Reimagining Spaces for Everyone
In her article, “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society,” Suzanne Tick argues that because a person’s identity is no longer defined as female or male, designers of public spaces should promote change through the accommodation of all people. Because today’s design landscape is shaped by Modernism, landscapes such as office spaces and bathrooms have been designed in a male centric model to primarily benefit men. She talks about how the male dominance in many areas of society is being challenged through the feminist movement and other channels because of the advent of new technologies and social media. Because traditional masculine and feminine roles in society are being challenged, she argues that each person should be seen for their own individual identity and public spaces should be accommodating for all people.
Through the onset of social media and new technologies enormous strides have been made by men and women to counter the male dominance of society. Tick alludes to, “Actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson’s speech promoting the He for She movement went viral on the Internet last year.” Because the internet can give access to people all across the world information and videos promoting Feminism, the movement can cross racial and ethnic lines to promote feminism and uplift women. The feminist movement has gained steam to break down barriers and hierarchies that exist all throughout society. Tick talks about how the workplace has been over hauled in design as more women have gained leadership positions in the workplace. From softer furniture to the emphasis on carpeting and textiles, designers of spaces are considering gender sensitivity into their work. Fashion and beauty have embraced and challenged the typical male and woman look. Because of dramatic change of gender roles, different companies have challenged these norms such as, “Alexander Wang’s women’s coat from Fall 2015 has masculine tailoring with a military look.” Many segments of society have been implementing change and challenging the traditional gender roles.
By shifting the design of a male dominated landscape gender roles are evolving and because of this the outcome Tick describes is, “Boys look like girls, girls look like boys, and androgyny has become commonplace. People are typically assigned a gender and history, but they can decide what gender to identify with beyond this.” People are questioning the norms for men and women that have persisted for generations and many people are demanding that people should just be seen as individuals in a society that has spaces which accommodate everyone. With the growing acceptance of transgender people, bathrooms have become a contentious area of discussion. Although there are companies that have accommodated transgender people by adopting gender-neutral bathrooms, there are employees who have reported to human resources that they do not approve of a transgender person using the restroom. In companies the challenge that is presented is to accommodate everyone but at the same time fostering an environment where people are comfortable working with each other. As Tick explains government action can only do so much and “We are only at the very beginning with gender-neutral design, but having safe places for anybody to function and do what they need to do, no matter who they are, should be our first step.” Having spaces that can accommodate any person not based on gender but as an individual is essential in a post-gender world.
Suzanne Tick, a textile designer, in her article, “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society,” argues that the design of public spaces should be designed in order to accommodate all types of people. She talks about how public spaces are designed with masculine preferences that are less accommodating to anyone with feminine characteristics. However, efforts have been made by the feminist movement to make spaces more accommodating for everyone with gender-neutral designs. By promoting the acceptance of all people Suzanne Tick wants landscapes to be designed to accommodate everyone for their individual preferences in a post-gender society.
Tick, Suzanne. “His &Amp; Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society.” Metropolis Magazine, Susan S. Szenasy, Mar. 2015, www.metropolismag.com/march-2015/his-or-hers-designing-for-a-post-gender-society/.
Post Gender Office Space