Inter–Bodies. Exploring Gendered (Un)safety Through Design
My final project is an attempt to redesign the conversation about gendered unsafety. The world in which more than 736 million women have been subjects to male violence calls for meaningful debate about safety that takes place between people of different genders and positionalities. However, the discussions we currently have are often restricted by the constraints of patriarchy and reproduce the image of women as problems for male-dominated society, highlighting their difficult experience of harassment, victimhood, vulnerability and dependence on male surveillance.
This design-led exploration into gender and safety is grounded in a feminist perspective and builds upon the critique of narratives problematising and victimising women. Instead, it seeks to propose new vocabulary and contexts for discussing the subject while problematising human-to-human interactions and the culture that informs them. The project used co-creation methods to collate multiple definitions of (un)safety and capture women’s lived experience in order to create a sample of the new language for speaking about safety. The outcomes of this process are communicated through the terminology coined during the participatory engagements and the collection of provocations that could be used to facilitate the discussion.
Whereas the project doesn’t promise to solve harassment, it signposts a more equitable format for informal education about safety that goes beyond the simplified frameworks of men – women, perpetrator – victim, protector – protected and invites people despite their gender to collectively renegotiate the meaning of safety itself.