Sunday, March 18, 2007

Gender-Switching Vienna's Signage

Vienna is making an attempt to move away from traditional gender roles in its public signs:
In mid-December, the Vienna City Council launched the "Vienna Sees It Differently" campaign, unveiling posters which featured the city's public pictographs – but with gender changes.

. . . By the end of the year, all city buildings will have signs featuring men changing diapers and women riding elevators. This month, the Vienna Public Transport system, which is also taking part in the campaign, will begin replacing old, tattered stickers for reserved seating with updated ones featuring men with babies, elderly women, and disabled women.
But while the city's stylized new depictions of men and women break down some stereotypes, they may reinforce others:
[Association of Austrian Safety Practioners representative Franz] Kaida, however, did have one question about the artistic liberties taken with the city's campaign signs: "Do you think that long hair, skirt, and boots represent all women?"

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Image credits: "3 Vienna - Tram Sign," The Good Reverend, available on Flickr via Creative Commons license.


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