Uta Brandes . Body-Guard Design: Gender, Violence and Agency
Body-Guard Design

Gender, Violence and Agency


  • Uta Brandes TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences





body, material, subjection, gender fluidity


This essay focuses on one of the numerous aspects in design that illustrates the necessity of including gender. It discusses gender identities between subjection and agency within the broad realm of matters, textiles, and fashion. The article exemplarily wanders through various forms of social oppression and exploitation of women in history as well as today, but also offers perspectives of resilience and resistance. Although totally different from each other, they have one phenomenon in common: it is both the body and the material that matters. In the end, the possibility of transforming the social making of objectified and subjectified bodies into fluid identities is discussed.

How to Cite

Brandes, U. (2019). Body-Guard Design: Gender, Violence and Agency. Cubic Journal, 2(2), 48–67. https://doi.org/10.31182/cubic.2019.2.017



Author Biography

Uta Brandes, TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences

Dr. Uta Brandes is an author and frequent visiting lecturer at German and international universities (e.g. Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, the USA, Egypt, and Australia). Until mid-2015 she was Professor for Gender & Design and Design Research at the Koeln International School of Design, University of Technology, Arts and Science, Cologne. She is co-initiator and chairperson of the international Gender Design Network / iGDN, and cofounder of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Designtheorie und -forschung (German Association of Design Theory and Design Research). Together with Michael Erlhoff she runs “be design”, consulting with institutions and companies on design-related issues.


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