‘Exploring inclusive methods regarding physiology to de gender bias in design’
My project is exploring inclusive methods to cancel out the physiological bias found within design, with a heavy lens on gender, since women have often been ‘invisible’ in the design process, from the data collection to product.
‘Exploring inclusivity through applying adjustable solutions to a product with body bias’
For this first gateway I focused on the physiological differences between men and women and how to apply an adjustable solution to a common ill-fitting product, in this instance, the glove. This product came up in discussion when considering products that don’t fit how they are intended on someone smaller than the ‘default man’ (Criado-Perez, 2019). Since the glove also fits into being a piece of PPE it seemed a relevant and necessary starting point.
Adjustable Method Applied – Self Blown Balloon Technique
Testing the self blown balloons mechanism paired with a medical glove in order to mimic self vacuum forming the glove to the hand, making it a customisable fit.
During this exploration I realised the self blown balloon mechanism only works one way. In order for the mechanism to ‘seal’ it must be inflated, rather than suctioning the air out, and once air is blown in the seal does not allow it out, instead the balloon needs to be popped.
Therefore I want to now explore successfully applying this technique, through applying an actual vacuum form device/plug to a product, and maybe exploring scale and different materials.
‘A future where everyday products are reactionary to the size of their user’
For this mini project I wanted to reverse the previous prototypes method of shrinking objects to size to instead have objects inflate to size within a futuristic narrative.
First exploration looked at inflating a pencil, came to realise, a pencil is potentially a bad example of object that would benefit from being re-scalable with a balloon application.
I then considered the phone, and how Caroline Criado-Perez discussed the iphone has reached its limit in size due to being too big for the average man.
As I have now considered ways of inflating and deflating, I have since thought about other adjustable synonyms and their antonyms. As well as other adjustable technologies:
Since my project is aiming for inclusivity more than anything, the three aspects I am exploring within this gateway are all focused towards achieving inclusivity, and the different ways this could be done, through physiological means.
Achieving inclusivity through:
1. Adjustable Solutions
Considered an Edinburgh tenement bin kit intervention, turns out they are busted for everyone and although the bins are this large to fit more rubbish in, the opening could be more inclusive, like city bins with bin storage underground (image to the right).
In order to have inclusive spaces, for women and others in danger of violence against them in public, there needs to be modified instincts, an evolutionary trigger for physiological reactions to danger, fight or flight.
Things to test:
- Do women have heightened instincts already?
- headphones/musics effect on confidence and awareness
- Can subfrequencys instil fear/unease?
- How to create goosebumps and other physiological reactions to fear
- Recreate feeling of point of no return, when you’re on the cusp of falling off chair
- Animal defence mechanisms…
- How to design for comfortability rather than discomfort.
An empathy toolkit for finding bias that I haven’t considered as a near average woman
Reverse periscope to help uncover the overlooked differences (still to be pictured)
Inclusivity is about: access, mobility and safety
As this project has progressed I have become increasingly aware of the benefits for designing for inclusion, where many others can benefit from the inclusive considerations in design. So although I am focussing on gender, hopefully my product will reach beyond this. Designing for ‘Edge Cases’, (Monteiro, 2019)
Criado-Perez, C. (2019) Invisible women : exposing data bias in a world designed for men / Caroline Criado Perez. London: Chatto & Windus.
Monteiro, M. (2019) Ruined by design : how designers destroyed the world, and what we can do to fix it / Mike Monteiro. SFCA: Mule Design.