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This master's thesis explores masculinity, stereotyping, parenting, and education.

Project Type 
Graduate Thesis

Context
MFA Products of Design, School of Visual Arts
Guidance from Allan Chochinov and the entire PoD Faculty
May 2017 to May 2018

GENTLEmen explores gender identity, masculinity, stereotyping, parenting, education, and male culture. I spent the year investigating the restrictive nature placed on men and the necessity for men to conform to a masculine ideal, which is destructive to themselves and to those around them. Through the feminist movement, most would acknowledge there has been a concerted effort towards teaching girls traditionally masculine traits. This thesis argues we need a similar, foundational shift to teach boys feminine traits. Given all the forces against ‘feminine’ behavior in boys, we need to push the pendulum past the center. I hope to challenge influential adults in boys’ lives, and make them rethink the stereotypes they project onto boys and instead, encourage traditionally feminine traits.


Final Thesis Presentation

May 5, 2018


Thesis Documentation Book

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Projects Overview

Boy Scout Badges

Boy Scout Badges is a suite of boy scout merit badges that promotes and values traditionally feminine activities, laid out by likelihood of acceptability in today’s society. This product aims to address the following question—what if boys valued feminine activities as much as masculine ones?

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Bathroom Signs

Bathroom Signs were designed in response to the question of whether color defines gender. The set of signs flips the traditional color palette, and assigns blue for girls and pink for boys.

Pledge of Emotions

Pledge of Emotions is a web service that is designed in an effort to help teachers encourage emotional expression. It structures a morning routine for teachers to perform with their students, where students act out and learn the full range of emotions.

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Spectra

Spectra is a product design initiative to develop physical tools that promote gender-inclusiveness and gender neutrality in an early childhood (pre-kindergarten) classroom environment. Andrew developed this initiative with fellow classmate Alexia Cohen.

Campaigns

Campaigns is a series of advertisement concepts that leverage well known brands as vehicles to project the message and point of view of this thesis into the world. Three primary messages were portrayed in the campaigns—1) break deep-seated masculine stereotypes, 2) question our implicit notions, and 3) establish a new masculine ideal.

BabyGym

BabyGym is a piece of critical product design that illustrates a hyper-masculine concept for fathers to spend time with their newborns by using the baby as weight during intense lifting exercises. BabyGym aims to provoke a meaningful discussion on what it means to be a father today, and ask why it is not “normal” for dads to engage in caring and nurturing activities with their child.

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FamJam

FamJam is an event that brings together prospective and current fathers to bond over the challenges of fatherhood and the difficulties in creating a relationship with their child. Because men are often not provided the appropriate and respected emotional space to discuss the transformation associated with becoming a father, FamJam helped create it for them.