Summary of “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society”.

In her article “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society“, Suzanne Tick talks about the change in how society views and challenges the traditional masculine and feminine roles. As society continues to grow technologically and scientifically, people are becoming gradually exposed to a variety of options on how they wish to express themselves. As a result, Tick argues that designers and people need to learn to accept this new movement and to work with it.

She begins by explaining how the current state of society is mated with the idea of modernism, which is shaped through the male perspective (Tick). Because society is shaped mostly through the male perspective, architectural and systematical designs are oriented more towards males and often negligent towards females. To provide an example, Tick looks at technological jobs like web design and states that “85 percent of tech workers at the top companies being male” (Tick). Tick also discusses how traditionally males have always been assigned to leadership roles because they were viewed as dominant and how this had an impact on the design of the workplaces. However, this traditional structure is being gradually changed as males are no longer the only ones to hold roles with power. As a result, faculties and work stations are increasing the amount of light that enters and becoming more inviting and softer (Tick).

In addition to the evolution of architectural design, Tick also talks about the more prominent and fast moving changes that are occurring within society itself. More specifically the topic of fashion. As society becomes more accepting to the change that has been brought upon by the advances in technology and science, people no longer have to maintain the identities they were born with. Both sexes can now change their outward appearance both biologically and physically through their wardrobes. Tick explains that this change can easily cause confusion as males and females can look like the opposite sex. In order to adapt to this change, Tick discusses how institutions have begun to allow their students to choose not to identify their sex. As a result, Tick argues that institutions should not only be the ones to embrace this change, but all of society collectively.

Male? Female? or...
Male? Female? or…

However, Tick explains that larger corporations like Google have noticed the change and are beginning to adapt their buildings to become more inviting to those who are transgender and those who are not willing to identify to a single gender. Despite this, the issue of bathrooms remains. Tick explains how finding bathrooms that are open to those who are transgender is difficult by using an example of how a group of coworkers did not wish to share a bathroom with a coworker who recently went through gender-reassignment surgery (Tick). Even though designers are physically able to create environments for those who are transgender, it is difficult for these people to feel welcome and safe when those around them are not willing to accept the change.

In order to eradicate the boundaries that transgender people face, Tick states that designers should take those who are transgender in consideration when they are erecting new buildings and facilities in order to accommodate for this new movement of self liberation and change. In addition to this, Tick also states that people should learn to become more accepting and respectful of others and their choices in order to provide an equal and safe environment for all.


“His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society – Metropolis Magazine – March 2015.” N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2016.