Queening

Master of Architecture
Semester 1, 2022

Studio leader(s)

  • Luca Lana

Queening is the transsexual act of the humble pawn's metamorphosis into the most powerful piece on the board the queen.

“Chess set for playing as long as you can remember where all your pieces are.” – Yoko Ono, 1966

As creators, artists and spatial practioners we reflect on the contemporary discussions surrounding design, our usage materiality, form and function are laden with politics even if mostly we are unaware this. From the famously utilitarian Bauhaus set to Yoko Ono's all-white version Chess, the game itself and its design are distinct as political statements. Queening will involve a quick fire research into the history of chess, which was once inclusive game to its evolution to the male dominated sport it is today. In particularly will look at the 1944 MOMA Chess Exhibition that very much secures both the art world and the game of chess of that time as gender biased. In Queening the game of chess and its aesthetic is used as metaphor for a broader discussion about how design and designers contribute to gender and social inequalities or can be resolved to combat them. In direct response participants of Queening will be asked to propose and make alternatives to the current game of chess. The Studies Unit will run mostly in the workshop so as students familiarise themselves with making and the making process. There will be one visit to the State Library of Victoria which may host an exhibition of your works.