Gender and diversity are underrated aspects in engineering research and design. One-dimensional or stereotypical assumptions about target groups can lead to dangers for users, problems of acceptance or economic failures.
This is demonstrated by historical examples, such as the development of crash test dummies that were originally standardized to male and non-pregnant bodies. Empirical studies show that a social and historical contextualization of technical knowledge improves technological products and leads to an increased awareness of responsibility. Moreover, it is especially attractive to female students. Many of them aim at reflecting the consequences of their professional actions. To date, these interdisciplinary bridges between engineering knowledge and gender studies are barely built.
The project "GenderING" aims at integrating gender studies into engineering courses that concentrate on development tasks. We understand gender studies as research on inequalities and a reflexive knowledge production. This shift in the content of engineering courses requires a didactical reconceptualization based on research-oriented and problem-based learning and studying.
This project is going to be realized exemplarily in the course lecture "Einführung in die Karosserieentwicklung" ("Introduction to car body development") at the Institut für Konstruktionstechnik (Institute for Engineering Design).