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Soft-Core City

School of Architecture Autumn lecture series

Thursday, 18 May 2017, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Dr Nicole Kalms
Senior Lecturer and Program Coordinator, Interior Architecture, Monash University
Director XYX Lab / Space-Gender-Communication

Reflecting on ‘soft-core cities’ seems particularly important right now as we traverse urban life continually fingering our smartphones – each of us with endless access to images of sex and sexuality.

In a culture obsessed with hardcore, much of the soft-core urbanism that was once viewed as scandalous is barely perceived as transgressive in today’s sex-scapes. The presence of hardcore representations of sex has normalised the many soft-core qualities that now occupy many parts of urban life. This lecture will outline three typologies in Dr Nicole Kalms’ new book, Hypersexual City: The Provocation of Soft Core Urbanism – Hypersexual Mediascapes, Hypersexual Urbanscapes and Hypersexual Archiscapes – to propose that the material city is not immune to the proliferation of pornography.

Dr Nicole Kalms is a Senior Lecturer in t­­­­he Department of Architecture and founding director of the XYX Lab. In this role Nicole leads a team of interdisciplinary researchers examining the complex interaction of space, gender and communication in cities. Nicole has a PhD in Architecture from Monash University. She obtained her Bachelor Degree in Architecture from RMIT and practiced architecture for several years before undertaking a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture (RMIT). Nicole is currently a full time member of Monash University’s Faculty of Architecture where she leads the Interior Architecture program and has established the Program’s design-based initiatives with a focus on cross-disciplinary studios and architectural theory. Dr Kalms’ book Hypersexual City (Routledge 2017) examines sexualized representation and precincts in neoliberal cities. Dr Kalms regularly writes for a diverse academic and non-academic audience, and is frequently invited to speak to the public about sexuality and urban space at major national and international cultural institutions.

Refreshments provided.

Image credit: Jemima Stehli, 'The Fee for the Shoes'


18 May 2017
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


City - Broadway

UTS DAB, Level 4, Landscape Architecture Studio (CB06.04.05),
702-730 Harris Street, Sydney

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