DS 88: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE17), Building Community: Design Education for a Sustainable Future, Oslo, Norway, 7 & 8 September 2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Berg, Arild; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon; Gulden, Tore; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Pavel, Nenad
Author: McMahon, Muireann; Kiernan, Louise
Series: E&PDE
Institution: School of Design, University of Limerick, Ireland
Section: Ethics and Social Issues in Design Education
Page(s): 601-606
ISBN: 978-1-904670-84-1


Good design is gender neutral, as should be the design process that underpins it. However achieving equality in the design process is difficult as female product/industrial designers1 are underrepresented in both professional and student realms, comprising 20% and 21% respectively [1] [2]. In order to even the balance we must first understand the potential barriers to access that have led to this gender imbalance; the conditions that might limit progression and how learning and working in male dominated spaces influences and impacts upon female designers as they move through their careers. Through a literature review, a series of expert interviews, conversations, journey mapping and focus groups this research gathered together a variety of diverse, but individual, stories that help build a collective narrative of the current situation in Ireland. Subsequently, through a collaborative co-design process, interventions are recommended that could shape a future where barriers to access in Product/Industrial design are potentially dismantled and gender takes a secondary role to merit, ability and creativity.

Keywords: Product Design, Gender, Design Education, Design Practice.


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