'Breaking the binary' :exploring the scope of architechture to function as a social catalyst towards social inclusion of the third gender
AuthorAbonee, Ishita Alam
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We are born and raised in a binary world, a world of opposites where things are black or white, 1 or 0, good or evil, male or female. More than we know, our lives, are conditioned by our ideas about these opposite poles of gender. But there are many people who do not fit neatly into either/or categories of male or female. Marginalizing them, we miss all the unique variations that occur in biology and behavior. We damage people by forcing them to conform to these ideas. We limit their and our own possibilities. The proposed project aims to provide space to explore this unbound human potential which may help to instigate naturally occurring interaction and create a platform for knowledge exchange between this marginalized group and the wider society. The design proposes a strategic plan coupling together with a master plan designed to catalyze the social integration through social interaction with community participation. For this to happen, the idea of ‘event space’ is a key element in the design, which encourages the unexpected encounters among different groups of people. The project emphasizes on ‘naturally’ occurring interaction rather than on ‘intervened’ interaction such as interaction through schools and cultural activity. While these institutes will play a role in appealing to the wider audience to create awareness about such community, the key to social inclusion would remain in the acceptance of this ‘hijra’ population by the immediate society of the locality, to allow them to participate in the everyday social activity without any prejudice.