Sex Ed: Clients, Designers, and Everyone Else

Why is gender important? Smart Design’s Femme Den explores the gap between assumptions and realities about women. As practicing designers and design researchers, we apply new ways to design for the elusive women’s market. To create products and experiences that women love, we must better understand their lives, as well as our clients’ objectives and designers’ perspectives. In this talk, we will be sharing our methodologies to meet the needs of and effectively communicate with these three interconnected groups.

Erica Eden is a Senior Industrial Designer at Smart Design and a founding member of the Femme Den. She has expertise in diverse fields, including home, health, and packaged goods, but her favorite design challenge is to create an emotional connection through product design, especially in the kitchen. The first product she ever designed, while earning her Masters in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute, was an electric tea kettle that is easy to pour, especially for her grandmother with dexterity issues. Her work has been praised in a number of international design magazines. She also finds any excuse to travel and learn about diverse cultures, food, and fashion around th e world. Femme Den is a team of researchers, designers, and engineers from Smart Design who are at the forefront of exploring design and gender.

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