These models are architectural provocations that suggest recurrent themes in San Juan’s queer spaces: fragmentation, mobility, unfixity, displacement, constraint, whim, and ephemerality. Through them I seek to undo knowability, question normative structures, dispute architectural conventions, and confront architectural discourse. To do this, I generate certain gestures, such as removing the actual queer buildings and reimagining them as single marbles, imprinting out-of-bounds shapes onto the site’s surface for the marbles to occupy.
The models are also movable objects, and they can be reconfigured and rearranged amongst themselves, creating new landscapes and topographies. Through their different heights and color schemes, they allow multiple, accidental, and surprising readings, suggesting spaces of programatic ambiguity and ephemerality, as well as spaces that are othered, often invisible to those outside of the queer circuit. These design decisions consider the importance of architecturally discussing queerness, while also acknowledging that queer spaces are at times strategically hidden as a way of protecting themselves and ensuring the safety of those inside them. These formal gestures—and design strategies—are rooted in significant moments of queerness during my own boyhood. In this way, although these models are registers of particular queer locations within San Juan, they also act as my own autobiographical artifacts.
Photography by Stephanie Segarra.