Last Friday, while reading on the train, I came across an interesting question: “What would an iron look like if it were designed for a predominantly male market?” To me, as I am  not ironing (shame on me!), I am asking this question more because of fun. However, the design of many home technologies (is an iron a technology?) are “rooted in common cultural representations of masculinity and femininity.” Apart from that, I was surprised to notice that actually in domestic cooking technologies there is a strong emphasis on efficiency over quality (microwaves, for example, make food faster but not better). Hah! This is a convenient statement for me to argument why I neither have a dishwasher nor a microwave at home :)

Reference: G. Bell, M. Blythe, P. Sengers (2005) Making by making strange: Defamiliarization and the design of domestic technologies. Published in ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), Volume 12 Issue 2, June 2005, pp 149 – 173, ACM New York, NY, USA, doi>10.1145/1067860.1067862


About juliafink

PhD candidate at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)
This entry was posted in domestic technology, Random thoughts and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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