The winners in the two categories of the new iphiGenia Gender Design Award/iGDA for outstanding gender-sensitive design have been selected:
the iGDA Evolution goes to young New York-based company thinx and their innovative products for “real menstruating humans”. The agency Mindshare Denmark will be honoured with the iGDA Revolution for their Image Hack campaign that challenges stereotypical imagery associated with women. The award is presented by the international Gender Design Network/iGDN.
The public awards ceremony with representatives of the two award-winning companies will take place on 12 October 2017 at 7pm at the Cologne Museum of Applied Arts/MAKK.
The 2017 iphiGenia Gender Design Award “Evolution” goes to New York-based company Thinx.
Founded in 2011, Thinx has been rapidly expanding and has already received several business awards. The company designs and produces innovative menstruation slips as an alternative to conventional products that truly makes life easier for girls and women. In order to overcome feelings of shame and a lack of knowledge among, in particular, young girls, Thinx provides information and education to boost girls’ confidence. This is also supported by the Thinx Foundation and its Global Girls Clubs initiative that empowers and educates girls, in particular in Africa, and fights shame in the context of female health issues.
Clearly, Thinx meets all of the criteria for the iphiGenia Gender Design Award Evolution. A company by women for women whose products, corporate identity and communication are not only uncompromisingly gender-sensitive, social and sustainable but also innovative, provocative and excellently designed. Thinx’s entire corporate image is designed in an extraordinarily gender-sensitive, consistent and bold way. Quite obviously, this approach has also resulted in great economic success, thus confirming how important intelligent gender-sensitive design is for both society and its economic perspectives.
The 2017 iGDA “Revolution” goes to the Image_Hack campaign by Danish agency Mindshare.
The media agency Mindshare Denmark demonstrates in an exemplary way how an excellently designed and subversively executed concept can shake up outdated images of women.
Mindshare Denmark teamed up with skin and hair care company Dove to break the stereotypical image of women portrayed in the media. Collaborating with advertising photographers, Mindshare Denmark produced images of strong, independent and genuine women in non-stereotypical situations and professions. These images were uploaded to Shutterstock and tagged in order to alter the search results, with the tagging also being designed in an empathically gender-sensitive way.
The jury considers this campaign particularly gender-sensitive and innovative, as it hacks the advertising industry from the inside. The action of legally infiltrating a very powerful and established infrastructure like Shutterstock provides a foundation for creating more gender-sensitive advertising.
As an intentionally open-access design action, this campaign also provides a platform that invites participation and collective effort, as it actively encourages advertising photographers to produce realistic images of women and, hopefully, inspires advertising agencies to use these photos. Additionally, the design is extremely sustainable because Image_Hack can continue to grow if professionals keep replacing misogynist images and thus essentially change the digital and printed reality.