D E____S I G N

This research looks into systems of design as they relate to representations of gender. It considers how design presents a distorted system of gender representation by using the vehicle of the media and contributes to the establishment of gender norms through the production of cultural artefacts. Our aim has been to deconstruct the gendered meanings inherent in these systems of representation and explore the condition of the ‘mediated body’ in design. Our method involves an act of DE___SIGNing, which searches for and pulls apart a complex system of signs related to gender. A reconstruction is inspired from this process. The visual language of gendered signs is used to present and describe a collection of re appropriated cultural artefacts. The research and the design come together in performance. This performance makes tangible how gender is constructed and how it can be reconstructed. We Seek to extend current discourse on design and gender, by exploring this relationship beyond the binary of male and female and positioning this exploration within a framework of queer theory.

Presenting a hybrid between performance installation and movement analysis, the final outcome seeks to an opportunity for the body to experience constructions. These constructions are embedded into the installation and highlight a repeated stylisation of the body which has contributed to the building of gender. The experience is directed by a clothing series and ‘a chair’, which are collaboratively negotiated by the body. A movement sequence is directed, which augments the behaviour of the body; the body comes out of alignment, is disoriented, skewed, or unbalanced. This disorientation presents a possibility to experience a different type of repetition or a new vocabulary of movement. We look at what it means to take a position.