Reading Summary #3: Suzanne Tick – “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society”
This article is a synopsis of the Gender Revolution and the spectrum that we have traveled with accepting gender equality in society. Suzanne Tick explains how within the past few years the world has started to open up to the idea of Gender equality and now people/organizations are designing things in the built environment certain ways to help co-exist people that do not confirm to their birth gender and instead take it upon themselves to decide which way to identify. In this article, Suzanne Tick, shows how the environment, specifically corporate and institutionally, was predominantly designed in the past and where she feels it is moving towards in the very near future. This is portrayed in ways of how the office can be set-up, questions on applications for colleges, fashion/beauty scene and even gender specific bathroom signage.
This approach is a very forward thinking concept that I believe is going to play an influential role in the thinking of corporate decision making in the near future. Suzanne mentions within the idea of making people feel accommodated. Now, more than ever, this is such an important facet of the way companies operate on a daily basis. Even to the institutional level, per Suzanne Tick, there are even colleges that do not require you to specify your gender on the application. It is astonishing that something that was so black and white back in the day is now taken into question as soon as it is brought up.
In comparison, the confusion that many in America experience within themselves when it comes to accepting this new wave of thinking/doing is in the beauty and fashion scene. Suzanne explains how the idea of male looking male and female looking female is obsolete. It is such a mixture of the two that it is somewhat impossible to know the gender of the model. Somewhat an exact measurement of what Gender Equality is. To me this is the ability to accept someone for who they and where they want to be in life and not strictly on the way that they were born and why they shouldn’t stray from the fact that they are male or female.
In comparison, this article really hit home. In my career, as an Account Executive for a commercial furniture dealership, I am experiencing these exact hurdles in our recent projects. Design firms are now building the built environment to honor an open plan system that allows for collaboration from all different departments within one large area. This is atypical to the past isolated cubicle format that every corporate office has predominantly approached. The most decisive point of this new birth of gender equality is that she comes from Teknion. Being from the commercial dealer industry, I know that Teknion is a new eastern type model of office landscape and their product/ideology promote exactly what Suzanne is portraying in this article. They have gained major traction in the US Market and just like Teknion is started to emerge and become a force in the market, so is Gender equality.