Session 27: Architectures of White Supremacy


Can one argue that a lecture hall is inherently white supremacist--in its design and architecture? In this conversation, we’ll review examples of where/how white supremacy manifests in architectural scales of space. We’ll build on a definition of white supremacist spaces as ones in which experiences and opportunities (for joy, recreation, work, residence) are systematically skewed to uplift “white-generated and white-maintained privilege.” Whereas most studies of spaces of white supremacy focus on urban scales of space (e.g. red-lining and neighborhood segregation), we’ll use this conversation to test the scalar limits of white supremacy as a concept that can make visible forms of everyday injustice. Please come ready to engage in conversation and explore ideas collectively, in this facilitated presentation/exploration.

Suggested Reading:

Speaker's Biography:

Shawhin Roudbari is an associate professor in Environmental Design at the University of Colorado Boulder. He studies ways designers organize to address social problems and human rights abuses. In doing so, Shawhin bridges sociological studies of social movements and race with architectural theory. (This focus emerged from interviews he conducted with Iranian architects, during his dissertation research, where Shawhin learned about ways architects build institutional power to challenge the state.) Supported by the National Science Foundation and community impact grants, Shawhin’s research contributes to theories/practices of contentious politics and employs ethnographic and speculative design methods. He is a founding member of the DissentXDesign research collective, which has published work in leading sociological, architectural, and interdisciplinary journals. Shawhin organizes with Dark Matter University (DMU) and is co-director of the Center for Community-Engaged Design and Research (CEDaR).