Spaces of Desire: Is Architecture Sexy?

05/08/16 - 25/09/16
Spaces of Desire: Is Architecture Sexy?


TV report

radio report


“Architecture cannot satisfy your wildest fantasies, but it may exceed the limits set by them.”
Bernard Tschumi


“Only woman’s mood swings and ambitions are liable for the murder of material because an ornament in the woman’s service will live forever. (…) However, woman’s ornament virtually corresponds with savage’s ornament as it has an erotic meaning.”
Adolf Loos

The exhibition presents, questions and interprets relations of sexuality, the construction of sexual and gender identities, architectonic space and architectonic production using modernistic and contemporary materials. The exhibition examines how gender roles, and sexual relations and stereotypes, in architecture materialize. 


The exhibition uses the story of 20th century architecture to illustrate how various sexualities and gender roles shaped architecture, space and the process of architectonic production, and how, vice versa, architecture and urbanism affect gender stereotypes in our society.


Using varied examples of historical and contemporary architecture, curators illustrate how stereotypes projected into roles of men and women as well as heterosexuals and non-heterosexuals were created, printed and made present in specific spaces, and the way architects counted on visibility of human physicality.

The intent of the exhibition is based on the conviction that sexual identification and sexual practice takes place in architectonic space. Stereotypes and a historical tradition of a patriarchal order had an extensive influence on creating male architect’s identity and his production as well as female architects and their production. Both in the 20th century and nowadays, we can see unintentional and intentional effort to vindicate the pattern and legitimize it on the one hand, and to violate, deconstruct and overcome it on the other hand. When using words is not enough the authors are helped by contemporary artists' reflection of related topics.



Ladislav Zikmund Lender

Dan Merta

Filip Šenk




Atelier SAD

Václav Aulický

Otakar Binar

Coop Himmelb(l)au

Norman Foster

Future Systems

Martin Gsandtner

Zaha Hadid


Hans Hollein


Karel Hubáček

Chalupa architekti

Gregor Ingalls

Eva Jiřičná

Philip Johnson

Jan Kaplický

Jan Kotěra

Hana Kučerová-Záveská

Kisho Kurokawa Architects

Adolf Loos

Věra Machoninová

Augusta Machňová-Müllerová

Gian Carlo Maroni

Mjölk architekti

Oscar Niemeyer

Milada Petříková-Pavlíková

Bernard Tschumi

Jean Nouvel

Otto Wagner




Jean de Ardoise

Aubrey Beardsley

Monica Bonvicini

Veronika Bromová


Stano Filko

Andrea Fraser

Pavel Karous

Lenka Klodová

Ilona Németh

Martin Velíšek

Kateřina Vincourová

Jan Zrzavý



accompanying programme/


September 13  

Guided Tour/ 4 pm

Theatre performance/ 5 pm


Two young women long to reveal the charm of delicate erotic games sought-after for thousands of years. The finale part will represent a small presentation of The Book of Whoredom by Pietro Aretino, the work of the founder of modern pornographic literature. (30 minutes)

Lecture by Jan Tabor/ 18:30 pm



September 15  
public discussion with PetrKratochvíl, Dan Merta, Martina Pachmanová, FilipŠenk, Jana Tichá and Ladislav Zikmund-Lender

book launch / Czech-English catalogue of the exhibition, texts: Aaron Betsky, Beatriz Colomina, Hans Ibelings, Dan Merta, Ladislav Zikmund-Lender, Filip Šenk

September 19 
lecture by TomášPospizsyl: Machines for Sex
Besides other things, our dwellings function as a place for making love and sex. How have the ideas about these functions been projected in architectonic and design visions in films?


Guided tours/

guided tours with LadislavZikmund-Lender at 4pm
as part of Prague Pride festival
in Czech August 9, 11
in English August 10 
another guided tour September 7



texts/  Beatriz Colomina, Hans Ibelings, Aaron Betsky, Dan Merta, Ladislav Zikmund-Lender, Karel Doležel, Filip Šenk