Offerings and Inheritances: Reconstructing Family Altars for Queer Vietnamese Kin

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  • My architectural thesis explores the spatial incongruencies of queer, Vietnamese, and diasporic communities living in Canada by reconstructing new ancestral altar practices. Since the influence of patrilineal Confucian ideologies, domestic altars (bàn thờ) have been created to practice ancestor veneration within Vietnamese households across the homeland and the diaspora. However, queer and trans Vietnamese youth are often excluded and displaced from the patriarchal home, as it is assumed that embracing queer identity is an act of dishonouring tradition and lineage. To seek wholeness among displaced familial, sexual and racial identities, I offer this spatial exploration to reconstruct and reimagine queer altar practices. I investigate multiple "sites of exchange" through the design of three altars for three scales of intimacies: bodies, streets and clubs. Through this process, I invite designers and architects to engage in new practices of belonging for our ancestors, kin, and our multi-adjectival selves.

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  • Copyright © 2022 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
Date Created
  • 2022


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