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Designer Joey Zeledón infuses transgender journey into design approach

"Transgender Journey Design"
“Transgender Journey Design”

Famed designer and Be Yourself advocate, Joey Zeledón, having worked with prominent brands like Clarks, Steelcase, and OXO, announced his transgender identity around a year ago. Since then, he has leveraged his personal journey to fuel his creative process and advocate for LGBTQ+ inclusivity in design.

Zeledón perceives his design skills and his transition as interconnected, insisting that self-awareness, willingness to challenge norms, and an adaptability to fresh perspectives are essential in both. He believes harnessing these similarities could foster empathy and inclusivity in the design industry.

According to Zeledón, design and self-transformation are about profound, enduring metamorphosis. Like his personal journey, design is about the creation of a new narrative that requires open-minded understanding and acceptance, rather than simple aesthetic modification.

Language plays a key role for Zeledón, both in the formation of his products and his personal transformation.

Infusing transgender journey into design insights

Convinced of the power of words, he uses language to conceptualize and humanize his designs. It is through language that Zeledón dove deeply into understanding his true identity.

Zeledón argues that aspects such as form, color, and materials can influence the perception and use of objects, just as his personal experience required him to reassign his gender to resonate with his true self. The link between physical properties and personal identity, as asserted by Zeledón, presents a new conversation in design.

In essence, Zeledón’s work uncovers a unique alignment residing between design and transgender identity, introducing a fresh perspective on personal transformation and the amalgamation of professional abilities with intimate life experiences. His findings propose that the journey of a designer can be paralleled to the transgender experience, both requiring creativity, bravery, and a profound understanding of self, inviting further investigation into the intersection of professionalism with gender identity.

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