Gendered interactions mediated by design: Sexual harassment in public transport

Pinar Kaygan*, Harun Kaygan, Asuman Keysan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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This paper explores the gendered interactions that are mediated by designed products in actual use contexts. Our case is vehicle design for public transportation, a product category that is from the outset relatively gender-neutral, when compared to explicitly gender-segregated categories such as household electronics, cars and toys, even if its real users are more often women than men. The empirical basis of research comes from interviews with women passengers. Our analysis demonstrates that seemingly gender-neutral designs can be merely gender-blind in that they have significant impact in the gendered experiences of its users – which includes, in this case, being exposed to or feeling the risk of sexual harassment and assault in public transportation as a woman. Therefore, feminist design interventions into mobility environments can provide immediate practical solutions that would be complementary to the policy and law making efforts that are necessary to ensure safety for women in public transport.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDesign and Culture
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Gender
  • Design
  • Public transport
  • Script
  • Mobility
  • Women


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