud Lecture 2500x1570

Joel Sanders is lecturing at the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna. The lecture, titled “Freud’s Uncanny Interior,” will focus on an overlooked aspect of Berggasse 19, the pivotal role Freud’s eccentric but carefully staged domestic interior played in shaping the audio/visual encounter between doctor and patient, a spatial experience that effectively blurred the boundaries between public and private, personal and professional, art and everyday life.

The lecture will draw on Sanders’ essay with Diana Fuss, “Berggasse 19: Inside Freud’s Office”, originally published in his book Stud: Architectures of Masculinity (Princeton Architectural Press, 1996) and reprinted in Toward A New Interior: An Anthology of Interior Design Theory (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011).

The lecture is part of the programme accompanying the Sigmund Freud Museum’s special exhibition “The apartment is doing well”. The Freuds at Berggasse 19, and will take place on Tuesday, November 21st at 8pm at the Sigmund Freud Museum.

For more information on the event click HERE.

Stalled! New Writings

November 16, 2017

Hands 1
Hands 3
Arch Mag_2048x1286

Log, Harvard Design Magazine, and Architect Magazine have all recently featured JSA’s Stalled! project for gender-inclusive restrooms, which you can read more about HERE.

Log 41: Working Queer

Joel Sanders’ new essay titled, “From Stud to Stalled!: Architecture in Transition” is featured in Log 41 in a special section called Working Queer, guest edited by Jaffer Kolb. Sanders’ essay traces 20 years of his research, from its roots in queer theory to transgender studies today.

Harvard Design Magazine: Seventeen

Lori Brown’s essay “Fluids and Fluidity”, examines the history of sex-segregated restrooms and acknowledges that “design has a critical role to play in solving these problems.” Brown features Stalled! as an example of “how public restrooms could accommodate all body types–trans, the elderly, parents and children, those with caretakers, and the disabled.”

Architect Magazine

Stalled! is featured as a leading example of “a push for a new logic in multi-user public restroom design” in Architect Magazine. Joel Sanders was interviewed by Ian Spula for his article on changes to the 2018 International Plumbing Code (IPC) – one of the Stalled! initiatives includes the amendment of the IPC to allow for all-gender, multi-user restrooms.

From Stud to Stalled! Architecture in Transition

November 15, 2017

In the mid-1990s, a first generation of queer architectural theorists, including myself, Aaron Betsky, and Henry Urbach, published work that explored the role architecture plays in the construction of male identity as seen through a gay male perspective. This work, written against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic, was influenced by a field then gaining traction in the architectural academy – queer theory. Although initially prompted by gay-specific political concerns, the work on queer space ultimately yielded fruitful insights about the pivotal role the designed environment plays in the formation of all human identities, insights that could be applied to the design of spaces for constituencies beyond the gay community. Twenty years later, national debates about transgender access to public restrooms have led me to think again about queerness, this time through the lens of transgender studies.  In fact, my thinking has shifted, from a cis-gay male viewpoint shaped by ‘90s queer theory to a more inclusive perspective informed by contemporary transgender studies, which take into account a broad range of human identities and embodiments. A trans-inclusive approach offers a methodology for thinking about the roles of typology, materials, and biotechnologies in the formation of 21st-century identities.



In Stud: Architectures of Masculinity, published in 1994, architects, critics and artists explored the role architecture plays in the performance of male identity. Stud borrowed the notion of gender as performance from gender theorist Judith Butler, who, in her influential book Gender Trouble (1990), argues that masculinity and femininity are culturally constructed, learned modes of behavior. Butler refers to the way drag queens exemplify  how gender identity is enacted by enlisting culturally prescribed codes for bodily comportment – including voice and gesture – and fashion – clothing and makeup.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #11, 1978; gelatin silver print; 8 x 10 in. © Cindy Sherman. Courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.

Butler’s analysis led me to consider design’s role in the performance of gender, which relies not only on materials applied to the body but also on the designed environment in which the performing body moves. We see this in Cindy Sherman’s iconic “Untitled Film Stills” series, in which the artist uses costume, props and mise-en-scène to impersonate different versions of womanhood as represented in classic Hollywood films. In Untitled Film Still #11, the artist lies on a twin bed in a tiny claustrophobic bedroom: her blond curls, lace dress and handkerchief, floral bedspread and carpet, and French provincial night tables and lamps, create a harmonized web of visual cues signifying that this is a portrait of a forlorn, probably unmarried, middle-class ciswoman. Sherman’s recumbent figure, shot from above, establishes a flickering figure-ground relationship with the patterned background, underscoring the interdependence of identity, body, and architectural space.

Butler’s notion of performativity continues to be relevant, particularly when seen through a trans-inclusive lens. Queer theory is predicated on what trans theorists call cis-embodiment, in which the category of sex (male/female) remains a stable referent against which a queer deviation of gender signification (hetero/homo) plays out. Trans theory, on the other hand, argues that both sex and gender are malleable, demonstrating that there are multiple ways of living one’s gender independent from biological sex and sexual orientation. As trans theorist Susan Stryker writes, “Human culture has created many was of putting together bodies, subjectivities, social roles and kinship structures – that vast apparatus for producing intelligible personhood that we call ‘gender.’”[1] To use a mathematical analogy, if queerness is a one-variable equation, then transness is a two-variable equation that includes those who do not identify exclusively as male or female –like genderqueer, pangender, and agender individuals, who refuse stable gender categories altogether.

