Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Gry A. Alsos, Ulla Hytti and Elisabet Ljunggren
Chapter 13: Visualizing gender – norm-critical design and innovation
The aim of this chapter is to discuss how norm-critical design with a gender perspective can reveal norms and in that way contribute to innovation. In order to illustrate this, the chapter is centred on a specific empirical example – the development of the norm-critical design concept the Androchair. The Androchair is an examination chair for men, but with a design based on women’s experiences of the gynaecological examination chair. Actor–network theory is used to analyse how the Androchair as a material object can visualize hidden norms, and the authors argue that norm-critical design is an unexploited tool for revealing norms and creating discussion and innovation. Norm-critical design can be a powerful tool that demonstrates needs that would perhaps otherwise be hard to see or overlooked because of various priorities. Breaking down norms provides new perspectives and creates opportunities to think outside of existing solutions.
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