Aiming at exploring gender relations in the household, Candy Shop inverts and exagerates existing power relations and gender expectations in order to underline their absurdity. The Candy Shop, inspired by 50 Cent’s « Candy Shop », is based on such archetypes as the suburban home, the victorian house, the roman domus and the italian villa. Comprising four depictions of interior spaces, one plan and one axonometric view, the architectural proposal serves as a framework in order to explore the ways in which space, and in particular domestic space, can influence actions, power relations and gender roles. The project also plays with gendered spatial archetypes, such as the courtyard and the tower, and subverts their gendered meanings. The gender inversion and the disturbing feeling one may experience when faced with these men’s hardships also highlights the bitter fact that feminist demands for equality cannot yet be considered satisfied, be it in the workplace or in the household.
In a not-so-distant time and place, an influential businesswoman returns home after a day’s work in the city. As she drives towards her country villa, she begins to relax as she thinks of her men eagerly awaiting her return. They will have cleaned the house, prepared a lavish dinner for her guests and washed with care. She smiles as she thinks of them in the morning, exercising in the sports garden. She imagines their smooth, youthful, sweaty bodies and is slightly aroused. She looks forward to showing off her newest man the her guests this evening. He is a ravishing, pouty beauty. She couldn’t bear to entrust him to one of her friends quite yet. However she may have to express her consideration to a client, were it needed to seal a deal.
As suburbia gradually thins, houses spread out and retire from view, and gardens become lusher. She is thankful for the peace and quiet of her own large oasis, away from the bustling city. Truly, the city is no place for men! So much noise and distractions for their weak concentration! The poor things would probably lose control, or get lost. Even for a woman, the city is a tiring place, she sighs.
She parks her car under the canopy and makes her way towards the house. She pauses for breath under the arcade, and gazes at the stars beyond the leaves and elegant beams. She wonders what delightful gifts her men will have prepared for her as, this afternoon, each of them worked away at their trivial manly crafts. How endearing! She sees a few men’s anxious faces through the windows to her left, but she ignores them and climbs the flight of stairs to the suspended walkway and heads towards her private tower. She needs to relax before the evening’s entertaining and has no time for her men’s honeyed cares. On her way up to her bathroom, she pauses in her office to check a few figures for tonight’s negociations. Outside, the men’s quarters are quiet. They must all be in the harem, awaiting the evening’s pleasures.