Proliferating Compassion: Permeating a Rigid City

Past Feminine Shame, Towards a Humane City

The spatial control women and girls practice in rural and urban contexts relating to different phases in their reproductive life cycle has been embedded in their behaviour since their childhood and passed down across generations. It is clear from some of the recent findings that women practice such restrictions due to the stigma behind the subject. The shame and fear of causing discomfort to others are common denominators in these restrictive practices. My thesis project was spearheaded by explorations of these negative connotations relating to the first phase of a woman's reproductive life cycle, Menstruation. It further explored similar issues relating to other phases including Infertility, Pregnancy, Post Natal and Perimenopause.

Looking towards a positive, choosing courage over the shame, how would a city act differently if this humility about such reproductive phases didn’t exist and were instead celebrated? What form would the spaces of comfort for women to be loud and proud take in the built environment? How do the different conditions of menstrual, fertility and menopausal cycles affect the requirements and facilities required in these spaces?

In celebrating Kiran Gandhi’s decision to free bleed during the 2015 Marathon, this project presents a glimpse of a free-flowing city with humane pods permeating the rigidity of the city of London. This new perspective of providing compassionate spaces for women in need acts as a starting point toward shaping a humane city.