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Shemakes - Gender Futures Workshop

Goals of the get-together

This activity is to inspire and explore gender topics by textile students through a 3-hour world building and speculative design workshop. The workshop is aimed to raise awareness on gender biases and empower self expression and personal vision, to empower femininities to express their visions and to open up the discussion on the system of clothing. The chosen format is a three hour long workshop inviting a small group of students to encourage self expression, foster discussion and create new ideas around gender futures.



  • post-its
  • pens, markers
  • scissors and coloured paper
  • Print outs the GENDER FUTURES worksheets
  • photograph camera for documentation
  • screen and laptop for Presentation


We recommend 1-2 people to run the workshop for a group of 8-10 people.

  • Facilitator/ Moderator: leading the introduction of the workshop with presentation, and guide students throughout the workshop exercises.

  • Observer/documentation: Someone taking notes, writing down the interesting quotes and also keeping track of the results of the exercise. Taking pictures (& videos), don't forget to have the consent forms signed. This could be the same person as the facilitator if a small group of 5-6 people.


  • Drinks & snacks
  • Print the GENDER FUTURES worksheets
  • Prep room with work table and chairs, projector/screen with laptop, place materials on table


  1. Welcome & Shemakes Introduction(20 min)
  2. Introduction Workshop (10 min)
  3. Presentation Workshop (45 min)
  4. Workshop Activity (60 min)
  5. Discussion, reflection and conclusion (45 min)

1 - Welcome & Shemakes Introduction (20 min)

Let the participants arrive and feel welcome. If documentation is taking place make sure for the students to sign the consent forms. And any questions to arise.

Start by doing an introductory round of all participants, even if they already know each other. Ask them by telling their name, their current studies and interest and why they joined the workshop.

After this the lead moderator / facilitator will present a brief overview of the Shemakes project, its goals and the gender topics:

  • Shemakes introduction & goal: Empowering future female innovators of the sustainable fashion industry through inspiration, skills and networks. Within the shemakes project we use a three-pronged approach to reach our goals. We provide innovative learning paths for girls and women of various ages, concrete business support and connections, and inspiring stories of female role models.

  • The gender “question/ situation”: Women in the textile and clothing industry are currently most represented in the lowest-paying jobs; their positions are affected by systemic gender constructs while their natural and acquired skills are assigned low value in traditional business structures.

  • Goal of the day: Within this SheMakes workshop we are trying to inspire and empower young women in thinking how they could have the potential to become leaders in the field of textile and clothing industry. It inspires young women to think through new methods and ways of thinking about gender in their practice. It inspires them to use some of the methods and topics in their own work in the future.

2 - Introduction Workshop - (15 min)

Discussing ideas of speculative design, open discussion on what could be achieved during the session and what people will learn and can take away from it.

3 - Presentation Workshop - (45 min)

  • Brief introduction to speculative design and world building as a concept (15mins)
  • Brief introduction to gender as a concept with participants defining gender, typical feminine roles and their apparel, ways of dressing at work (15mins) Brief introduction to storytelling and the concept of what if* in creating stories. Focusing on gender identities & roles in another version of the world. The objective of defining clothing responding to the WHAT IF scenario. (15mins)

4 - Workshop Activity - (45 min)

Participants working on their ideas on a personal proposal of an apparel scenario responding to a what if world case using the provided worksheets and other materials (pens, markers, papers, scissors). The moderator is able to facilitate and ask further questions if students are struggling to start.


5 - Discussion, Reflections and Conclusion - (45 minutes)

All participants are able to present their ideas to the group and any feelings, thoughts or experiences that arose during the thinking process. Other participants are invited to join and discuss , to comment or share thoughts.

This open discussion provides also a moment to reflect on mutual findings, similarities or differences. Any conclusions may be made of the exercise and how the students might take on the workshop or methods forward into their own practice.

Last update: October 18, 2022