Stud interrogated architecture as one of the norms that gender performativity, today we might consider how performance operates under the two-variable model of transness. The notion that identity formation is subject to multiple permutations invites architects to embrace the intrinsic complexity of our own discipline: designers necessarily juggle multiple variables as we create spaces that allow people to enact not only gender but also the many roles, both personal and professional, that they perform each day. While trans theorists like Stryker posit gender as a spectrum of possibilities, like Butler they emphasize that identity is not something freely chosen at will but is shaped and constrained by social conventions transmitted through cultural discourses, including architecture. Trans theory may encourage architects to become mindful of the limiting social norms encoded in the design conventions we work with while being attuned to the inexhaustible range of formal variables and possible outcomes for the expression of identity.

What are, and how can we learn from, the formal conventions that architecture enlists to manufacture identity? When seen from a trans-inclusive perspective, two strategies that preoccupied me in the ’90s seem relevant again today: typology and the use of performative materials and technologies.



Stud argued that the performance of identity takes place within architectural “types” associated with specific activities that distribute bodies within formulaic spatial configurations that shape the way humans interact with each other and the world around them. Typologies tend to perpetuate the status quo, but architects and users can decide to contest these norms and their attending ideologies through appropriation and revision.[2]  A chapter on the men’s room analyzed how gay men appropriated standard restroom elements and used them in subversive ways to facilitate the choreography of cruising: mirrors and gaps, cracks, and holes in penetrable bathroom partitions promote rather than prohibit visual, and ultimately physical, exchanges between bodies.

Two years ago, national debates sparked by the moral panic surrounding the question of transgender access to public restrooms led me to return to the public restroom as a locus of cultural anxiety, but this time, through a trans-inclusive lens. On both sides of the debate the issue is framed as a matter of safety. While advocates cite high rates of violence faced by trans people, and trans women of color in particular, opponents claim transgender women pose a threat to cisgender women and portray trans women as predatory men masquerading in dresses to stalk prey in the ladies’ room. Beneath this unsubstantiated fear lurk longstanding societal anxieties about human embodiment that bathrooms have historically harbored, including abjection, misogyny, homophobia, and disability. However, a perhaps even deeper threat is the notion of gender ambiguity.[4]

Stalled!, a cross-disciplinary research team consisting of myself, trans theorist Susan Stryker, and legal scholar Terry Kogan, attempts to shift the terms of this debate by exploring the issue from a cultural, political, legal, and design perspective. While this hot button topic has received considerable media attention, it is rarely considered from an architectural perspective. Instead, the gender segregated restroom is generally accepted as a given that answers to the ostensibly eternal and objective human need for privacy between the sexes based on anatomical difference. Kogan’s research revealed that the first sex-segregated bathrooms were instituted in the 1880s to accommodate women entering the workplace. A product of prurient Victorian values, “ladies’ rooms” were invented to protect women’s bodies, which were deemed physically vulnerable and a corrupting influence on men. [5]

Realizing that the sex-segregated restroom is a culturally and historically contingent architectural type freed us to critique the generally accepted solution for all-gender bathrooms: supplementing sex-segregated facilities by adding a single-occupancy room, often with wheelchair access, labeled Gender Neutral. This approach stigmatizes nonconforming individuals, not only trans people but also the disabled, by separating them from other people. Stalled! advocates an alternative model that treats the public restroom as a single open space equipped with European-style fully enclosed floor-to- ceiling doors that ensure visual privacy. This solution has several advantages. Gender nonconforming people need not choose between options that don’t align with their identities. By consolidating a greater number of people in one rather than two rooms, there are potentially more eyes to monitor it, reducing the risk of restroom harassment and violence, particularly for trans people, who statistically are the most victimized. The multiunit type not only meets the needs of the trans community but also a wide range of nonnormative bodies traditionally neglected in public restrooms.

Joel Sanders Architect (JSA), Stalled!, 2017. Concept for a mixed-use public restroom for an airport concourse. Image courtesy of the author.

Stalled! used the generic airport restroom, a high-volume, mixed-use public space, as a case study to investigate the design and social implications of the multistall typology. Conceiving of the stall as the unit of privacy, allowed us to eliminate the corridor as well as the walls between back-to-back men’s and women’s rooms and to eliminate the partitions between sinks and urinals that previously subdivided the interior into a series of nested enclosures. Instead, we reconceived the public restroom as an open agora-like precinct animated by three parallel activity zones, dedicated respectively to grooming, washing, and eliminating.

In the shift from a queer to a trans-inclusive strategy for replacing the traditional men’s room with the desegregated typology, we also jettisoned gender specific references. Our new methodology involved researching the design consequences of the specific needs of nonnormative user groups categorized by age, gender, and ability, and then finding a shared lexicon of materials, lighting, and technologies that would allow them to mingle freely in public space.

Three factors guided our design decisions: choosing materials that enhance physical and psychological well-being to counteract feelings of embarrassment, shame, and propriety that bathrooms can evoke in users; integrating interactive fixtures and technologies that conserve water and are easy for those with manual disabilities to operate; devising way-finding systems that use color, texture, and dramatic lighting in lieu of signage to help people with physical and sensory disabilities navigate public space.

