Abstract

This paper shows how a feminist perspective can inform industrial design theory and practice. It provides a list of feminist-informed critiques and proposals toward industrial design based on a literature analysis of existing feminist work in industrial design and analysis of three feminist-driven co-design projects. The results show that a feminist perspective identifies systemic problems in industrial design based on the presence of power and masculinity, unequal power dynamics between people and negative situations facing women. These problems appear at the multiple levels of industrial design and are a theme throughout feminist critiques in the field. In turn, feminist recommendations are typically grass roots, relying on actor interventions that draw on women’s perspectives and/or feminist perspectives. These results offer a range of contributions to industrial design. Broadly speaking, they offer an alternative perspective to industrial design to help the field move forward and respond to social imperatives. The specific critiques and recommendations can also be broadly applied, as they pinpoint problems within the field and guide alternative practices.

Keywords:

feminism; industrial design; literature analysis; co-design

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

Learning from Feminist Critiques of and Recommendations for Industrial Design

This paper shows how a feminist perspective can inform industrial design theory and practice. It provides a list of feminist-informed critiques and proposals toward industrial design based on a literature analysis of existing feminist work in industrial design and analysis of three feminist-driven co-design projects. The results show that a feminist perspective identifies systemic problems in industrial design based on the presence of power and masculinity, unequal power dynamics between people and negative situations facing women. These problems appear at the multiple levels of industrial design and are a theme throughout feminist critiques in the field. In turn, feminist recommendations are typically grass roots, relying on actor interventions that draw on women’s perspectives and/or feminist perspectives. These results offer a range of contributions to industrial design. Broadly speaking, they offer an alternative perspective to industrial design to help the field move forward and respond to social imperatives. The specific critiques and recommendations can also be broadly applied, as they pinpoint problems within the field and guide alternative practices.

 

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