The two main arguments Suzanne Tick makes in her article “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society” are we’re living in a so-called gender revolution and architects and interior designers should jump on board by creating gender neutral or universal interior and architectural designs.
By gender revolution Tick means we’re living in a time when men dress like women, go through surgery to appear like women, or merely identify themselves as women—and vice-versa. In other words, according to Tick, people are no longer confined by their biological sex, but by how they express and present themselves.
Consequently, Tick believes that architects and interior decorators should encompass this gender revolution by changing the way in which buildings are designed and decorated. Tick believes that because it was mostly men that headed Modernism, she thinks the movement is from the male perspective, as well as the designs and such that sprang from it. Further, she claims that we’re still living in a male centered society and that this is especially true in regard to technology. She argues that it’s the amalgamation of all these elements that shapes the design of places and that this needs to be combated for the sake of gender neutrality and inclusiveness. Her solution is to encourage designers to introduce what she thinks are more feminine qualities to interior and architectural design like more windows, soft corners, light, hospitality, and textural materials. If this masculine design isn’t combated Tick fears that it will lead to more unsafe and exclusive areas which may offend or discourage women or people who may identify themselves as women.
There are a few other points that Tick brings up. One of these is with respect to fashion and beauty. She writes that the fashion and beauty sectors are more susceptible to cultural changes (and it occurs faster) than architectural and interior design. The other is we should adopt gender-neutral bathrooms in an effort to make these areas more inclusive and safe for those who may identify as the sex that they weren’t born as. To illustrate this point she brings up an example of an employee who underwent sex reassignment surgery during a vacation and when this person came back to work there was a conflict with this person and his/her coworkers about bathrooms in which both men and women went to human resources asking that this person not use their bathroom. Tick argues that if there were gender-neutral bathrooms or bathrooms that catered to more identities, then this wouldn’t have happened.