CHI2014 Workshop: Perspectives on Gender and Product Design: Are We Living in a “Man-Made” World? (April 2014, Toronto Canada)

Dates: 26 April – 1 May 2014
Location: Toronto, Canada
Deadline for submissions: 17 January 2014

This one-day workshop will be held as part of the CHI 2014 <> annual ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Science, held in Toronto, Canada  26 April – 1 May.

Interactive technologies have a profound mediating effect on the way we obtain and contribute to knowledge, relate to each other and contribute to society. Often, “gender” is not a factor that is explicitly considered in the design of these technologies. When gender is considered, products are often designed with idealised models of gendered “users”–designed for men, designed for women, designed for boys, designed for girls, or designed for the “average user” who could be male or female. However, the ways in which gender-bias or gender-neutrality are constructed in the design process and the resulting effect on the interactive artifacts that are produced is not well understood. Further, research within the HCI arena has only begun to scratch the surface of how perceived “gender” influences interactive product use by users of any gender.

Given the impact and potential ramifications of technological products on society, it is imperative that we more deeply understand the tacit and explicit models of gendered practice that underlie design choices and product uptake. We need to inclusively accommodate and integrate different perspectives in shaping our modern day technologies.

This workshop focuses on the bringing to the fore different perspectives of how gender affects technology design, adoption, appropriation, and possibly resistance. We will address what is missing from the discussion, and why. We will consider what, if anything, needs to change in design methods and perspectives. We will try to elaborate and account for possible gender differences in perceived product value and in actual and perceived ease of use. We will consider whether there are gender-related differences in the creation and experience of delightful engagement with interactive technologies. Examples of issues to be discussed and arenas of potential change are:

* increasing research and understanding of gender impact on technology design and use
* consideration of how to increase representation of nuanced gender perspectives within design processes in the technology sector and within fields related to technology production, including computer science and engineering, and also design, design research, and related fields
* discussing what would constitute gender-agnostic or gender inclusive design/development environments, including consideration of design biases in software tools and in digital and/or physical collaborative design/development settings
* addressing the lack of discussion regarding gender impact in the fields related to technology design, including the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) whose very charter is to be “user-centric” and inclusive
* reflecting on the low grant support for academic research which looks at the representation of gendered perspectives in our current discourse, which in turn leads to a lack of reliable, informative and actionable technology & gender research

This workshop will address these issues with respect to the tools, technologies, and processes we experience and design, both in industry and academia, and with the aim of producing some actionable steps forward.

Please submit a position paper (maximum of 4 pages) detailing your background, and interest and experience in this topic. Participants will be selected on the basis of their potential to contribute to the overall discussion and the workshop goals. To participate in this workshop, position papers must be submitted by January 17th 2014. Please use the CHI Extended Abstracts format. Submissions should be sent to

About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is

One Response to CHI2014 Workshop: Perspectives on Gender and Product Design: Are We Living in a “Man-Made” World? (April 2014, Toronto Canada)

  1. Pingback: CHI2014 Workshop: Perspectives on Gender and Product Design: Are We Living in a “Man-Made” World? (April 2014, Toronto Canada) | Papers Wanted - Call for Papers, Journals and Conferences

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