Gender fluidity yields spatial fluidity, opening up new formal and material possibilities for more equitable human access to public space.


Performative Materials and Technologies

Shortly after completing Stud, I became interested in the way gay men appropriated and exaggerated the sartorial codes of stereotypical models of mainstream masculinity, from cowboys to construction workers.  This led us to explore the affinities between clothing and the cladding that adorns buildings: both are applied surfaces that are simultaneously functional and expressive. House for a Bachelor, for example, was organized around a subterranean bedroom spa clad in wood, metal, stone, and leather, a material lexicon shared  by “high” modernism and “low” gay male subcultural spaces. Male modernist masters like Mies van de Rohe prized them for their association with austerity, authenticity, and permanence, values traditionally linked with maleness. The same materials are often found in gay clubs and bars because of they recall hyper-masculine spaces like ranches and construction sites.

Now, trans fashion prompts us to think about performative materials in a more complex way. Qwear, a fashion blog geared to queers of varying body types, race, and ethnicities, exemplifies how queer style has adopted the more complex trans understanding of identity formation. Sampling has replaced exaggeration as individuals mix clothing that references not only binary gender clichés but also signifiers of race, ethnicity, class, personality and sexual orientation. In the article “Query: How to exude queerness through transmaculinity?,” Qwear editor Sonny Oram gives a black trans man who “desperately” wants to “read as a queer guy” some style tips, including crop tops, Doc Martens boots, asymmetrical haircuts, and fanny packs.  In “Femme Embodiments of the Other,” a profile of Sal Salam, an activist who champions people of Asian/Desi heritage, Salam says, “I get to tell fun, complex stories about all the varicolored bits of myself – queer, femme, desi, immigrant, child of my mother, lover of films and books and sunlight and sex – through the things I wear. Inventing myself in the face of convention.”[6]

As they use fashion to craft their identities, trans people are expanding on the techniques used by earlier queer subcultures, supplementing voice, gesture, and costume with body altering biotechnologies, from pharmaceuticals to medical procedures. Architects today also have access to a growing palette of materials if they take advantage of sophisticated new technologies to enhance the appearance and performance of buildings, and build on the analogy between architecture, human bodies, and machines that has been central to modernist architectural discourse since Le Corbusier. Trans theory opens up ways to think about parallel postwar technological developments that have made bodies and buildings into cyborgs.[7] A section through a building or a human being reveals that both are hybrids. The mechanical metal screws, pins, plates rods and artificial hips and bones implanted in human bodies are like the bolts, braces, beams and columns in buildings, which are also a combination of natural and synthetic materials.

However what distinguishes this new crop of cyborg buildings and bodies from their post-war mechanical predecessors is that they now seamlessly incorporate responsive electronic devices often invisible to the naked eye. The monitors, speakers, and cameras mounted on the walls of rooms and facades are not so different from their miniature counterparts embedded in the hand held devices, i-watches and ear buds that we carry with us everywhere we go.  Not only affixed to buildings and human skins, these electronics have become so small that they now invade the cavities of humans and buildings. The pacemakers, cochlear implants, and micro-magnetic electrodes that stimulate organs, eyes and ears are not so different from the cameras and sensors contained within or behind facades, walls and ceilings. Not only are both the systems found in humans and buildings responsive to external stimuli–from blood sugar levels to climate—but they are also networked to one another: cameras, sensors and motion detectors monitor the presence and movement of the cyborg bodies that they track. In short, the internet of things is allowing humans and buildings to become interconnected intelligent machines.

Trans theory can facilitate a productive dialogue about the reciprocity between cyborg bodies and buildings and its consequences for design, but only if we explore the social and political implications of these technocultural developments. Over the past 15 years, critics and designers alike have tended to divide into camps: those who embrace the potential of biotechnologies to save the future of architecture, mankind, and the planet versus those who repudiate them as homogenizing forces that have isolated us from one another and forced us to lose touch with our physical surroundings and corporeal selves.

Trans theorist Paul Preciado adopts a more nuanced view. Drawing from Michel Foucault, he argues that we are living in a “pharmaco-pornographic regime,” a new era of “punk capitalism” in which human subjectivity has become defined by sex, sexuality, sexual identity, and desire, which has become an object of political management through the convergence of biotechnologies, pharmaceuticals, and mass media. If previous stages of capitalism regulated bodies through external disciplinary practices, now “somatic political controls” manufacture subjectivity and its affects from within: we consume media and ingest substances (Viagra, Prozac, hormones) that transform the internal molecular structure of our minds and bodies and shape our desires[8]

Trans people who craft identities with clothing, drugs, and surgery may exemplify aspects of technocultural embodiment, but they are also a model of resistance. By making us “conscious of the technological processes of which we are made,” Preciado writes, they invite us to “risk inventing new ways of installing and reinstalling subjectivity.” Designers should likewise acknowledge how architecture participates in perpetuating the pharmaco-pornographic regime. Rather than be passive consumers, architects need to take advantage of the latent potential of new technologies to improve our lives while also being mindful of the potential harm caused by the mass-produced devices and appliances,  from surveillance equipment to climate control systems, that we unthinkingly install in our homes, offices, and streets. Adopting a more critical stance will allow architects to make intelligent biotechnological design choices as well as to invent formally innovative strategies that will allow cyborg buildings and bodies to dynamically engage one another in ways that are socially, politically and environmentally productive.

