Young people develop and design gender sensitive pictures of people and technology. A participatory technology research project to compile a non-sexist image database

The primary goal of this project was to empower high school students to analytically reflect images of people and technology. In order to gain sensitivity to critic approach towards this sort of images, the material regarding the represented gender dimensions was analyzed.

In a first step the participating researchers and high school students took a closer look at selected photographical material of people and technology. In the following, the high school students selected their most favoured images of people in a specific context (images of technical occupations, technical products etc.) in print media (newspapers, weekly magazines, youth magazines) for an in-depth analysis. In this primary analysis of images criteria on what gender-sensitive images should look like were developed.

Through continuous exchange between high school students and researchers the group acquired a common basic knowledge, enabling the high school students to perform field work with the objective to produce gender sensitive images of people and technology in a chosen context. A transdisciplinary approach was the basis of this process, including future professional photographers who may benefit from this cooperation with the high school students by learning important aspects of gender representations for their own production of images.

At the beginning of the project the high school students already have paid high attention to the representation of people, women and men likewise, and technology in images and this enabled them to avoid stereotyping people and technology in their self-made images. The images produced by the high school students were implemented in an image database relevant for future research purposes.

This project has been completed.