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Guest bie

Do Girls Do Product Design?

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Guest bie

I've finished my foundation in design class and consider to take product design course, but somehow I'm afraid that I don't suit this major.people tend to say that product design suits better on guys.what should I do?

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I've finished my foundation in design class and consider to take product design course, but somehow I'm afraid that I don't suit this major.people tend to say that product design suits better on guys.what should I do?

 

There are definately women in design, but it is certainly the minority.

 

The reality is that design is a highly competitive field, and that you need to both want to be a designer and fight to be a designer. In my experience the majority of the female students I went to school with didn't have that drive and many dropped design entirely, or moved to related fields like graphics or new media. With that said there were also several who were hard working, competitive, and landed good jobs in the product design world.

 

The only one who can answer that question is you. If design isn't something that motivates you, then it will be hard to keep the drive needed to be successful.

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*Raises hand* Of course there are.

http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/

 

Many people will tell you, as a woman going into PD or any kind of engineering, that "they're all sexist pigs/women can't design/do math/etc." It's simply not true. Of course, there are bigoted individuals in every field that will tell you to go do the dishes. Just ignore 'em.

I've found that Product Design is a field wherein people don't necessarily care about your gender, they just want to know what you can do.

"I'm afraid I don't suit this major." Well, if you're extremely normal (whatever that means) you may want to go major in something else. Otherwise, explore away. The people that tell you you cannot do something are usually afraid that you'll be able to do it. And if you end up being able to do it, then they can possibly do it as well.

To avoid word overload I'll stop here. :]

Also, at Stanford University the majority of PD majors are women.

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Re OP:

Of the people who just passed portfolio at my school, it was 20 guys and 4 girls for product and 20 girls and 4 guys for interior architecture (w/e that is).

 

I don't think girls are genetically handicapped to be worse at it. There is research that indicates girls are typically slower to pick up engineering due to less exposure to toys with moving parts like boys are. But I've also heard that girls are typically more dexterous than guys, which certainly helps in design. Though I have noticed that in my current cohort, the best engineer, and the best drawer are both males. While the most "stylish" person by far is a girl, who consistently came up with crazy patterns. From talking with my engineering friends, their classes are all sausage fests as well. So if you decide to go down an avenue of product design that involves alot of engineering on the designer's part, you might have a hard time if those subjects were never your strengths.

 

Mostly, I would agree that its drive. Of the girls in my foundation classes, I know a few who are really driven, who consistently produces great work, and are one of the few people who I would say will definitely pass portfolio. At the same time, the ones that arn't are typically bad, and I don't know if its because they are the minority, so their weaknesses are all the more glaring, or if they are really just bad. I don't know how many times I've rolled my eyes when one particular girl uses "I have a life" as an excuse for not turning an assignment on time. I do think guys are generally more confident in themselves (even if undeservingly so), tenacious if not stubborn, and risk-taking.

 

Being an guy who is ex-nursing, I can tell you that being a minority can have its benefits. Your accomplishments are typically more noticed, though your screw ups are as well.

 

Re Brianne:

I'm surprised Stanford is mostly girls. If you go to art center, its like 80% guys and 20% girls. I dont know what the split is in PD, but I bet guys are the majority. I think it also has to do with drive, and how much of their personal lives they are willing to put on hold while they focus on their school. They stay up all night sustained by junk food, put on weight, live like hermits, never have time for socializing outside their classmates, and few have girlfriends. But @#$@#$, their work is amazing.

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Here are my unfiltered and possible not PC thoughts:

 

Yes.

 

But some of them go to school and skirt by on their sex appeal/flirting abilities, and do not think critically. They think mistakes are cute. They aren't. The big issue is that women in general are not pushed to be very mechanically inclined, and I think "in general" that puts them at a pretty big disadvantage to most male designers, who grew up taking things apart, building things with legos, and trying to "fix" or "improve" things. That being said, I think as long as you apply yourself, and actually try to THINK, then there's no issue whatsoever. I know some truly fantastic female designers that are EXTREMELY successful, and desirable since male designers a dime a dozen. Because of this, they will typically get paid MORE than a comparable guy.

 

YMMV.

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Re AragornSkywalker: Well, at Stanford a lot of the PD professors are women. Also, pretty much everyone (in every major) becomes a hermit to get work done. And no one dates. Going on a date is pretty unheard of. People put their lives on hold in a lot of areas to get the most out of their education. We mostly lock ourselves in a room with a ton of white boards, too many energy drinks and get stuff done.

 

Re Cash68: (I appreciate you getting PC out the way.)I agree that people flirt their way to the top. But not just women. I've had more than a few men try to flirt their way into having me do something for them. (Or, flirt their way out of screwing up.) But, I suppose more than a few people use flirting as a way to get out trouble.

 

Also, I grew up tearing apart and redesigning my Barbies' space ship/stables/car/dream house. So there's that. :)

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