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Gender and Design

March 29, 2010
A very interesting essay on design as it deals with gender and reinforces stereotypes:

Designers are not passive bystanders in the production, reproduction, reinforcing, or challenging of cultural values. We actively create artifacts and experiences. We design products with implicit or explicit assumptions about how products will be used and by whom. We mentally simulate the product user who is part of an imagined story of the product in use – these imaginary people are drawn from our everyday lives and usually have a gender, perhaps a shape, size, age and ethnicity. Thus we embed imagined, gendered others into our designs, inadvertently reproducing cultural norms because they seem so “natural.” And so in a chain of reification and reproduction, products are wired in subtle ways that reflect and reinforce existing cultural assumptions.

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Joan Vinall-Cox, PhD – joanvc@jnthweb.ca
JNthWEB Consulting – http://jnthweb.ca/
Social Media & Learning
https://joanvinallcox.wordpress.com/my-e-portfolio/
Halton Peel Communicators Association – http://www.hpcaonline.org/

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