Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
2.c 1/1: Gender of/in design practice and profession
Friday, 21/Jun/2019:
11:10am - 12:50pm

Session Chair: Eva Lutnæs
Session Chair: Alison Rieple
Location: LDN.207
2nd floor Loughborough University London 40 capacity

Session Abstract

Social constructionist feminist research of the last decades has shown that if we look closely enough we can see that artifacts are gendered by design. Some artifacts are gendered explicitly through their direct association with the traditional binary of women or men users; while gender is inscribed into others in more subtle ways through the normative conceptions regarding (1) their use contexts (public/private), (2) gender symbols and myths (strong/weak, rational/emotional, dirty/clean, adventurous/safe etc.) and (3) relationship with technology. This dualistic view serves as a useful strategy in design and marketing to create new segments to expand the market. Yet artifacts shaped by this view embody, represent and reproduce asymmetries in gender power relations.
These asymmetries also find form in the professional work cultures and power dynamics of design practice. Gender dynamics are both seen and unseen; played out in the everyday interactions of the design office or studio and in the public performance of the designer’s role for client or public audiences. As such, implicitly and explicitly, gender roles have the capacity to enable or inhibit the role of designer as an agent for social change.
This track seeks to open up a new avenue for feminist scholarship and trans/gender research in design innovation by exploring the relationship between design and gender and its implications for design as both practice and profession. We invite papers addressing the questions including but not exclusive to:
• What is the relationship between gender and design practice and how is this changing in contemporary design culture?
• How and to what extent can designers act as agents of change by formulating gender inequalities in terms of design problems?
• Are there any design methodologies and tools that encourage inclusive and gender-sensitive design practices?
• How can contemporary post-colonial theory and trans/gender research generate new approaches?
• What insights can gender and design histories bring to contemporary research?
• How can design educators better contribute to creating an awareness in young designers to design for a more egalitarian world for people with various gender identities?

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11:10am - 11:35am

Queer-Sensible Designing: Challenging Normative Gender through an Industrial Design Practice

Silas Denz, Wouter Eggink

University of Twente, Netherlands, The

Conventional design practices regard gender as a given precondition defined by femininity and masculinity. To shift these strategies to include non-heteronormative or queer users, queer theory served as a source of inspiration as well as user sensitive design techniques. As a result, a co-design workshop was developed and executed. Participants supported claims that gender scripts in designed artefacts uphold gender norms. The practice did not specify a definition of a queer design style. However, the co-design practice opened up the design process to non-normative gender scripts by unmasking binary gender dichotomies in industrial design.

Track 2.c-Queer-Sensible Designing-189Denz_a.pdf

11:35am - 12:00pm

Towards the exploration of Gender awareness in Human-centred design

Bahar Khayamian Esfahani, Richard Morris, Mark Erickson

University of Brighton, United Kingdom

The primary aim of the human-centred design (HCD) approach is to identify the user needs. However, we argue that there is a lack of understanding of, and even awareness of, gender in HCD. This approach sees gender as static and stable regarding male or female such that the implication of principles in products, systems or services appeals to one gender or another linking gender differences, and stereotypes. To illustrate this, the investigation was conducted in the context of fostering sun protection behaviour in young men. Participatory design sessions were deployed to investigate the role of gender in the HCD and how it can be used to foster sun protection behaviour. We have concluded the development of a novel gender aware HCD approach and it opens avenues for design research and practice for increasing emphasis on the influence of the designer’s own gender and their gendered perceptions in their designs.

Track 2.c-Towards the exploration of Gender awareness in Human-centred design-416Khayamian Esfahani_a.pdf

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