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The Bath: Conjectures of Sin and Virtue

Azraa Gabru


Distinction, Examiner's Choice Award


Thiresh Govender, Jiaxin Yan Gong,

Ngillan Faal-Gbadebo


14 - Rogue Economies: Producing Leisure


The project interrogates religious scriptures and the rules of etiquette used to determine what is acceptable or unacceptable as a Muslim woman and how these rituals and practices play out in everyday life. The project interest lies in the ambiguities and the gaps in the rules of religious practices, identified moments of acceptable deviance located within religious doctrines and the role that architecture can play in reconciling these tensions. These moments are explored through various methods and mediums such as gelatine models, animation, distortion of line drawings and storytelling.

The public bath has been identified as a device to hold and mediate tensions between sin and virtue, acting as an in-between space. Having recognised the bath typology, the final speculation assumes the programme of a hammam which puts the woman at its centre, acting as a metaphor for architectures of middle grounds and political agency.

The project asks how architecture and its thresholds can allow for a more opaque and ambiguous distinction between sin and virtue allowing for the suspension of violent judgement and how it can amplify and acknowledge more complex, contradictory and plural social contracts.