Nine projects designed for and by the LGBT+ community
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Nine projects designed for and by the LGBT+ community

With London's Pride parade taking place this weekend, here's a look at nine LGBT+ design projects, from a rainbow font to a sex toy for gender-transitioning men

Taking over the UK capital on Saturday 7 July, the Pride march is an open celebration of the city's LGBT+ community, which encompasses lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, intersex, non-binary, asexual, polysexual, genderqueer and gender-variant people.

It is one of the final events of Pride Month, a programme of festivals and parades that take place around the globe throughout June and into July, marking the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York and the birth of the Gay Rights Liberation movement.

The Stonewall Riots were a series of spontaneous riots on 28 June 1969. They were led by a group of drag queens who fought back during a police raid of the Stonewall Inn, a bar that welcomed the LGBT+ community in New York's Greenwich Village.

The first Pride march took place the following year and has spread around the world, encouraging LGBT+ people to live freely and openly.

However a recent survey by the Architects' Journal found that the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender architects working in British practices who are openly "out" at work has dropped over the last few years, suggesting that many designers are still being subjected to discrimination and abuse.

A growing community of designers is now working to change public perception and promote inclusivity. Here's a look at some of the results:


Type with Pride by Ogilvy & Mather

Advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather designed this font to commemorate the achievements of Gilbert Baker, the designer of the Rainbow Flag, which has become the symbol for the LGBT+ community.

Entitled Type with Pride, the font uses the rainbow colours of the flag for its colourful graphic language. Elongated rectangles overlay each other to form each letter, blending the colour where the shapes meet, to represent the "open and fluid" nature of the LGBT+ community.

The font is free to download from the Type with Pride website.


David Wojnarowicz x Loewe

Loewe recently released a series of limited-edition T-shirts featuring the work of the late David Wojnarowicz, an American artist and activist whose work dealt with the political challenges facing the gay community during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.

Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson chose four of Wojnarowicz works to be printed on cotton crew-neck T-shirts. All proceeds from the sales are being donated to Visual AIDS, a fund dedicated to the preservation and promotion of HIV-positive artists.


Buck off sex toy

Buck Off by Buck Angel

This sex toy created by trans-rights activist and entrepreneur Buck Angel is billed as the world's first masturbation aid for gender-transitioning men.

Made from soft silicone, it is designed to promote comfort for men who are experiencing the effects of testosterone enlarging their genitals. It also allows users to masturbate without having to touch their genitals, which Angel says is a source of dysphoria for many trans men.


A Space for All by Hawkins\Brown

This project by architecture studio Hawkins\Brown was the winning entry in a competition organised by the London Festival of Architecture and Architecture LGBT+, calling for architects to design a float to represent LGBT+ architects in the London Pride parade.

Called A Space for All, the float will feature a black, pitched-roof structure, contrasted with brightly painted details, which will "will be animated by architects during the parade".


Arse Vase by Fredrik Andersson

Swedish illustrator and ceramicist Fredrik Andersson teamed up with ad agency Wieden+Kennedy on this collection of ceramic vases. The tongue-in-cheek designs are intended to look like men's bottoms in a variety of skin colours. Each one can fit a single flower in between its cheeks.

Andersson told Dezeen his aim is to use colour and humour to make it easier to discuss supposedly shameful topics openly.

Part of the proceeds from the Arse Vase will go to Positive East, a London-based charity providing support to people living with HIV.


Progress Pride Flag redesign by Daniel Quasar

Portland-based graphic designer Daniel Quasar created this update of Gilbert Baker's Rainbow Flag, to be even more inclusive.

Quasar added five arrow shaped lines in a chevron formation to the flag: brown to represent LGBT people of colour, black to represent those living and those lost from AIDS, and pink, light blue and white to represent the trans community.

Quasar said his redesign aims to "shift focus and emphasis to what is important in our current community climate".


Big Blonde Bottom by Berke Yazicioglu

This series of drawings by London-based illustrator Berke Yazicioglu highlights "the most taboo parts of masculinity" – the act of being penetrated as a man.

Featuring characters with stereotypically masculine physiques, Yazicioglu's illustrations subtly comment on the experience of the submissive partner by overlaying words such as "big", "blonde" and "bottom".

"The term 'bottom' or submissive is often looked at as being feminine or lesser than, but in some ways being penetrated is one of the most masculine acts," Yazicioglu told Dezeen. "I think its an important conversation to have, as there is so much value put on traditional masculinity both inside and outside the queer community."


Cruising Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2018, photos by Louis de Belle

Cruising Pavilion by Pierre-Alexandre Mateos, Rasmus Myrup, Octave Perrault and Charles Teyssou

This Venice Architecture Biennale exhibition aimed to highlight how the practice of cruising – moving through a space to find a casual, sometimes anonymous, sexual partner – has shaped architecture and design.

Comprising a maze of dark spaces lit with red lamps, its exhibits included artefacts from Berlin's infamous nightclub Berghain and an IKEA-style flatpack for building your own glory hole. It also revealed how dating apps like Grindr have created digital infrastructure for cruising – a research project led by architect Andrés Jaque.


Transcendence rugs by Joe Doucet

New York-based designer Joe Doucet created this collection of graphic rugs to celebrate America's transgender community, after US president Donald Trump revealed plans to ban transgender individuals from the military.

Created with manufacturer Odabashian, the wool rugs feature vibrant colours and patterns, and incorporate traditional rug-making techniques such as hand-tufting, kilim-knotting and Moroccan-knotting.

Part of the proceeds from the collection are going to the American Civl Liberties Union, a group fighting to defend individual rights and liberties.