Design Institute of Australia

The theme: A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So let’s all choose to challenge.

How will you help forge a gender equal world?

Jane Valentine was honoured to be asked to contribute her thoughts in a written piece for the Design Institute of Australia as part of International Women’s Day.

‘When women are involved in decision-making, in research, in knowledge production, women do not get forgotten.’ [1]
Our collective challenge is to ensure research, empathy and design thinking are tightly woven into every circumstance. To reflect on past responses while striving for what could be. A pivotal moment as we strive to be gender inclusive.
Designers must empathise first, imaginatively stepping into the shoes of each user, rather than the generic approach of the past, that left us mired in a world that works for everybody and yet nobody. We are not all the same and nor should our design responses be.
It will require not just the application of anthropometrics and spatial planning but also consideration of the impact on the individual and an understanding of cultural diversity, to ensure future spaces are not just functional and engaging but encourage the societal behaviours that will ensure we all feel safe and at ease.
If we pause, amplify our skills and provide an integration of expertise from the beginning we can expect design that just works, design that will carry us through to a more egalitarian society.
[1] Criado Perez, C, 2019, Invisible Women Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, Random House, UK.
Written by Jane Valentine for the Design Institute of Australia
Design layout of pic featured / Design Institute of Australia
Photography by Alex Grimshaw Photography