A Woman's Place...
One Week Project, RCA, Protest
Created in 2019
This project was to be exhibited at Milan Design Week 2020, prior to the event's cancellation due to COVID-19.
Despite improvements throughout time, it is undeniable that gender bias in technical professions is still present. I have been told I was given an engineering job "because I was a girl", I have been told I can't move my own lumber because "it's too heavy for me". I have been told that I didn't know how to operate a drill "because girls don't work in machine shops". I have a degree in bioengineering, experience in programming embedded robots, and experience in many different shops and makerspaces. And consistently I am undermined in my ability and my understanding in my field and profession.
These tools are evocative of the traditional beliefs of a woman's role and career options. Small tools are integrated that just barely disrupt the function of the normal use of the utensil. The tools are weak - a small hack saw blade, a drill that needs to be hand cranked, and a flimsy sandpaper. So yes, you can use them as engineering tools, although they are far from useful and far from practical, discouraging a user from using these products and reminding the user of traditional societal values and gender roles.
And of course, they had to be pink. The pink tax has been used on women for decades, increasing the price of objects just for a colour. Even a pink tool kit may be $5 more than a traditional set.