I then started to consider gender in design. When I arrived back I received the following from Rosa Storelli, Principal of Methodist Ladies College Melbourne (MLC).
' As it is International Women’s Day today (Go Girls Go!!), I thought I would pose the question to frame your observations re the influence of gender on use, occupation and design of space…Doreen Massey discusses this and while I loathe stereotypes in my experience gender is very influential. – it will influence size of spaces, furnishings, design and subsequent types of conversations which will take place. It will also influence how many bodies can comfortably occupy the different spaces……..just a thought which may be worth considering as you go to your various learning environments.'
On thinking about this further I am sure that gender should be considered but I know I don't consciously do so. What about others? Is the gender of the designer a major factor here?
This led me onto ethnicity in our multi cultural societies, especially as there is a push to attract overseas students. By the way there must be a global limit in the overseas student market! Every university I have visited in the past five years has been targeting these students.
I mentioned this by reply to Rosa who informs me that:
....a few years ago we deliberately designed an Asian inspired garden for our students..both our International and Australian students…a lovely meditative space …symbolism in our choice of structures, sculptures etc vital..ie the Eastern Precinct at the Uni!
Rosa was involved with Melbourne university until recently hence the reference to the uni.