How can design spark critical debate about gender?

Gender is no longer considered a binary concept. Today the term embraces a spectrum of increasing interpretations. Self-determined gender identities are being defined and lived, free of stereotypes. Design must respond to this societal shift, and itself become more fluid and nuanced in terms of its interpretation of gender.

This work emerges from an empirical investigation of gender, and its impact on design. Based on insights, a catalogue of design criteria was established that consciously caters to the widest possible spectrum. Instead of being genderless, these designs are «genderfull»: embracing diversity and fluidity. Genderless design criteria are showcased in the form of theoretical sex toys to provoke debate. It is the physical representation of theory that allows beholders to question conventional perceptions of gender and its impact on design.

Susanne Marti, Andrea Staudacher, Dr. Franziska Nyffenegger, Prof. Michael Krohn