Internationally, there are, deplorably, many designed products, services, signs and campaigns that portray women in contemptuous and discriminating ways. Additionally, there are designs that support rather trivial clichés of femininity and masculinity.
This, of course, has to be publicly criticised and denounced. But, what is most definitely also needed, is generating publicity for the few impressive examples where sophisticated and innovative – or indeed provocative – new forms of design are used to highlight both the diversities and commonalities of the different genders and, simultaneously, to support the specific needs and desires of women in an emancipatory way, because this is just as urgently needed. Finding bad, sexist design examples is easy and may create sensational headlines, but what’s more important (and also more difficult) is finding clever and gender-sensitive design: discovering and showcasing successful examples of intelligent design is precisely the purpose and objective of the new iphiGenia Gender Design Award launched by the iGDN. This design prize is awarded annually to recognise the most intelligent and convincing gender-sensitive designs. The award takes into account all areas of design – product design, communication design, media and digital design, campaigns, services and design research – and honours both the initiators (companies, agencies, institutions or other initiatives) and the designers.
Awarded by the international Gender Design Network/iGDN, this unique prize consists of two categories: the iphiGenia Gender Design Award Evolution is given to established or young companies, agencies or other initiatives that explicitly support the cause of gender-sensitive design and whose work unites an all-embracing, convincing approach to this issue with excellence in design and execution.
The iphiGenia Gender Design Award Revolution recognises an individual product (including campaigns, communication design, digital designs, services etc.) showing a credible and innovative fusion of gender-sensitivity and intelligent design.
With these awards, we intend to be setting examples that will hopefully inspire and be followed by many more intelligent designs in the spirit of the iGDA.
International Gender Design Network
contact: iphigenia (@) genderdesign.org