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Design United | EXPO

(Archive) One size fits some

Gender bias in design

This project was part of DDW 2022
Poster: The become average height shoe — © Maartje van Proosdij

Why does voice recognition software work better for men? Why are public diaper changing tables mostly located in the women’s toilets? Why is driving a car less safe for women?
This is the result of gender bias in design.

Gender in design

When thinking about inclusive design most of us don't think about gender. Most products and services are framed as unisex, although in reality, they don't work as well for women as they do for men or vice versa, and in some cases, they can even be dangerous to use.

Although gender-biased design can affect half the population, it is hardly discussed in design practice and design education. How can we make designers aware of this phenomenon? And how can designers approach a more inclusive design process when it comes to gender and sex?

The "Become Average" campaign

The result of this project is the “Become Average” advertising campaign. This campaign offers a product range that helps everyone to become the ‘average person’ that products and services are designed for. These fictional products emphasize the absurdity of gender-biased design.
The product line is advertised on four posters that are designed to capture the attention of designers and design students, and guide them to a website via a QR code.
On this website, visitors can learn more about gender bias, find a database of examples of gender-biased products and services, but also find links to inspirational projects. Additionally, visitors can learn about the three categories of gender-biased design, and the resulting three focus points for a more gender and sex aware design process.

Poster: The average finger size finger extenders — © Maartje van Proosdij

Poster: The average parent breasted sweater — © Maartje van Proosdij

Poster: The average voice pitch adjuster

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