The point is to finally acknowledge that the category of gender is also important in the context of design: every product, sign and service we encounter in everyday life, be it by necessity or by choice, will always speak to us also in a gendered way. In our culture, in all areas of our everyday life and all the time, we are shaped by projections of femininity and masculinity. Our everyday life is full of designed artefacts and spaces, of which gender is a part as an essential constitutive and reactive element. Gender clichés and preconceptions may have become more subtle and, at times, less obvious in western societies today, but they have, by no means, been overcome. Using examples from history and from design projects, my lecture will “roam” around categories such as privacy and the public realm and their specific (in)accessibility from a gender perspective: the flâneur and the passante, the phenomenon of waiting in public spaces; hotels and office desks, and, finally, the handbag as a typically female-connoted, contradictory ‘space’ between intimacy …
Lecture, HAWK of Hildesheim (Germany), 28 March 2018: Places – Spaces – Gender. Undulations between the Interior and the Exterior Focusing on the different significance of a range of spaces with regard to their gender-related (in)accessibility. The talk will be about privacy and the public realm, about the city and the flâneur or the passante. Various projects will serve as examples to demonstrate how relevant the topic of gender is (also) in the context of design.
“Designed and Maltreated Bodies: Gender-Enhancements by and through Design” Gendered bodies are everywhere, each individual has and owns one. Manifold factors deeply influence our bodies, social standards conflict with social reality: desirable vs. despised bodies, social constructions of beauty vs. ugliness and fit vs. untrained bodies … Hosted by the director of designxport, Dr. Babette Peters, Uta Brandes will talk about fashion(dictates), objectified models, cruel fashion designers and photographers, and sexism, also referring to the “me too”-debate.
Workshop and lecture: Conference “Gendering MINT. Gender sensitive Digitalisation and Didactic”, Freiburg (Germany), 15 March 2018. Uta’s lecture: Gender in Design: The Impact and Power of Artefacts / Gender im Design: Die Wirkungsmacht der Artefakte
International Conference: Beyond Change, 8th-10th March 2018, Basel, FHNW (Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz) On invitation by Prof. Dr. Claudia Mareis, co-organiser of the conference Uta will be part of the session “On Gender and Design”, Friday, 9th March, 4 pm-5,30 pm: Moderated by Matylda Krzykowski, and together with Florian Conradi, Berlin University of the Arts; and Roosje Klap, Royal Academy of Art, The Hague/Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht — they will discuss about Gender and Design. Expectations around femininity and masculinity are present everywhere. In this session Uta Brandes, Florian Conradi, and Roosje Klap come together for an informal conversation, with an informal seating arrangement, to discuss gender in design. In three phases, corresponding to history, power, and methods, they will elaborate on the topic, accompanied by exemplary images. How does gender influence design? Why do we find products that obviously cater to a specific gender, even sex? What are the objects of power and what role does agency play in terms of empowerment? How does digitalisation influence this? Does the democratisation of technology create a space for thinking …
“PhD Winter School”, Hong Kong PolyU, 27 February – 3 March 2018: Uta Brandes has been invited to this year’s “Winter School” in Hong Kong. Here, the students and participating professors are given the opportunity to engage with scholars on their topics and research fields in a number of formats. Firstly, PhD students have to present their work to a number of respondents. Secondly, I will give a keynote lecture followed by discussions. The third format allows for smaller, seminar-based discussions between professors and students. Finally, a small publication is envisaged, to which each participant will contribute a text.
Lecture Series “arcademy” at Subotron, the hub for digital game culture at Museumsquartier Wien (Austria), 23 February 2018 Uta Brandes Body Talk: Representations of Gender Constructions in Video Games We are body, we have a body, we may own a body. And this body as well as its image can be distorted, rearranged, blurred … . This applies to both the body of flesh and blood and the virtual one. The idea of a natural body of humans is as obsolete as it is for a virtual body, an avatar or cyborg. I will position my long-term research on gender in design and its still highly stereotypical ideology of socially constructed male and female roles towards gender representations in video games. In my lecture I will transfer human gender codes to the field of virtual characters and their body designs. By way of example, I will analyse the appearance of genders in some of the most recent games.
When anonymous people ‘modify’ objects in public space, this is often quickly referred to as vandalism. The authors have carried out extensive fieldwork in urban spaces, making the phenomenon of vandalism subject to critical revision: the re-appropriation of urban space is no longer called vandalism, but ‘fandalism’. For example, paid-for leasing is turned into free seats; kids that are defined by society as innocent and cute become terrorists; the advocates of a potted plant-culture are confronted by revolutionary seed bomb throwers; graffiti becomes a new form of symbolism that sometimes uses wonderful new technologies, and the always positively embraced flora and fauna are convincingly demasked as committing serious acts of vandalism. The book inspires the reader to think about vandalism, political correctness and mainstream in new ways and many issues that seemed to be safely defined and categorised are being whirled about in both humorous and thoughtful ways.
Female business travellers are a rapidly growing target group for hotels. But they have different demands regarding hotels than their male colleagues. What does it take to make female business travellers feel perfectly comfortable? Uta Brandes introduces the needs and desires of female business travellers and presents many research-based solutions and practical tips.
A kaleidoscope of humorous and informative visual and textual descriptions relating to Michael Erlhoff, who was the Founding Dean of the Köln International School of Design, the President of the Raymond Loewy Foundation and the Director of the German Design Council. Renowned experts from the fields of design, art, cultural theory, politics and business are staging a spectacular fireworks display around the outspoken design scholar, author and critic.