My thesis explores the generative application of gender analysis to interaction design.
What does that mean?
At SVA IxD, thesis is a consistent approach to a persistent idea. I think a lot about gendered perspectives.
Gender affects the way that we interact with the world. There are 'masculine' and 'feminine' modes of doing lots of things, including language use and understandings of technology. I think that understanding the differences between these perspectives can give us a new framework for designing engaging interactions.
The term 'gender' refers to the socio-cultural process that forms our understanding of 'masculine' and 'feminine'. It's why some may find it odd that grown men enjoy watching My Little Ponies. It's not that men, biologically, aren't able to watch My Little Ponies, it just it seems like they're not supposed to like it. Here's a quick video about these so-called 'Bronies'.
On this blog I post articles, thoughts, and information related to my thesis. I also keep a daily changelog of all the bits and pieces I do.
I’m back after some time in NY + SF. I had a great time zipping all over the place, talking to lots of people about the future of Coastermatic and Think Bigger, Make Better, and came away with lots of food for thought.
After a week back in Hawaii and a lot of deliberation, here’s where I’m at:
Think Bigger, Make Better and the research that went into it is where I want to focus long term. I believe if we can open up to the perspectives of others, and better understand our own, the opportunities for growth are tremendous. From delivering products faster and defining new industries, to getting along better at work and at home, improved conversations can take us far.
Unfortunately TBMB isn’t a business yet, so I plan on spending the next year figuring out what that could mean. To that end, I’m giving a talk about my research on gendered perspectives and Think Bigger, Make Better at Interaction 14. If you’ll be in Amsterdam on Feb 8, I’d love to see your smiling face!
The talk will force me to articulate my ideas + research to an audience of strangers (scary! but good scary). My hope is that after the talk I’ll be able to see which parts resonate with people, and can figure out next steps from there.
I still heart Coastermatic. When Tom and I started Coastermatic back in April 2012, the intention was always to build a business that would support us while we worked on crazier things. While we were naive to how difficult building and growing a business actually is, I still believe this is possible. Swissmiss + Tattly are pretty strong proof of this. Though I don’t have an audience of millions, like she does, I can still work to grow a community around the product I created and the things I believe in.
That said, I need some help with Coastermatic. I’m looking for help with all sorts of things: blogger outreach, sales, design, front end, admin. Everything really.
I’ll come back with a more defined ask soon, but in the meantime, have a think of friends you know that can mix a mean drink and might be interested in helping me out with this fun, scrappy coaster company.
A few weeks ago Tom decided to leave Coastermatic. We started the project that would become a company in February 2012, and worked on nearly every project together while at grad school. Any projects we didn’t work on together we talked about and contributed ideas to over bike rides back to Brooklyn, shared meals in studio, or beers at Videology.
Tom has been the person I’ve grown with the most over the last 2 years. Through our long conversations or extreme late night work sessions, we helped each other test out and digest all of the new information and ideas that came up while we were at school, and had a lot of fun in the process. I’ve never had the opportunity to collaborate in such an intense way before, and I know that he helped me to achieve a kind of personal growth that I never could have alone.
But now I am alone, which is an foreign and unexpected place to end up after so many conversations about working on Coastermatic and what was to come after, together. There’s no more working and thinking in terms of ‘we’ or even as ‘Coastermatic’. I have to reevaluate what’s important to me, what the trajectory of my life will be without this collaboration at it’s creative core. And all of this is a little scary and overwhelming.
However, there are a couple of things to grab on to, things I know for sure: - I want Coastermatic to thrive, but I don’t want to become a life long coaster saleswoman. - I’m moving to SF to finally live in the same city as Dave.
But that’s about it, for now.
ps. Don’t worry, Tom and I are still great friends. I talked to him today for 2 hours, and he’s thinking through similar questions. Just with a lot less coaster puns.