From Queer to Trans

Trans theory has prompted me to reexamine some of the themes that informed my early work with a more inclusive perspective. While concepts like performativity, typology, dressing wall surfaces, and cyborgs, which I considered from a queer male viewpoint two decades ago, have continued relevance today, trans theory has revealed the limitations of my early work, which was complicit in architecture’s tendency to presume that Western, able-bodied, white cisgender men are its users by default. The overlapping fields of transgender and disability studies have encouraged me to broaden my queer purview and search for design strategies that accommodate people whose bodies deviate from the norm because of age, gender, religion, or disability.  [9]

Most important, trans theory has strengthened my conviction that politics and formal invention are interdependent, not mutually exclusive. Both inform not only what we make, but how we make. Designers must assume responsibility for addressing the spatial consequences of urgent social justice issues at a time when the civil liberties of people in America and around the world are in peril. Trans theory and practice promises to be a catalyst for creativity, allowing designers to generate unforeseen formal solutions that have potential to transform how all of us experience the built environment. Over the past 20 years, progressive architects have often ventured outside our discipline, mining fields like fractal geometry, biotech, and parametrics to generate radical formal propositions that foster indeterminacy. Trans theory also invites us to embrace multiplicity: the open-ended and ever-evolving nature of human subjectivity. But it does so through a methodology that interrogates our discipline from within by appropriating and ultimately transforming the architectural codes manifested in familiar programmatic types and building materials laden with cultural connotations that work in conjunction with other cultural discourses to enable the performance of human subjectivity.

If queer theory spawned design projects that borrowed insider architectural tropes addressed to a gay male subculture, trans theory suggests that we move away from cisgender-centric design. Eliding binary distinctions between male and female, interior and exterior, natural and synthetic, human and machine, trans inspires us to create hybrid environments that mix materials with polyvalent cultural references. In addition, trans theory underscores the need to abolish sex-segregated buildings altogether – not only restrooms but dormitories, prisons, fire stations, and military compounds – building types that privilege gender as the definition of human identity and thus dictates the configurations of everyday space. Instead, gender needs to be calculated as one aspect in a broad field of factors that architects consider when they design the kinds of technologically sophisticated environments that allow a spectrum of roles and identities to play out in both public and private space.


Joel Sanders is a Professor at the Yale School of Architecture and the principal of JSA (Joel Sanders Architect).


[1] Susan Stryker, “Transgender Studies: Queer Theory’s Evil Twin,” in GLQ, Volume 10, Number 2, 2004 p 214. For an account of the way transgender studies offers a critique of queer theory, opening up the possibility for more critical ways of conceptualizing identity, also see “Transgender History, Homonormativity, and Disciplinarity.” Radical History Review, Duke University Press Issue 100 (Winter 2008)

[2] In Stud’ Introduction I elaborated this concept. “For example, dwelling locates itself within the house, research within the library, working within the office… Although purportedly outside the domain of politics, the way buildings distribute our activities within standard spatial configurations (building types) has a profound ideological impact on social interaction- regulating, constraining and (on occasion) liberating the human subject..[2]”

[3] Ibid.

[4] Since 2013, there have been a series of attempts to deny trans people access to the bathroom assigned to the gender which they identify, including Campaign for Houston to repeal HERO, an equal rights ordinance, North Carolina’s House Bill 2, and similar measures in more than two dozen other states. Most recently, the Trump administration has rescinded Title IX protections for transgendered students put forth by the Obama administration​. For a more detailed discussion of national restroom politics and how they tap into longstanding cultural anxieties about embodied difference, see Sanders, Joel and Stryker, Susan. “Stalled!: Gender Neutral Public Restroom,” in the South Atlantic Quarterly, 115:4, Michael Hardt, Durham: Duke University Press, October 2016.

[5] Kogan, Terry, “Public Restrooms and the Distorting of Transgender Identity,” NC Law Review.

[6] According to Sonny Oram, founder of Qwear, LGBT fashion is both a form of “resistance” and a matter of “survival,” an essential resource that allows queers to align their outward appearance with their inner sense of self. Qwear profiles individuals who craft unique identities for themselves by establishing a dialogue between their bodies, which come in different builds, weights, and skin colors, and the clothing they wear. Miguel Raphael, profiled in the July 2017 issue, said that “his relationship with style is a living, visual representation of the different stages of his intersecting identities. A belief that has saved his life time and again.”

[7] If the discipline of architecture has since Vitruvius compared bodies and building, Le Corbusier, in his polemical writing added machines to the equation, famously describing the house as a “machine for living in.”

[8] Prediado, Beatriz. “The Pharmaco-Pornographic Regime: Sex, Gender, and Subjectivity in the Age of Punk Capitalism.” In The Transgender Studies Reader 2. Eds Susan Stryker and Aren Z Aizura. New York: Routledge, 2013.

[9] The advent of science and medicine in the 19th century gave rise to new conception of the  the “normal” body, one that could be objectively studied, measured and that would form the basis of ergonomic design standards that became encoded in guidelines and regulatory codes that we have inherited to this day.  Douglas Baynton describes how medical arguments where used to justify discrimination against women, blacks, and immigrants because their bodies deviated from the norm in “Disability and the Justification of Inequality in American History.” in The Disability Studies Reader. New York: Routledge, 2013.



