Modern house as the representation and mediator of gender binarism

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Istanbul Technical University, Lisansüstü Eğitim Enstitüsü, Architecture, Turkey

Approval Date: 2021

Thesis Language: English

Student: Çisem Soylu

Supervisor: Mehmet Emin Şalgamcıoğlu


Architecture's communicative attributes has long been argued and seldom denied. The questions around how it speaks and what it speaks of open a vast range of theoretical and practical research from semiotics to schemata theory and behavioral studies. The theoretical background of this thesis aims to cross read the predominant ideas and approaches of these three main fields to improve the semiotics of space with contributions from the outcomes of this cross reading. Gender normativity is one of the resorts that social space has been shaped. In accordance with the theoretical background, the coherence between the means of producing the knowledge of gender and producing the social space is analysed. The general theory of space as well as the architectural practice of certain important geographies and periods in the history of western europe are discussed to pin down the common tendencies towards reproducing the discriminative discourse. Domestic space, being fruitful in the shaping of the mind from childhood, is scrutinized to point out the male dominant roles in the family home as well as the society. A selection of modern french house typologies starting from the 17th century until the 20th is analysed and the outcomes are displayed both in narration and in numerical data that exposes the visibility or invisibility of certain gendered functions and gendered concepts: location and configuration of the kitchen, master bedroom, gender-exclusive spaces, division of private and public space, division of preparation and display.