Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Interior Design

Degree Level



Interior Design


Matthews, Carl

Committee Member/Reader

McMahon, Laurence

Committee Member/Second Reader

Ward, Arley


Queer communities located in rural Arkansas are often scarce and elusive to the public eye as a justified reaction to mass negative interpretations and understandings of these LGBTQ+ individuals from a predominantly conservative population. The few who have a more broadcasted identity are subject to potential public scrutiny, but offer queer individuals needed refuge and areas of unfiltered self-expression. This paper explores two LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and other identifying individuals) communities and their concomitant establishments: Santuario Arco Iris, an esteemed communal settlement designed specifically for BIPOC (black, indigenous, and other people of color), queer individuals in Boxley, AR, and Safe To Be, the upcoming tiny-home community in Eureka Springs created with the intention of providing affordable living to queer individuals. Queer Space precedents and theories are explained and interviews with mentioned communities are analyzed. Findings archive and offer insight to the complex similarities and differences between the investigated groups, consequently providing a comprehensive template for the design of queer space/community in rural locations and potentially broader.


LGBTQ+, Rural Arkansas, Queer Space, Santuario Arco Iris, Safe To Be, Design Strategies