Feminism versus Professionalism, a typographic portrayal. 

In collaboration with: Garage Cube 

The answer to an invitation to participate “Do Not Carry Your Flag Too Low”, a Matrix exhibition translated into a screen installation. The aim was to showcase the duality between Feminism and spatial practices. 

Archizoom invited Trojans Collective to participate as a guest collective to produce a new design piece that would accompany the Matrix exhibition. We decided to work on the link between Matrix and us, on the common reflections about collectivity, and models of practice.  

Using one of their old posters as a starting point, which title was: Feminism versus Professionalism. We were interested in the opposition between the two concepts, and how to we could rethink and update that juxtaposition.  

For our process, we went through the Matrix writings, and spotted two identities. On one hand the classical figure of how an architect is supposed to be: professional, individual, expert, masculine, precise. On the other hand, a more inclusive identity of a group of people working together. Just like Matrix women: diverse, and plural. They themselves describes the way they were perceived using words like confused, emotional, feminist, or self-taught.  

The Screen Installation

From this process, we created two blocks of words, written in self-made DIY typography. By using construction elements and following Matrix’s spirit in their communication. The two types belong to opposite worlds. They were side by side to propose another reading, relationship, and duality between them. We did that by adding an alternating preposition in between, changing “versus” for “along” or “with” or “inside”.  

The screen installation took the shape of a video composition across four screens. Each screen displayed the words in movement, using different timings, thus proposing a constant change of meaning and pairing.

The Context

The 8th of March 2022, opened “Do Not Carry Your Flag Too Low” an exhibition by Archizoom.

In 1974, EPFL was one of the first schools to establish a public program on architecture. In 2007, after a retrospective on the Italian group Archizoom Associati, the name was adopted for the exhibition space. Inspired by this alert and critical spirit, Archizoom space at the EPFL is an invitation to look at architecture by challenging preconceived assumptions.  

“Do Not Carry Your Flag Too Low” presented actions from the “Matrix Feminist Design Co-operative” showcasing the inclusiveness of their buildings and common spaces, as well as the archives of the radical 1980s feminist architecture practice Matrix. Their work explored issues about community and the built environment and highlighted the implications of feminist theory and critique on architecture and urban design.