INSIDE (hi) STORIES – Designing Sapphic Modernity: Against Communication


SCE and ADHT host a talk by Jasmine Rault, Assistant Professor of Culture and Media at Eugene Lang College, and a co-facilitator of FemTechNet.

This talk focuses on the early twentieth century architectural and design work by Eileen Gray in order to explore some of the intersections between histories of communication, fashion, European architectural modernity and sapphic modernity – or the modernist cultural history of female sexual dissidence. From around 1900 to 1935, European modernist architecture was increasingly committed to communicative clarity – or immersive living spaces of total communication – and several female artists, writers, interior designers and architects, like Eileen Gray, worked to interrupt this clarity as a means to interrupt some of the projects of gender and sexual regulation with which modernist architecture and communication media were involved.

Jasmine Rault works on themes of feminist and queer architecture and design, affective and cultural economies, arts and social movements. Rault’s first book is Eileen Gray and the Design of Sapphic Modernity: Staying In (2011). Her current book projects are Unsettling Affects: Transnational Mediations of Feminist and Queer Activism; and Checking In: Feminist and Queer Labor in Networked Economies, co-authored with T.L. Cowan.