The role of women in history, as well as in other aspects of life, cannot be neglected. People like to understand the worth of a feminist approach in different spheres of life, and in this paper, the evaluation of the article about women in design written by Cheryl Buckley can help to realize why the differences between male and female opinions, female interventions, and patriarchy in regards to women and design have to remain a considerable part of historical analysis.
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Buckley underlines that a feminist approach to design history has become a frequently discussed issue because the majority of feminist historians and practitioners made attempts to coordinate their activities by a variety of means (252). The author explains the role of women designers and their impact on the development of the design. Though women serve as powerful means of inspiration, and female stereotypes determine physical spaces at home and work, it is wrong to neglect the power of the patriarchy context. Design historians like to share their assumptions about the roles of women and their abilities to influence the design spreading in society. The opinions differ considerably: male approaches are usually bold and calculated, and female ideas are spontaneous and weak (Buckley 254).
The author suggests considering women as consumers and objects as well. Despite the already offered studies and varieties in female works, a gender prejudice still exists and may define the quality of design products offered. In the paper, Buckley comes to different conclusions than prove the ability to analyze the already given facts and materials with the conclusions that have been recently done. Women’s cultural codes depend on the context of patriarchy, and the consideration of personal needs and intentions within certain social and economic frameworks leave women dependent on males’ activities (Buckley 260).
People live in a world designed by men, and female codes should play a crucial role in the working process. Still, there are also the material and abstract notions the consideration of which defines the way of how people should understand the role of women in design and history.
Buckley raises many interesting opinions and suggestions on how to improve the relations between women and design in the patriarchal context. Still, the necessity to re-define the borders of design and widen the essence of the relations between design, art, and craftsman seems to be too radical. People should be provided with time to understand the essence of design that has been introduced and gathered from different epochs.
It is not enough to promote changes. It is better to focus on a deeper understanding of the problems from a true feminist perspective. The question of gender identity is open nowadays, and historians, researchers, and practitioners should try to offer their visions about how they comprehend the same material without their intentions to re-define and change history. Though the feminist approach in design is not as powerful as the context of patriarchy, Buckley seems to be determined in the decision to expand the body of research and re-evaluate the role of women in design.
In general, the article should inspire people to realize that gender differences and studies are still under consideration and cannot be neglected. Still, today, more changes and improvements are offered, and Buckley’s article that was written at the end of the 1980s serves as proof that properly set goals and intentions should help people understand their history.
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Buckley, Cheryle. “Made in Patriarchy: Toward a Feminist Analysis of Women and Design.” Design Discourse: History, Theory, Criticism. Ed. Victor Margolin. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1989. 251-262. Print.