The availability of a broad range of industrial sectors in which industrial designers take place and contribute to various stages of product development process can be considered as an advantage for industrial design profession. While this diversity allows designers to find positions in various industries, it is obvious that there is a stereotypical differentiation between choices of designers depending on their genders.
The aim of this study is to examine how gender affects sectoral preferences of industrial design professionals which, in my opinion, demonstrates an example of occupational segregation. The empirical part of this study is conducted in Middle East Technical University, Department of Industrial Design with senior industrial design students attending the Graduation Project course. Analysing the findings of the interviews, this paper arrives at two main conclusions. Firstly, technological connotations, which are ascribed to every industrial sector at different levels, have a crucial role in identifying them with the masculine or the feminine and, thus, with the ‘suitable’ designer. As a result of this, women designers are concentrated around so called less-technological sectors, while men designers have a more homogeneous distribution over the whole industry – though they are associated mainly with technological sectors. Secondly, the interaction between various layers of the designer’s work such as industrial sectors, work environments and interdisciplinary relations is also influential on this segregation, since gender is articulated in all these layers.
|Keywords:||Gender, Industrial Design, Design Profession, Occupational Segregation, Interdisciplinary Work, Design in Turkey|
PhD Student, Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
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