The Anti—White Space
New York, NY
This manifesto looks at the direction of contemporary architecture through the critical lens of the anti-white space, a space that removes the ideology of whiteness that is ingrained in our practice hence becoming more inclusive. The presence of privilege in space puts pressure on people of color to defend their conflicting identities within it. Sharing themselves meant that they would be seen and being seen has never been easy. People of colour have been forced to build a pattern where they are continuously building their identities around those belonging to white people, protecting their feelings with disregard to their own, as an effort to recreate the comfort they see in white lives and to gain their approval. We are becoming more aware of this condition and sensitive to the existence of non-white needs but this also needs to extend into our practice of architecture. We see the ideologies put forth by privileged white architects, who haven't had their identities challenged by space, and we accept it as the universal. White is the default. White is the normal. All outside it is questionable, more thoroughly vetted, and suppressed. It is unfair to force us to reconfigure our identities to cater to the white state of mind, to be able to relate to white issues, and not feel a reciprocation. If equality and unity is the intention, why is it so one-sided?