The last two decades have seen enormous strides in terms social perceptions and policies concerned with the rights of the LGBTQ+ community in several countries around the world, some positive, some negative. However major challenges remain on a global level.
Approximately 80 countries still criminalize LGBT relationships one way or the other, and several others deny even the most basic rights and dignity. This includes the right to assembly, expression and information, and discrimination in employment, health and education. 1 in 4 LGBT people report discrimination worldwide.
Where does this hostility come from? On what is it based?
Even as activists’ advocate for a broader representation and access to accurate information about gender and sexuality there is a huge gap between policy and practice- at home, in medical facilities, educational institutions and in the public sphere.
What is the foundation for this prejudice? How can we change misconceptions and break the stigma? How can we foster positive attitudes and where do we start from? Why are people being subject to stigmatization, discrimination, violence and even criminalization because of their sexual orientation and gender identity?
Do our attitudes mirror our experiences? Are they formed by cues that we pick up from our immediate environment? Could this be the reason for the largely seen negative perceptions about the LGBT+ community? Is this due to a lack of visibility or rather due to the visibility of warped representation? How do we go about creating an informed society?
How do we make sure our youth have access to information and resources and access to a non-judgmental community space which takes into account their life, health, and well-being? Understanding that many LGBT+ persons run the risk of discrimination and violence on a daily basis, due to mis- informed and prejudiced community, peers and family, can design be a solution that this issue seeks?
Design Challenge: Use the built form as a narrative to design a community space which sensitizes the public, and becomes an affirmative safe space where LGBT+ youth have access to resources, information and support.
A Southern European island country in the Mediterranean, Malta is one of the smallest countries in Europe. Recorded as a naval base, Malta is teeming with history and takes you back to the Neolithic era (4th millennium BC) and has had a succession of foreign administrative powers including the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Crusaders, the French and the British.
Located in the North Eastern coast, Gżira is a small town sandwiched between Msida and Sliema, in the Central Region of Malta,with views of the walled city of Valletta (Country Capital). Developed as a working class neighborhood, it is well connected to the rest of the island, including all the major towns. Msida on the other hand is a university town today, seeing its origins as a fishing village, reclaimed from the sea after World War II, growing to keep up its thriving student community (of the University of Malta and G.F. Abela – Junior College).
At a distance of 800 m from the University of Malta, the site conveniently sits at a junction, it’s visible front, accessibility (to the nearby university town and the well frequented seafront) and the demographics of its neighbourhood, its most important asset. Adjacent to it the old Empire Stadium, Gżira (which is no longer in use, having been replaced by the Ta’ Qali National Stadium). Source and imges Courtesy of competitions.uni.
Launch: February 22, 2020
Registration closes: 14th Sep 2020
Submission Deadline: 29 Sep 2020
Result Announcement: 26th Nov 2020
Prize pool of worth: 20,000$
First Prize: 5000$ (For students and professionals)
Runner Up: 6 x 1100$ (For students and professionals)
People’s Choice: 4 x 600$ (Open for all)
Honourable Mention: 12 x 500$ Each