Last year, I was lucky enough to enroll in a furniture design course. For my final project, I set out to make a floor lamp for my home. After a fair bit of ideation, I settled on a design. Throughout that process, though, I never really considered implied gender in design. Upon further inspection I feel my lamp is fairly gender neutral. Let me explain –
At first I was unsure. The long geometric form of the piece could potentially be considered to be phallic in nature. This was not my intent when I was creating the piece, however. I set out to construct a piece of furniture which was monolithic. I wanted it to strike a balance between standing out and remaining subdued in a living space. I believe the color of the walnut in combination with its graphic elements help add a sense of mystery to the design. These aspects help to ground it in gender neutrality.
In regards to meeting someone who does not seem distinctly male of female – I feel very comfortable in such a situation. I do not believe gender and sexuality should be confined to binary classification system. To do so feels old-fashioned and close-minded. I am all for challenging traditional expectations of masculinity and femininity as well. I’ve been at it since 2012.