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Feminist futures – automated environments


March 5, 2018
March 5, 2018 (All day)
Geological Society of London Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BG   View map

Join us as we celebrate International Women’s Day with a panel discussion exploring how architecture can help to create inclusive, liveable, and socially aware cities that embrace the full gender spectrum in an age of robotisation.

The effects of automation are rarely limited to economics or issues around the division of labour. Changes to production and the service industries that are a result of increased automation are actively shaping our cities and how we interact with them. Architecture’s engagement with the futures that come with these processes are manifold and embrace both the positive and negative potential of automation. From additional leisure time and a focus on individual agency and creativity, to dystopian visions where unemployment and inequality run rampant, it is without question that the built environment can affect the shape of things to come.


Automated environments may have eliminated certain gender associations ascribed to specific jobs, but they have also reinforced gender roles and inequalities. Technology and the direction it takes is influenced by prevalent social tensions and disparity; as such, if we are to reduce inequality and gender stereotyping, we must aim to avoid replicating existing pernicious social dynamics and, instead, unearth architecture’s potential to facilitate change. Can architecture and the design of spaces allow both men and women, humans and non-humans, to express their full potential and provide a working alternative to the status quo?


Join us as we discuss whether automation can lead to a feminist utopia and, if it does, what those spaces might look like.



Marina Otero – Head of Research and Development at Het Nieuwe Instituut; currently managing the long-term research project Automated Landscapes

Nina Power – philosopher and cultural critic, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at University of Roehampton, and author of One-Dimensional Woman and many articles on European philosophy, politics and culture

Femke Snelting – Artist and designer, developing projects at the intersection of design, feminism and free software

Ellie Cosgrave (chair) – Lecturer in Urban Innovation, UCL; and Deputy Director of UCL City Leadership Laboratory


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