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Tatjana Crossley

Subverting the Gaze, Redefining the role of the object: a community bath house in Jerusalem, Israel

Jerusalem is a city consumed by “the gaze.” The tourists merge with varying cultures and political tensions, fostering an environment where a glance can be accompanied by a host of preconceived notions, each of which plays crucial roles in the development of cultural judgments, controls, and the identity between subjects and objects. The gaze will inherently produce a subject and an object, and the relationship between the two, which is in constant in flux. By designing an architecture that plays with nuances of visibility, we can allow the gaze to manifest at particular moments and deny it at others, forming new experiential relationships between bodies.

This thesis begins by understanding the individual, looking at the implications of the “Gaze Subversion Helmet." It then applies these concepts to cultural identity and architecture. The intention of the project develops the idea of a labyrinth, designed to disorient the user by creating a spatial procession where the user can pass through and leave behind notions of judgment and preconception. In a manner of speaking, the space becomes a spiritual succession to then reemerge into the real world with the hope that this newfound awareness will be carried out. The architectural labyrinth subverts the gaze in order to dismember judgment and control, while promoting aspects common to our society of surveillance.

About The Designer

Tatjana Crossley is a recent M.Arch II graduate of the Harvard GSD. She is interested in the interplay between human empathy and design and how each can inform the other. A South Florida native, she is extremely excited about this project and hopes to be able to attend Design Miami this year.