as a child, you were all into girly things, and now you’ve grown out of that. You really don’t fit that stereotype at all anymore.’ But when I look back at what I was actually doing with the dolls, when I was playing with them I was doing exactly what I do now; I was designing things for their use.
It was all part of the design process and how people interact with things, it was a way of directing and developing those concepts as a kid within a given context. When a little boy plays with dolls or a kitchen set, he’s not saying, “I want to be in a specific gender role.” There’s so much more to child’s play than that.
“People look back to when I was a kid and played with dolls and they’re like, ‘you were so girly
This is Chloe. She's a designer, brick-layer, construction worker and property developer living in London.
Having studied product design at Camberwell College, Chloe has been making things and building things since she could hold a pencil. She enjoys rock-climbing, travelling around the most treacherous snow-boarding spots, fixing things around the house and studying Maimonides (an ancient Jewish philosopher) teachings. She's also a passionateVegan.
‘Oh you don’t cook meat for your husband, that’s really bad.’ Do you know what I mean? I’d rather they were like… ‘Oh you made that shelf? Wow look at her she made that shelf, good for you.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeh I made that shelf, and that porch, and those stairs, see look I can bring something to the relationship, even if it’s not meat.’
I’ve got to pick my battles you know, and in terms of our gender roles, I’d rather they were surprised and impressed by what I do do, rather than be
disappointed by the things I don’t do.”
which is why I find it difficult when I'm in environments where people don't see me as I see myself. I think that's the same for a lot of people, if you're constantly being misunderstood and people keep feeding back to you something which is different than how you see yourself, then that is obviously quite frustrating. How people respond to you is really
important in terms of reinforcing ideas you have about yourself."
“I’d rather people focus on the things I do and be confused by them, than focus on what I don’t do and be disappointed by them, like…
"I think identity is not just what you project and put out into the world, but it's also what other people reflect back onto you,
I'm a female - full stop. Then, there are all the things that I like. When those two things come together, it can make an interesting combination. People often don't expect me to like the things that I like or the things that I do to come hand-in-hand with my gender. 'Oh that's interesting for a girl to do that.'
Well for me it's not interesting, they're just the things I like, I've not consciously cultivated it as an intentional juxtaposition,
its literally just, I'm a person, I'm interested in these things and if me being a woman makes that somewhat more unusual or interesting then fine, that's you're problem.
To me, it's just who I am, but it obviously affects how people respond to me and respond to the things I like, I can't just ignore that. I can't not internalise when people are surprised by the things I do, or they're shocked about something I've done that may be unusual for a woman, especially for a woman my size. "