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Home » How to Design Workplaces & Cities For Women: Virginia Santy (Transcript)

How to Design Workplaces & Cities For Women: Virginia Santy (Transcript)

Here is the full text and summary of Virginia Santy’s talk titled “How to Design Workplaces & Cities For Women” at TEDxMileHigh conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


Virginia Santy – Strategic Communications Specialist

Do you feel comfortable? Really think about your experience right now. Are you too hot or too cold? How does your butt feel sitting in this chair? Do you feel safe? These questions might seem a little silly, but silly for different reasons depending on your gender identity.

We don’t really ask these questions of men because for the most part, we don’t have to. Our environments are built for men and how they experience the world. For you women, these questions are different because we are so conditioned to accept our own discomfort. To accept the environment or systems around us as normal and natural, we often fail to realize when they don’t quite fit us. We just work around it.

How many of you women are carrying a purse or a bag big enough to fit an extra sweater or a down comforter in case you get cold sometime today? The truth is, the world wasn’t built for women. In fact, in nearly every way, it’s been quite literally built for men. From Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man to a concept called the Modular Man from the mid-20th century, we’ve used men’s bodies to measure what we feel is normal and appropriate in our world. Then we’ve used those measurements to build everything around us, from chairs and doorways to buildings and cars.

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