This reality documentary follows a group of 12 young designers competing to win a 6 month internship at Philippe Starck's agency in Paris. It follows a very similar structure to the Apprentice but instead of being business focussed it is about design. Although mainly about product design this episode was of interest to me as the competitors were asked to search a supermarket and find two items that were -
The most ecological and least ecological.
The most masculine and most feminine
The most and least functional
The most and least useful
I was interested to see who would select the male and female category and what would they select.
Unfortunately only two people selected this category, and they selected.
Condoms & Tampons
Starke however said the condoms could be classed as feminine due to the flexibility and softness.
These are traits linked to femininity through association.
Somebody else picked.
A joystick and multi-socket extension
This person did the best out of all the candidates as he explained his reasonings using symbolism.
He explained that the joystick had phallic connotations and thus linked to masculinity in this way. Whilst the multi-socket extension represented multi-tasking women.
This would have been more interesting if everyone had of had to pick male and female objects, but it was really interesting to see what people associate with masculinity and femininity. The symbolism aspect is really interesting. Where do these symbols come from? Why do we associate certain things with masculinity and femininity?