Date of Award

Spring 6-21-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master in Interior Architecture


Interior Architecture

First Advisor

Jeffrey Katz

Second Advisor

Helis Sikk


This research explores how the epistemology of queer theory can be extrapolated as an instrument for mediating positively in museum environments. As a tool, queer theory deconstructs taxonomic societal understandings around identity, self, and other to expose the imbalance of power present in the world. It impugns the various mechanisms that are involved in the making, perpetuation, and dissemination of social norms and ideals.

The word queer academically and colloquially has many definitions, interpretations, and usages, but this thesis is most concerned with its application as a verb. Used as such, to queer can be defined as the process of subverting, resisting, and transgressing normativity to radically challenge the status quo and extend the realm of reality. This thesis will analyze the RISD Museum as a site of social production, and offers queering actions as an antidote of counter-production. The implementation of queering tactics in the design of museum environments will make space for exploring alternative ways of constructing identities, behaviors, and expectations. The execution of these methodologies will broaden critical dialogue around both the physical and social constructions that permeate the built environment.

With hate crimes and legislation aimed at queers and people of color institutionalized through spaces of power, it is imperative to deconstruct these establishments with specific regard for these concerns. Queering actions proposed in this thesis will serve to dismantle and reconstruct the RISD Museum, though with a broader intended application of all unjust physical and social structures. The mission is to spark social change.



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