In 2016, Samsung's mobile division approached Studio Duuri with a problem:
In the US market at the time, their customer base skewed significantly male.
Our team sought to understand the phenomena through user and market research, and were given a time frame of 3 months to deliver our findings along with remedy guidelines and production concepts to Samsung Mobile.
My Role:
I assisted with research and design of focus group tests, and my main responsibilities were sample production and final synthesis of findings into production concepts.

Phase 1 Research) We began with broad research of trends and megatrends in societal norms concerning gender and self expression. We looked at competitors and other markets to understand in what ways design affects perceived expression. We also collected a lot of data through surveys.
The Challenge:
There are no official rules for how to design for men, or how to design for women, or how to design for both.
A product's function has cultural implications about gender roles that go beyond design and what is seen as neutral has changed over time and depends heavily on context. 
Nuanced shifts in form, color, and surface treatment affect our perception of an object's expression.

Phase 2 User Testing) We conducted two focus group tests with a diverse range of participants from the New York region to test design direction hypotheses formed from our research. We presented participants with material samples that we’d collected and produced. We sought to foster dialogue (indirectly) of how they thought about gender expression in design and the products they buy, and asked them to rank samples on various spectra.
Phase 3 Synthesis) With user research findings in mind, we went back to the studio to develop design guidelines and inspiration essences for client use. A major focus was experimentation to blur traditional association of line, form, color, finish, and texture to generate compositions with neutral appeal.  Again, we aimed to avoid both extremes of a traditional spectrum.
Ultimately, a large visual and physical index was formed that exhibited our findings and design direction concepts.

other work