Using a series of participatory design workshops with communities in rural Ecuador a project was developed with a focus on empowering women through changes in their environment. The overarching research of my MDS project was based on understanding the history of gender oppression in Ecuador. By understanding the spatial development of the rural areas, where workshops were held, and information gathered in the workshops, my project proposes new ideas for how community public space can create more equitable opportunities for women and their families. The proposed re-thinking of public spaces incorporates adult education through local handicrafts. Utilizing a co-op system in a shared community space, women are given the physical spaces in which these functions can occur.
I am passionate about changing the opportunities and futures of women through creating gender supportive spaces. This project is only the beginning of what I hope will be a career in empowering women through the built environment.