Gender and Built Environment: Exploring Co-Design as a Tool to Empower the Marginalized


  • Dr. Mamuna Iqbal Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture, University of Engineering & Technology, UET, Lahore
  • Fareena Shahid Lahore College for Women University
  • Naveen Zaman



Co-Design, Built Environment, Marginalized Genders, Transgender


In a patriarchal society like Pakistan where people are marginalized based upon their gender and socio-economic class, women from working class and transgender communities are often the most relegated. The built environment is a factor that affects everyone living in the city, and so it does the marginalized genders. However, they never have a voice and most of the time not even has an understanding of what they want from their built environment. Moreover, to make the matter worse, the mainstream architectural and urban design practices and research in Pakistan is rarely focused on the problems faced by these genders and communities. This paper attempts to use co-design to give these genders a voice and explore their understanding and expectations of their city. This study is generated through a class group project where co-design was explored as an idea and activities were designed to engage with the targeted genders, with a focus on exploring their perception of the context of Lahore, Pakistan. Data generated from these activities in the form of a series of imaginative drawings is used to perceive how these marginalized genders experience the built environment of Lahore and what changes they would like to see in their city.


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How to Cite

Mamuna Iqbal, Fareena Shahid, & Naveen Zaman. (2023). Gender and Built Environment: Exploring Co-Design as a Tool to Empower the Marginalized. Pakistan Journal of Gender Studies, 23(2), 101–122.