Capsule Loft Featured in Interior Design Article + Video

October 9, 2017

Website image - combo

Interior Design’s September 2017 issue and online homepage features JSA’s recently completed Capsule Loft in NYC. To read the article and watch a video walkthrough of the apartment featuring an interview with Joel Sanders, click HERE.

You can also view the project on JSA’s website HERE.

Lecture at MIT, “From Stud to Stalled!”

September 28, 2017

MIT E Blast Image 2500x1570

Joel Sanders’ upcoming lecture at MIT will propose a shift to make multi-stall bathrooms on campus accessible to people of all genders, ages, sizes, and abilities. He will be joined by Shiona Heru, a lawyer addressing the legality and cost effectiveness of implementing gender neutral bathrooms on campus, and Sonny Oram, Founding Editor of Qwear.

“From Stud to Stalled: Social Equity and Public Space” will be a joint event between MIT’s Architecture Department, the City Design and Development group, and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and will take place on Tuesday, October 3rd at 6pm in Long Lounge (7-429).

Please join us for what promises to be a lively event. For more information, click HERE.


Panel and Conversation with Cassils at NYU, “PISSED”

September 20, 2017


Joel Sanders will participate in PISSED, a panel and conversation about art, architecture and legal action as tactics for promoting inclusivity. The event is co-sponsored by NYU’s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality and Department of Performance Studies, and will take place on Tuesday, September 26, 2017.

The panel will feature Cassils (trans artist, Guggenheim Fellow), Chase Strangio (ACLU lawyer for Chelsea Manning, Gavin Grimm), and Titus Kaphar (painter, Artist as Activist Fellow). The event will be moderated by Jack Halberstam, Visiting Professor of Gender Studies and English at Columbia University. The panelists will discuss crossovers in their work and address alternative futures that refuse complicity in systems of oppression. Discussion topics will include Stalled!, JSA’s ongoing research initiative for promoting gender-inclusive restrooms and locker rooms.

For more information, click HERE.

NEW PROJECT! West Village Loft

May 30, 2017


Now live on our website, the West Village Loft maintains it’s architectural integrity characterized by industrial, exposed concrete beams and tall south-west corner windows offering natural light and panoramic views of the Hudson River, while accommodating a second floor “Sleeping Capsule”. To view the full project, click HERE.

AIANY Center for Architecture Diversity x Design Event

May 19, 2017


Joel Sanders joined the AIANY Diversity and Inclusion Committee May 23, 2017 at the Center for Architecture. His lecture, “Non-Compliant Bodies: Social Equity and Public Space” was followed by a round table discussion. To read more click HERE.

Rizzoli Releases “New York Living: Re-Inventing Home” Featuring 25 Columbus Circle

May 2, 2017


Rizzoli Books releases “New York Living: Re-inventing Home” by Paul Gunther, Gay Giordano, and Charles Davey featuring JSA’s 25 Columbus Circle. To read more and order your copy today, click HERE.


NEW PROJECT! 219 Gardens

April 24, 2017


Now live on our website, 219 Gardens is a private residential enclave in Seoul, Korea that combines the best aspects of urban and country living. To view the full project, click HERE.

Metropolis Magazine Features Joel Sanders and Susan Stryker’s Adapted Essay “Gender-Neutral Public Restroom”

April 19, 2017


Metropolis Magazine has featured architect Joel Sanders and trans theorist Susan Stryker’s adapted essay, “Gender-Neutral Public Restroom” originally published in the South Atlantic Quarterly 115:4, Duke University Press.  The article features a new introduction describing the recent cultural and political issues surrounding trans space and a call to action for a new public restroom design that encourages all embodied subjects to freely and safely engage with one another in public space. To read the article, click HERE.

Joel Sanders Featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer and PennDesign News

March 13, 2017


Following Joel Sanders’ lecture at PennDesign, Non-Compliant Bodies: Social Equity and Public Space, the evolution of Sanders’ thinking about the creation of inclusive spaces that accommodate people of different ages, genders and abilities considered out of the cultural mainstream was featured in an interview with Inga Saffron at The Philadelphia Inquirer as well as PennDesign News. In the interview titled “Reinventing the Restroom to End the Transgender Debate”, Sanders states, “We want to create safe, equitable space, not just for transgender people, but what I call nonstandard bodies. This is not just about trans people. It would be great for opposite-sex caregivers, for people with kids. We see it as an opportunity to have a broader conversation about public space.” To read the full interview in the Philadelphia Inquirer, click HERE. To read the article in PennDesign News, click  HERE.


Lecture at the New York School of Interior Design, “From Stud to Stalled!”

February 21, 2017


Joel Sanders will present a lecture at the New York School of Interior Design that traces the evolution of two decades of work on gender, identity, and design from the publication of his book of essays, STUD: Architectures of Masculinity (1996) to his recent research/design initiative Stalled! on Wednesday, February 22 at 6 pm. The talk will look at shifting cultural conceptions about masculinity, femininity, and LGBTQ rights over the past 20 years. Divided into four chronological sections that correspond to four cultural issues that have shaped Sanders’ writing and projects, this talk will provide the audience with new ways of seeing important cultural issues that resonate today. To register for the lecture, click HERE.

