Kristi Bartlett, PhD, a new faculty member in the Product Design program, was recently interviewed on “Beyond Ray,” a podcast about women in industrial design created by Women in Design Seattle. The discussion covered Bartlett’s research, professional work and future at the University of Kentucky.
Bias In, Bias Out / with Kristi Bartlett
Bias and its impact has been studied in STEM fields now for several years, but design, a discipline that places less emphasis on degrees and academic research, has had a gap in this same conversation. Kristi, our guest this week, is tackling that. Her projects so far have uncovered flawed research parameters in spatial reasoning tests, prioritization of men’s voices in the podcast space and a devaluing and partitioning of women’s skills that both shuffles us into certain areas of design at higher rates and demotes the significance of the work then done in those fields. Understanding the impact all of these subtle sexist undercurrents have had in our field is crucial not only for the professionals in our industry but for the countless consumers who are being potentially harmed by less effective products. We hope everyone who learns from Kristi can help us undo these narratives and build towards equity.