Socially Responsive Design – Gender Equality

I have decided to further my research in the area of gender equality. The reason i have went for this topic is that I am interested in changing someones perception of a socially issue. It also interests me to look at issues that are preconceived ideas of society that are taught to us. A perfect example of this is gender. As a child we do not know the difference between boy and girl. It is society who teaches us this.

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There have been many examples of people trying to combat and question the issue of gender equality or should I say lack of. Approaches have varied from looking at ‘Childhood Gender Roles’ to ‘Double standards that Women face at Work’. It has been interesting to see how they try to address this issue and change peoples perception of the issue.

Pantene: #whipIt

The video above is from the Pantene marketing campaign called #WhipIt. In this video they bring to light the issue of double standards that women face in the work place. The video displays a range of words associated with gender in the workplace and aims to encourage women to not let these labels hold them back. It is also accompanied by print and online adds to help promote the issue.

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“Oppressed Majority,” a short film by French actress and director Éléonore Pourriat

The video above is about a man on what seems to be an ordinary day, who is exposed to sexism and sexual violence in a society ruled by women. This is a perfect example of using the approach of role reversal to get across the issue of sexism and sexual violence women experience and societies reaction to it. I thought that it was very well done. It simple examples of the oppression of women i.e. Muslim women wearing a hijab to extreme cases i.e Sexual assault. Although I would not like to approach the extreme cases with this project I found the approach of this short film effective.

Mankind: #ViolenceIsViolence (www.thisisdare.com)

This next video is another example of role reversal. In this video the issue of domestic abuse is examined, and why the rule changes whether the attacker is the man or the woman. When the man is attacking the woman members of the public become involve and threaten to call the police and tell the woman she does not need to take this. When the roles are reversed and the woman is attacking the man members of the public watch and laugh. Why is it as a society we have one rule for one gender and another for the other? I think this is a really interesting concept.

Childhood Gender Roles In Adult Life (Buzzfeed Video)

In this video childhood gender roles are implemented in the work space. It looks at the issue of society forcing kids into narrowly-defined gender roles from the time they’re born. This for me is the most interesting area of gender equality and one I will research more. The idea of ‘Boys will be Boys’ and ‘Run like a girl’ would be a good approach.

Pecha Kucha – Presentation About Me… :/

So today I had to do my Pecha Kucha presentation. I was really nervous about it, standing up, talking about yourself and your interests seemed a bit weird. After wards though it was nice to know others in the class now know what your interested in and what idea/direction you’d like to go in for your final year project. It was great to explain to the class what I wanted to get of the year as well as the projects and hopefully inspire them… I know I was inspired anyway!

When listening to others I found it interesting to know what they want to do. It was great to hear what area in socially responsive design they are looking into also. Areas that where brought up I never even thought of but would love to look into which I will discuss in my next post.Slide01Slide02Slide03Slide04Slide05Slide06Slide07Slide08Slide09Slide10Slide11

Group Project – “Socially Responsive Design” Research

Today I spent my time researching socially responsive design. The area in which I found most interesting was design to combat crime. I found the website DesignAgainstCrime.com where they discuss how they aim their projects to look at crime and how they can design to prevent crime.

One aim that appealed to me was:

“Secure design doesn’t have to look criminal” (designagainstcrime.com)

I think that this is a major component in this area of design. The design should not make someone feel uncomfortable. I feel this is an interesting approach. They have many examples of this kind of design.

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Design Against Crime – Stop Thief Chairs (designagainstcrime.com)

 Another aspect of socially responsive design that I liked was environment awareness. An example of this would be these stunning installations from Luzinterruptus “Shed Light on Environmental Issues”

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I really enjoyed this display as it is very hands on and still has the element of art to it which is important to me.2slide_241320_1289773_free_detail_em

Luzinterruptus – Shed Light on Environmental Issues (thecreatorsproject.vice.com)

White Sound is another attempt from design against crime. They aim to raise awareness of the impact of vehicle traffic on our health, as well as the wider environment. This is another example of installation, the sounds of the ocean where played on the busy road to over power the sound of traffic to gain the publics attention.

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Design Against Crime – White Sound : Urban Seascape (designagainstcrime.com)

I found so many different examples of work that has the objective of socially responsive design. These can be seen on my growing mood board on pinterest. Click here to see all of the brilliant examples.

“Design Thinking” – Designing with your audiences needs in mind

Today in group Project we were introduced to the idea of “Design Thinking“. It is a really good concept when considering the idea of socially responsive design. I feel that when I design something I might design it with myself, my needs in mind. “Design Thinking” has given me a clear way of thinking of my target audience and designing for their needs.

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Guido Kovalskys (The Whiteboard – Stanford d.school)

When completing the 1 hour exercise in class I felt frustrated. I found it was really hard to complete the exercise in that period of time. But I soon realised that it was supposed to be a quick (ish) exercise from which you could conduct again and again ending with different outcomes.

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What I had to do was interview my partner based on the contents of their purse. From this I had to take my findings and consider what their goals are and come up with an insight from this. 10723243_10152442559918214_104780893_n

I had to generate ideas that would meet their needs. At first I thought it was hard. How was I supposed to know their needs if they didn’t tell me them. This is were I struggled with the exercise… please excuse the ideas…

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It wasn’t until I realised that the answer may not have been in what my partner had told me but rather what they hadn’t told me. In their purse they liked to have different spaces to hide things away but have so many so that they know where each thing is. But I also know this person is super organised and is into their crafts.

10715960_10152442559758214_1077869231_nThis is why I designed a “Techno Cabnet”. It’s a filing cabnet with screens on the front that gave a side and top few of the contents. It also keeps an inventory of its contents and can let the user know when something is running low. This was interesting as it is annoying to have things neatly away but you have to pull it all out to find out where something is. It was received my partner well… I think…

Over all I thought it was a good process… One I would need to do a couple of times to get really inspired but non the less a process I would do.

Group Project – “Socially Responsive Design”

Today I found out the theme for our final year projects, Socially Responsive Design. When I first thought of the theme I was quite apprehensive, but upon research I discovered that there was endless possibilities and approaches.

“Socially responsive design takes as its primary driver social issues, its main consideration social impact, and its main objective social change” (www.designagainstcrime.com)

This is a quote from the Design Against Crime website defines “Socially Responsive Design”. For me, this quote sums it up. As a designer you always have a target audience in mind, but do we always consider the impact it will have on society as a whole? For a design to be socially responsive it needs to incorporate a style of design that captures and displays feedback pro social change. It is not for the purpose of its own aesthetics or high street interest but is for the benefit of social modification.
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Because socially responsive design is dealing with society there are many key areas it targets:

  1. Crime: Solutions to problems face by society e.g theft
  2. Discrimination: Combating discrimination against groups/communities and disabilities.
  3. Social Stigmas: Changing peoples perceptions.

To be able to develop socially responsive design one must fully understand the social issue they wish to alter. If one does this correctly they should be able to create social change. I think that with society in mind and targeting the design towards a social issue can lead to useful, broad targeted and social profit projects.