The Question of Gender in Sonic and Practical Design
This talk will draw upon two aspects of my recent research that has a strong relation to design an public space. The first concerns ‘sonic design’ – that is to say the prerecorded, largely female-sounding voices we encounter in public space – what do these voices mean for our experience of the city? What do they tell us about various types of political control we experience, and how is this experience gendered? The second strand relates to what might be described as the ‘unnecessarily’ gendered quality of consumer objects – why are so many objects designed ‘for’ boys/men or girls/women? Is this simply a sexist surcharge designed to create new markets and make more profit, or is there a broader shift in our understanding of gender going on?
Nina Power teaches Philosophy at the University of Roehampton and is the author of many articles on Philosophy, politics and culture.