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crafting gender ambiguous child toys through reflexive designer-AI interactions
This project forms the final step of my master studies. As such, this project went quite into depth in terms of research, which can't be shown properly in the format of this portfolio. If you would like to find out more, feel free to contact me, or check out my report.
Dr. Maria Luce Luppeti
Prof Dr. Elisa Giaccardi
Master thesis Design for Interaction
5 Month duration
At TU Delft
Dominant cultural believes, norms, roles and stereotypes are being baked in the training data of smart algorithms. The result: potentially problematic social constructs are being perpetuated and even exacerbated.
Most computer scientists see a risk in AI behavior, naminlgy bias exacerbation, unpredictability and inconsistency. I saw the opportunity of learning something about myself. In what social constructs, like norms and roles, do I unconsciously believe in? And to what extent do these collective imaginings and personal experiences get materialized in my designs?
In a series of three smaller experiments, I set of to explore the effect that technology has on me, the potential it might have in hinting towards hidden bias and triggering reflection. I settled for a product context, where designerly creations are still heavily infused by cultural believes and stereotypes, and where the effect of such bias products is especially problematic. As such, I chose toys, as the context for my experiments.
Despite our knowledge of toys as cultural signifiers, a vast amount of them still materializes highligy gendered stereotypes of 'masculinity' and 'femininity'. Toys have evolved into ‘cultural signifiers’ that symbolise contemporary society norms and values because of their positioning within prevalent narratives and stereotypes of interaction and how they get contextually configured in usage. These early socio-cultural experiences, that accumulate over time, perpetuate existing gender norms and influence the formation of cognitive abilities and motivation of children.
To form my own interaction design research approach within the HCI research, I combine the research through design approach with an intersection of creative AI tools, introspection and speculative design methods. Addressing the limitations of introspective research through design, additional generative research and user testing was applied when needed.
Research through Design
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