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How to Take Up Space

You deserve to take up space.

We'll say it again: you deserve to take up space!

Many of us have encountered experiences or spaces in our lives where we have had to shrink ourselves to fit in. Maybe it was being squeezed painfully by the arms of a theater chair that was too small for our body, or getting the stink eye from a stranger at a park for enjoying our music too loudly, or choosing to stay home instead of attend an exciting event because the venue was not accessible to our physical needs.

We have also hopefully been places where we felt free to be our full selves: to spread our limbs and move intuitively, to express how we really feel, to breathe deeply. Comfort is an essential element in our ability to be our most expansive selves, and the spaces and systems in which we operate have an immense impact on our well-being. Our shared COVID experience has made us all the more aware of the pain of inaccess to our beloved places. Recent protesting has angled a focused lens toward the question of who has the right to our public spaces.

We'll discuss:

  • What are the elements of inclusive design that allow all kinds of people to be more at ease and show up authentically?
  • What does the personal practice of authenticity look like in a world that is not necessarily designed for us to be comfortable being ourselves?

We can practice taking up space by holding space for others. We are more powerful changemakers as a community! This event will emphasize building connection across creative fields and elevating other awesome folks who are helping us be authentic people and inclusive designers. Come hear from the incredible:

  • Allison Jacks - Dance Church instructor, choreographer of contemporary dance and culinary experiences - discussing how we get comfortable taking up space with our own bodies and beliefs
  • Rebecca Alexander - Founder and CEO of AllGo, an app that helps people of size go out more with less anxiety - envisioning what truly inclusive businesses and interior spaces could look like
  • Dr. Lisa Bates - Professor of urban planning and community engagement, regular voice of reason on OPB/NPR - reinforcing our right to participate in the development and use of space at a city scale
  • M. Sabine Rear - Writer, teacher, and award-winning Blind Illustratrix - addressing ableism in politics and public spaces through the lens of artistic expression
  • Hannah Silver (Panel Facilitator) - Passionate inclusive design educator with a background in sustainable architecture and equitable urban planning - ensuring we cover all scales of spatial design and elevate important voices

This event will now be hosted ONLINE! Zoom access info will show up in your inbox the day of the event.

This event was previously scheduled at the Fully Showroom, a great place to experiment with taking up space. We recommend you check them out when it is safe to do so!

Pricing + Donations
If able, please consider donating a recommended $5 or more for your digital access to this event. Profit from this event will be split among our phenomenal panelists as appreciation for their time sharing their lived experiences and expertise.

Our gorgeous event illustration is by M. Sabine Rear.

This event is for you if you...

  • have ever felt restricted by design: "please don't touch" signs, cramped seats on public transit, an open office that makes you feel anxious and on display, an office culture that is inhibiting your creativity
  • are committed to designing spaces that make people feel welcome, happy, and well
  • want to walk away armed with immediately applicable strategies for your own life and design projects
  • are eager to connect with a community of diverse folks who want to make the world more inclusive and healthy for everyone

This Festival Event has ended.

This Festival Event has ended.

This Festival Event has ended.

This Festival Event has ended.


Thursday, August 6, 2020 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm


Virtual Event
Zoom (Video Conferencing)


This event will include live captioning. Please let us know here if you would like to request special accessibility accommodations. We will do our best!



Informal/Function is run by Hannah Silver. It exists to make space for collective inquiry, best practices development, and interdisciplinary camaraderie through social justice-informed architectural design education and facilitation.