Gender Roles: My Experience So Far Being a Male Within the World of Interior Design

There should be no surprise that women are the leaders in interior design. When an interior designer walks on site, it typically is a woman so who can blame us for thinking this way? I dove a little into the "why" on this topic in an earlier post. During the late 19th century, the industry demanded a more skilled approach during this era, this era also included the development of architecture and the birth of interior decoration as its own entity and profession. As a result, more women entered the field along with literature promoting decorating as a "woman's profession". " Going in, I knew I wouldn't see many males but I didn't fully comprehend how scarce it would actually be! So far, I've encountered maybe two men in my classes, which has brought up thoughts of how to act, how to cooperate, watching what I say, and wondering if architecture is really "for" men and design "for" women. To that, I say bullshit and here's why.

Being one of the few men in my classes has made me wonder why is interior design lacking male representation? Now, I'm not calling for men to run to this field and try to take over but I am curious. In all honesty, I was nervous about how I would be perceived by my peers for being male and not only male but a black male. There aren't too many of us in the field of either interior design or architecture to begin with so I knew my presence would be a rare one.

I love interior design and love the classmates that I've come across so far. As far as gender goes, it pretty much goes unnoticed in my opinion. The field is opening and welcoming with a bunch of creative minds willingly ready to show what they can do. Who could ask for a better environment? Sure, naturally it gets lonely because as a human, we will look for those who we have things in common with and having another male allows for that but I wouldn't change a thing.

All in all, gender is a social construct. Full stop. Interior Design (and any field for that matter) can be for anyone who has a passion for it. In today's world, women are breaking ground in architecture at a rapid pace and it's an amazing sight. True, architecture is a boy's club and is hard to break into so to see a diverse group shaking things up is inspiring. I can't wait to join them in the near future. Interior design is not only for women and architecture is not only for men. Follow your passion and shake shit up. Create.

It can only get better from here! Join me on my journey @noirandneutralsstudio on Instagram. With love, see y'all next time!

Are you an interior design or architecture student? Are you a design professional? Have something to add? Let's connect!