Joel Sanders Featured in Posture Magazine

December 22, 2016

Posture Magazine cover-web-image

Joel Sanders is featured in Posture Magazine’s third issue, dedicated to individuals who “pave the way for progress and set new standards of equality”. Sonny Oram’s article “From Stud to Stalled” describes the evolution of Sanders’ thinking about the intersection of gender and space over the course of his career.

Stalled! Receives Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts

November 18, 2016


The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature awarded Joel Sanders for his Stalled! All-Gender Bathroom Design/Research Independent Project. Stalled! confronts the practical, political, and ideological issues surrounding all-gender bathrooms and the architectural implications of gender-nonconforming space. To learn more about this project, read architect Joel Sanders and trans-theorist Susan Stryker’s essay, Stalled! Gender-Neutral Public Bathrooms, recently published in the South Atlantic Quarterly, HERE.

A|N Interview: Sanders on the Past and Future of Gender Issues in Architecture

November 17, 2016


In the The Architect’s Newspaper, Alessandro Bava, of the London-based collective åyr, interviews Joel Sanders on how gender informs the architecture of everyday life. The interview is timed with the 20th anniversary of Sanders’ book Stud: Architectures of Masculinity on queer male spaces. Sanders discusses the evolution of his research on gender and space that has led to Stalled!, his recent design/research project that addresses an urgent social justice issue of all-gender bathrooms for gender-nonconforming people. To read the full article, click HERE.

Joel Sanders and Susan Stryker published in the South Atlantic Quarterly

October 14, 2016


Architect Joel Sanders and Trans Theorist Susan Stryker’s essay “Stalled: Gender-Neutral Public Bathrooms” has been published in the South Atlantic Quarterly 115:4, Duke University Press. The article describes their design research project, Stalled!, that explores the practical, political and ideological issues surrounding gender neutral bathrooms and the architectural implications of trans space. To read the article, click HERE.

Joel Sanders Contributes to Storefront for Art and Architecture’s “Letters to the Developer”

October 3, 2016


Storefront for Art and Architecture asked a selected group of architects, curators, historians, and critics to write a letter to a New York City Developer of their choice that recognizes the great achievements of developers in New York City as part of their “Letters to the Developer” project. The project serves as an inspiration for better development practices in New York City, and subsequently, around the globe. The letters, including Sanders’, will be exhibited at Storefront’s gallery space from October 5 – 20th, 2016.

“Gay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture in New York” on view at the MCNY starting October 7, 2016

September 30, 2016


JSA created the design for Gay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture in New York, a groundbreaking exhibition dedicated to the significant contribution made by three generations of New York City queer artistic networks from 1910 to 1993 that had a lasting effect on mainstream culture. This exhibition is on view at the Museum of the City of New York from October 7, 2016 until February 26, 2017.

Stalled! Trans-Initiative: Joel Sanders and Susan Stryker Featured in the LA Times

May 2, 2016

Architect Joel Sanders and Trans Theorist Susan Stryker’s design research project, Stalled! that explores the practical, political and ideological issues surrounding gender neutral bathrooms was featured in the Los Angeles Times on April 30, 2016. The article titled, “Everyone Poops. No One Should Be Stigmatized or Criminalized When They Answer Nature’s Call”, is adapted from a longer article on gender neutral toilets and the architectural implications of trans space, co authored with Susan Stryker, forthcoming later this year in the South Atlantic Quarterly. To read the article, click HERE.


Introducing Our New Website

April 21, 2016


We’ve added new content, including new projects with images and videos, plus newsresearch and essays – all designed to work on your desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. Tell us what you think!

JSA’s New Location

March 21, 2016


Lecture at YSOA, “Trans-form: Designing Identities 1996-2016”

February 24, 2016


As part of the Yale School of Architecture Contemporary Architecture Discourse Colloquium on Gender and Space, Joel Sanders presented a lecture titled “Trans-form: Designing Identities 1996-2016”, tracing the evolution of JSA’s thinking about gender, identity, and design since the publication of STUD: Architectures of Masculinity in 1996 as it registers the impact of social changes in the design community and the culture at large.

Watch Sanders’ Lecture @ the SAA

February 24, 2016


Joel Sanders’ lecture, “Exhibitionism: Between Art and Architecture”, for the Swedish Association of Architects’ (SAA) annual Architecture Gala, is now available to watch online. To view the lecture, click HERE.

Happy Holidays from JSA

December 23, 2015


Lecture at the SAA: “Exhibitionism: Between Art and Architecture”

December 7, 2015

20151123 Swedish-Association-of-Architects-Lecture

As part of the Swedish Association of Architects’ (SAA) annual Architecture Gala at the Aula Medica in Stockholm, Joel Sanders presented a lecture titled “Exhibitionism: Between Art and Architecture”, talking about JSA’s recent work for the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm and how it fits into the themes and issues central to JSA’s practice. He discussed the development of the design program for the furnishings and equipment in the exhibition halls of the renovated Nationalmuseum building, and the objective of creating a display system that negotiates between the different scales of the human body, the monumental building and various works of  art.

JSA’s “Commons” Featured in The Architect’s Newspaper

October 15, 2015


The Architect’s Newspaper’s Mimi Zeiger interviews Joel Sanders who is championing a new design typology for the future of aging. People are living longer and more independent lives and architect’s must respond in their design for assisted living, independent living, and memory care facilities. Sanders discusses his design for “The Commons“, a senior housing community in Palm Springs that challenges pre-existing notions of senior facilities, using landscape and shared outdoor space to weave assisted and independent living facilities, creating a community-based environment for a diverse and active, older demographic. To read the interview, click HERE.

