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 about the democratisation of gender? How is the design of gender moving beyond material manifestations into immaterial, obscured, or concealed dimensions? What tactics from critical feminism and queer theory could we possibly transfer to design and design research? The items to be discussed range from the Sony Walkman, the colour pink, weapons, shower gels, and more subtle artefacts such as the ‘female’ handbag. The conversation aims to develop current thoughts and suggestions that go beyond familiar designerly ways of understanding.