We celebrated the CFA Lab: Seeking Refuge and Making Home in NYC exhibition one last time with a farewell gathering hosted by the AIANY LGBTQIA+ Alliance. Just prior to the physical exhibit’s closing on March 23, 2024, members of the Alliance gathered to learn what had been discovered during the interactive installation from A.L. Hu, one of the three residents of CFA Lab.

Queeries: Designing Reality Equitably and Madly (Q:DREAM) leveraged the Center for Architecture’s physical and virtual properties to enact an emergent research-creation process that asked queer people: “What are your definitions of ‘home’?” The project spotlighted NYC’s queer architects, designers, organizations, and places at different scales, with a participatory component for folks to recognize and celebrate the spaces they call “home.” “Designing Reality” refers to the creation of space for imagining worlds where queer folks have autonomous agency over their lives, while “Equitably and Madly” expresses parallel principles of equity of access, pride, and extraordinary imagination. Multimedia storytelling and queer data analysis expand the frame of “home” to encompass queer families, support networks, spaces of one’s own, privacy, security, and stability. Through the course of the residency, Q:DREAM began to build a living archive that documents and celebrates queer designers, their work, and their desires.

Members celebrated through interactive workstations, adding the final touches of colored yarn that spun together their identities with their definitions of home and also wrote postcards to their future selves about what home will look like for them and added them to the collection. We want to thank the Center for Architecture and the three residents, A.L. Hu, Kholisile Dhliwayo, and Karla Andrea Perez for their investigations and contributions to amplifying the voices of minority communities as part of this wonderful exhibition.