His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society
In the article of “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society,” Suzanne Tick argues that designers fail to aid the gender revolution. She claims that: “Designers, who should focus a critical eye on society’s issues, need to work within this discourse and help promote acceptance and change” (Tick). Through this call, Tick hopes that by casting a critical eye on the current gender revolution, designers should then, be working and thinking within a revolutionary mindset. Such a mindset will result in the creation of designs which not only help promote acceptance and change but also work through a genderless perspective.
Despite this call, today’s design landscape is far from equal. The landscape of today is one rooted in Modernism. The Modernism movement was a turn of the century art movement which sought break off from classical and traditional forms in exchange for progressive ideals. As progressive as it was this movement was shaped predominantly by the male perspective. Often this resulted in designs which favored men (Tick). For example Men historically, “have occupied power roles in offices, male necessities dictated the design of prime spaces, while the female secretaries occupied ancillary areas” (Tick).
Today’s design landscape, however, does not represent the reality among those who utilize it. Society today is fast becoming genderless and for once truly equal. Those who were outcasts and oppressed by society, such as women, minorities and those within the LGBTQ are no longer facing the discrimination they once were. People are now more aware of others differences, and as a result are looking to challenge and change the status quo. Tick argues that the changes which stem from these difficulties should not be fought but accepted by the general populous.
Despite this acceptance, the current design does not allow for these accommodations. Currently, the design of restrooms, for example, lack a space which is sensitive to personal issues such as gender identity, as bathrooms currently do not allow for a non-binary system. Thus placing those who are not binary in an uncomfortable place. The only solution Tick claims are the creation of a universal design which accommodates anyone and everyone. Because as Tick states: “having safe places for anybody to function and do what they need to do, no matter who they are, should be our first step.”
Overall Tick believes that the foremost priority to achieving this new gender revolution is to create a space which accepts any and all people. The creation of such a space will require a new design, and as such designers should work to create a design which promotes a genderless society.
Tick, Suzanne. “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society.”Metropolis Magazine, Mar. 2015, http://www.metropolismag.com/March-2015/His-or-Hers-Designing-for-a-Post-Gender-Society/.