JSA House Featured in Financial Times

September 28, 2015


JSA’s design for the award-winning House on Mt. Merino is featured in the Financial Times Weekend issue in House & Home. Journalist Troy McMullen describes 4 homes, including the modern House on Mt. Merino, that befit the Hudson River Shoreline, hometown of President Franklin D Roosevelt.

JSA Awarded By KIA As One Of The Top 100 Architects of 2014

September 28, 2015


JSA was recently honored by the Korean Institute of Architects as one of 2014’s top 100 Architects of the Year. To celebrate the honor, the firm’s work was showcased in an international exhibition in Gwangju, Korea, coinciding with the 33rd KIA annual convention.

JSA Selected for AIA NY Interiors: Residential Review 2015

June 10, 2015


Winners: Allen + Killcoyne Architects, Andrew Franz Architect, Architecture Workshop, Calvert Wright Architecture, Cooper Robertson, DHD Architecture and Interior Design, E/L Studio, Gabellini Sheppard Associates, Joel Sanders Architect, LEVENBETTS, Lubrano Ciavarra Architects, Matiz Architecture & Design, PKSB Architects, SPAN Architecture, Tsao & McKown Architects, Yoshihara McKee Architects

The inaugural Residential Review was created by the AIANY Interiors Committee to showcase New York based-architects who are designing outstanding residential spaces. Twenty winners were selected from nearly 100 entries and will be featured in the Residential Review showcase. The showcase, consisting of large-format posters, will be on display on a large street frontage in Chelsea, New York. GD Cucine at 227 West 17th Street is generously providing the street-front window display space.

Organized by: AIANY Interiors Committee
Sponsored by: GD Cucine
Price: Free
To RSVP click HERE

2015 Oberfield Lecture: “Border Crossing: Architecture, Media, Landscape”

May 26, 2015


Joel Sanders, AIA, will present his recent work through which he discusses two timely questions central to his teaching and practice. How can designers representing two allied disciplines – architecture and landscape – work together to create sustainable environments that integrate buildings and sites? What will be the impact of information technologies on the spaces of our daily life, both public and private? His talk will champion a new cross-disciplinary design approach that combines architecture, landscape and new media to create immersive multi-sensory environments that instigate meaningful human interactions in both actual and virtual space. Click HERE to read more.

Speaker: Joel Sanders, AIA, Principal, JSA

Joel Sanders Moderates Panel on Guggenheim Helsinki

October 15, 2014


On Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 6-8pm, Joel Sanders will moderate a panel at the Center for Architecture for a broad-ranging discussion of topics raised by the Guggenheim Helsinki competition that are reshaping the future of the contemporary art museum and the discipline of architecture. Panelist include Cara Cragan, Director of Architectural Projects, Helsinki and Abu Dhabi, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation; Jeanne Gang, FAIA, Principal and Founder, Studio Gang Architects; Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen, Associate Professor, Yale School of Architecture; and Nancy Spector, Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The event is part of NYC’s “Archtober” calendar of events. More information can be found HERE.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
“Guggenheim Helsinki Competition: Designing a Museum of the Future”
Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place, NY, NY 10012
6:00-8:00 pm

JSA featured in CONCEPT Magazine

June 5, 2014


CONCEPT Magazine’s Vol. 182 features JSA’s new cross-disciplinary design approach, “Bionic Space,” which combines architecture, landscape and new media to create immersive multi-sensory environments that instigate meaningful human interactions in actual and virtual space. Click HERE to order the issue.

Joel Sanders Lectures at Tongji University in Shanghai

April 29, 2014


Sanders will be lecturing at Tongji University Shanghai. The lecture will explore two overlapping questions central to Sanders’ teaching and architectural practice: landscape and new media.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
“Immersive Environments: Media, Architecture and Landscape”
4:00pm – Bell Hall Auditorium, Building B

UPenn Education Commons wins ALA / IIDA Library Interior Design Awards

April 29, 2014


The UPenn Education Commons’s “loungescape” has was recently announced as the winner of the 2014 ALA / IIDA Library Interior Design Awards – Honorable Mention, Academic Libraries under 30,000 SF. This library transforms a space beneath the bleachers of Franklin Field Stadium into a wired, flexible library that is unified through a suspended acoustic “cloud” that programs learning zones and insulates the new library from the cheers of sports fan above.

JSA featured in OUT Magazine

April 1, 2014


The April issue of OUT magazine features JSA. The article titled “A Stud’s Life: How Voyeuristic Living Became Mainstream” describes how Sanders’ forward-thinking design ideas are becoming established trends in contemporary spaces. Click HERE to read more.

Joel Sanders and Barry Bergdoll Speak at “Cocktails and Conversations”

March 28, 2014


Sanders & Bergdoll, curator of architecture at MoMA, will speak together at “Cocktails & Conversations,” a lecture series co-sponsored by cultureNOW and the AIA NY Chapter’s Architectural Dialogue Committee. A custom drink inspired by Sanders’ work will be created especially for the occasion by notable bartenders Toby Cecchini and Eben Klemm. Click HERE for event information.

Joel Sanders Lectures at University of Illinois School of Architecture

March 17, 2014


Sanders will be lecturing at the University of Illinois School of Architecture. The lecture will explore how digital technologies impacts spaces today.

