Author: Shannon Kitley

HABITS OF HABITATION: A Case for Disorienting White Comfort in Thunder Bay

Studio: MArch Thesis

Advisors: Jurek Elzanowski and Patricia Macguire

Year: 2019-2020

Project Description

This thesis reflects on the spatial mapping of safety across the city of Thunder Bay and questions the design of safe spaces for Indigenous youth. Using the cultural awareness initiative Wake the Giant as an example, my research centres the study of whiteness in relation to notions of safety. The thesis has become a way of understanding the world I have been socialized into, addressing not only the privileges I possess and unconsciously exercise, but also the means through which those privileges are protected and perpetuated. As a white settler Canadian, I feel safe when navigating through the city, I am comfortable, I fit in, and I do not think twice about it. My thesis addresses the unconscious nature of habitual actions, exploring how our habits of habitation serve to perpetuate and reinforce spaces of white social comfort and safety.