DS 123: Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2023)

Year: 2023
Editor: Buck, Lyndon; Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik
Author: Pérez Machin, Haizea
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Oslomet - Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway
Section: Responsible innovation in design and engineering education
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2023.95
ISBN: 978-1-912254-19-4


This article proposes an educational module that promotes the study of ecofeminism within product design in high education for ethical design thinking. Design materializes concepts and leads therefore to realities. Accordingly, it is important to provide a design education that acknowledges the significant changes design could make when loaded with ethical values. Ecofeminism is a philosophical current that involves the intersectionality of feminism and ecology, concepts that encompass gender and sustainability. Ecofeminist politics work with a focus on women and non-human nature, with the aim of liberation from power interactions and marginalization inside society structures, gender equality and ecology. Consequently, an ecofeminist design perspective is committed to having a care-centric vision towards gender and environmental protection. This proposal will be carried out through a collaborative methodology using utopian theory as a creative strategy for learning. Utopia is the idealistic illusion of a perfect reality. Thus, utopia as a vision can be the trigger to reflect on the paths our society should follow for further development. Furthermore, feminist utopia focuses on building the bridge between reality and illusion, as utopia is a precise cognitive act which could be a beneficial tool for design creation. Unifying ecofeminist philosophy and feminist utopian thinking, this paper presents an innovative way of working with ethical considerations in product design. Hence, it aims to improve the awareness of the need for a sustainable society in future designers, engaging them with some of the UN Sustainability Development Goals such as 5. Gender equality and 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Keywords: Ecofeminism, Education, Feminism, Product Design, Utopia.


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