Monday, March 17, 2014
“Audio-Vision: Digital Technologies and the Public Realm”
5:30pm – Lawrence J. Plym Auditorium, Temple Hoyne Buell Hall

UPenn Education Commons wins 2013 Interior Design Best of Year Award

December 12, 2013


Education Commons, a wired, multimedia learning environment at the University of Pennsylvania, is the winner of the 2013 Interior Design Best of Year Award for category Education: Library. Conceived as a loungescape, the library transforms an unfinished shell space beneath the bleachers of Franklin Field Stadium into a flexible library where students can shift between studying and social networking as they access information over the course of a day.

Kunshan Phoenix Cultural Mall featured in suckerPUNCH

December 9, 2013


Kunshan Phoenix Cultural Mall, an 80,000 sqm corporate headquarters and cultural complex to be built in Kunshan, China, is featured in SuckerPUNCH. This first-place winning design breaks down the scale of the given superblock by subdividing the site into a sequence of human-scaled indoor and outdoor public spaces that seamlessly integrate the surrounding city while preserving the single identity of the entire complex.

On the Boards: Ichon Rex

December 1, 2013


Construction has begun for Ichon Rex Residential Complex, a 5.7 acre project in Seoul, Korea slated for completion in 2014. The complex weaves together towers, landscape and a shared community facility. JSA’s design for the public spaces animates the urban ground plane and defines the transition from the dense urban fabric lined with retail on the northern boundary of the site with the expansive Han riverfront bordering the south.

Joel Sanders Delivers Lecture at FIT

November 9, 2013


Joel Sanders delivered a lecture on “Closet Space: Philip Johnson, Paul Rudolph, and the Runway” on Saturday, November 9 at the Fashion Institute of Technology in conjunction with the exhibit designed by JSA, “A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk.

Kunshan Phoenix Cultural Mall featured in World Architecture News

November 1, 2013


World Architecture News features Kunshan Phoenix Cultural Mall as an EcoWAN project. The culture park’s green roof helps mitigate the heat-island effect of the podium’s horizontal surface. The tower’s elongated facades maximize favorable southern and northern light while minimizing solar heat gain from the short east and west exposures to create a healthy working environment for PPMG staff. The Tower is clad in a solar screen composed of horizontal and vertical louvers whose spacing and depth are calibrated to shade the different faces of the slab based on sun angles.

Al Jazeera America featured in Mobisle

October 29, 2013


Mobisle, a green floating edge of planted islands that buffers the coast against rising seas and storms, was recently featured in Al Jazeera America. Conceived in collaboration with Balmori Associates, Mobisle presents a solution to defend against natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy. They can also be used for urban agriculture as well as public space. Click here to read the full article.

American Architects Win International Competition for “Cultural Mall” in China (Archdaily)

October 4, 2013

01-20131004-American-Architects-Win-International-Competition-for-Cultural-Mall-in-China Archdaily

Kunshan Phoenix Cultural Mall, an award-winning commercial and cultural complex to be built in Kunshan, China, was featured in ArchDaily this month. JSA collaborated with FreelandBuck to design a looping mixture of culture and commerce that defines the perimeter of a central outdoor atrium on a large urban site. The Book Mart dramatically crowns the entire complex and serves as a base for the tower as well as cultural park where the general public and employees can come together. The tower is clad with a striking pattern of diagonal louvers that both provide solar shading and mark the tower as a visual icon on the city skyline.

JSA and FreelandBuck win Kunshan Phoenix Cultural Mall competition

October 2, 2013


Phoenix Publishing and Media Group (PPMG), one of the largest media and publishing companies in China, has announced that JSA and FreelandBuck won first prize in an invited international competition. The winning proposal for the Kunshan Phoenix Cultural Mall­—an 80,000 sqm corporate headquarters and cultural complex to be built in Kunshan, one hour west of Shanghai—consists of a 20-story office tower perched upon a five-story podium organized around four ‘cultural cores’ that respectively house theaters, exhibition halls, a fitness club and an education center. A retail loop, comprised of affiliated stores, restaurants and cafes, spirals around each cultural core, allowing culture and commerce to mix.

“A Queer History of Fashion” featured in FastCoDesign

September 13, 2013


FastCoDesign’s Carey Dunne summarizes the highlights of “A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk,” an exhibition designed by JSA, in her article A New Exhibition Plays Tribute to Fashion’s Queer History. Spanning 300 years and featuring 100 ensembles, from the foppish ‘macaroni’ menswear of the 18th century to Gaultier’s cone bras and skirts for men, the show is the first to examine fashion history through a queer lens. This groundbreaking exhibition is on view at MFIT until Jan 4, 2014.

New York Times reviews “A Queer History of Fashion”

September 11, 2013


In the Sept 11 issue of the New York Times, “A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk,” an exhibition designed by JSA, was reviewed by Guy Trebay in his article In Search of a Gay Aesthetic. Trebay writes, “To suggest the implicit reciprocal relationship between gay culture and high fashion, Mr. Sanders constructed a white catwalk to display mannequins dressed in high-fashion clothes. Beneath it runs a purple platform for displaying styles associated directly with gay subcultures: fashion’s straight ego and its lavender id. ‘The subcultural planes turn upward,’ disruptively, Mr. Sanders said.”