Queer Histories in Architecture is part of our contemporary reflections series
The Art of Living: Bodily Experiences of Space, Curated by Kristen J. Owens


The Art of Living: Bodily Experiences of Space is a four-part contemporary reflections series organized in conjunction with the exhibition Eileen Gray and inspired by the ways in which Gray’s architectural and interior designs were created with the individual’s bodily experience of the space in mind.

Queer Histories in Architecture is an intimate talk and workshop surrounding queer objects, bodies of many forms, and environmental realities. This workshop with J.D. Sassaman and Mariel Villeré will respond to a history of queer world-building and explore the idea of queering a space through appropriation and object-making. Participants will explore historical typologies and collaboratively draw new spatial concepts through conversation, images, and three dimensional construction. While hands-on, the workshop requires no previous design or craft experience and is open to all ages and abilities.


Other Conversations in the series include:


Saturday, March 28
Blackness and Spatial Matters: A Performance Lecture
With Mario Gooden, Jonathan Gonzalez and Mabel O. Wilson.


Thursday, May 14
Digital Art, Architecture, and the Body
With Alredo Salazar-Caro, Ashley Baccus-Clark, and Jacolby Sattewhite


Thursday, June 11
Designing Social/Cultural Spaces
Speakers to be announced.


Meet the Workshop Leaders:


Trained as an architectural designer and historian, Mariel Villeré researches, writes, and organizes exhibits and cultural programming at the intersection of architecture, art, landscape, and the city. She is currently the Program Development Director in the Office of Academic Initiatives and Strategic Innovation at The Graduate Center, CUNY. She was formerly the Manager for Programs, Arts and Grants at Freshkills Park/NYC Parks, where she worked to build the art program for the landfill-to-park site through an inquiry-based artist residency program, Field R/D, and through the on-site Studio+Gallery she founded in January 2018. Her work has been the subject of articles in Hyperallergic, Art in America, ArtSpace, and BOMB Magazine.



J.D. Sassaman focuses on complex questions about how our world gets built and how we evolve fabrication processes to create our future. Her career encompasses design, craft, digital fabrication, and teaching. Currently a Senior Manager for the Autodesk Technology Centers, she leads the Manufacturing Industry Engagement Team. She previously launched the Pier 9 Workshop for Autodesk as the Sr. Workshop Manager and oversaw the technical team, machine training curriculum, and user experience for the Technology Center. J.D. holds a Masters in Architecture from MIT, a degree in Fine Woodworking from College of the Redwoods, and a B.A. in History from Brown University. She has taught architecture + fabrication studios at California College of the Arts, founded QuBE (Queers in the Built Environment) at MIT, and was recently featured on Ask This Old House (PBS). In 2017, she was invited to the Obama White House for the LGBTQ Tech Leaders Summit. J.D. lives in San Francisco and swims year round in the Pacific.