Francesca Perani’s gender neutral cut-outs celebrate inclusivity in digital renderings

Designed by Italian architect, illustrator and activist Francesca Perani, NEUTRA is a collection of 55 gender-fluid silhouettes flaunting only eyes, nipples and belly buttons.

by Meghna Mehta Published on : Apr 13, 2020

Designed by Francesca Perani, NEUTRA is a new collection against clichéd scale figures that go against the social norm in the design of cut-outs in architecture renderings. The new gallery of 55 gender-fluid cut-outs addresses the need for a more inclusive entourage in digital renderings designed by the the Italian architect, illustrator and activist.

Three series of architectural figures designed by Francesca Perani | Neutra Cutout Mix| Francesca Perani | STIRworld
Three series of architectural figures designed by Francesca Perani Image Credit: Courtesy of Francesca Perani

Talking about the objective behind this collection, Perani explains that "the goal of this project is to offer a new figurative environment for contemporary architectural drawings, embracing a peaceful, diverse, equal and inclusive vision of the designed future". Perani had been benefitting from the use of free open source material during her career and felt the urge to give back to the community while bringing a sense of responsibility to people of all colour, gender and abilities.

Architectural figures in ARCHIFUNKY designed by Francesca Perani for digital renderings | Neutra Cutout Mix| Francesca Perani | STIRworld
Architectural figures in ARCHIFUNKY designed by Francesca Perani for digital renderings Image Credit: Courtesy of Francesca Perani
It is clear to me that with this online experiment I am trying to offer a fairer architectural entourage for contemporary sensible projects. The platform is where architecture meets design meets photography, meets illustration, meets a desired peaceful and equitable world. – Francesca Perani, Architect, Illustrator and Activist
Italian architect, activist and illustrator Francesca Perani | Neutra Cutout Mix| Francesca Perani | STIRworld
Italian architect, activist and illustrator Francesca Perani Image Credit: Courtesy of Francesca Perani

The architect believes that architecture has moved away from photorealistic renders; she is always surprised how multiple times the characters populating project renderings were borrowed from well-known works of art with no regard for copyrights. “Conscious of how much the choice of cut-outs reveals about the social norm, I started Cutoutmix as the ideal platform for anyone interested in moving away from traditional projects and advocating a bold straightforward and more balanced world of design, ultimately a new bridge between architects and illustrators," mentions Perani.

How architecture figures from CALENDER designed by Francesca Perani can be used for digital renderings | Neutra Cutout Mix| Francesca Perani | STIRworld
How architecture figures from CALENDER designed by Francesca Perani can be used for digital renderings Image Credit: Courtesy of Francesca Perani

Perani has created two other collections of architecture figures in the past since 2016 when she started the platform Cutoutmix. The first set, called CALENDAR collection (designed in cooperation with visual artist Claudia Manenti) openly stands against copyright infringements, while ARCHIFUNKY cut-outs (realised in collaboration with interior designer Ilenia Perlotti) focuses on skin colour, differently-abled and a wider gender spectrum. The new NEUTRA collection is a provocative representation of a more gender-fluid society; the new jazzy cutouts are neither male nor female, but flaunt eyes, nipples and belly buttons.

  • How architecture figures from ARCHIFUNKY designed by Francesca Perani can be used for digital renderings | Neutra Cutout Mix| Francesca Perani | STIRworld
    How architecture figures from ARCHIFUNKY designed by Francesca Perani can be used for digital renderings Image Credit: Courtesy of Francesca Perani
  • Architectural scale figures that show people of different genders, colour and abilities | Neutra Cutout Mix| Francesca Perani | STIRworld
    Architectural scale figures that show people of different genders, colour and abilities Image Credit: Courtesy of Francesca Perani

In her illustrative design work, Perani calls time on the misrepresentation of reality as an unfair, unequally designed space convinced that architecture visualisation narratives need to move away from overused stereotypes.

All collections of architecture figures on the Cutoutmix website  | Neutra Cutout Mix| Francesca Perani | STIRworld
All collections of architecture figures on the Cutoutmix website Image Credit: Courtesy of Francesca Perani
NEUTRA collection is a new project raised by the need to express a more gender-fluid society. I wanted the collection to represent silhouettes where gender identity is not discrimination, it is instead a personal choice we should all respect. This is why NEUTRA uses one colour only, black. – Francesca Perani, Architect, Illustrator and Activist
  • Architectural figures that show people of different colours  | Neutra Cutout Mix| Francesca Perani | STIRworld
    Architectural figures that show people of different colours, genders and abilities Image Credit: Courtesy of Francesca Perani
  • Architectural figures that show people of different colours  | Neutra Cutout Mix| Francesca Perani | STIRworld
    Architectural figures that show people of different colours Image Credit: Courtesy of Francesca Perani

Being an architecture activist and a firm believer in the power of shared creativity through Cutoutmix, Perani offers free design tools as an effective instrument to bring about change in the profession, not only in visual renderings but in the mind of those who designed them. Cutoutmix - under the ownership of Francesca Perani Enterprise studio - provides over 500 free silhouettes available in open source. The three sets intend to continue to grow while being fully accessible under Creative Commons License. The platform has been accessed by over 69,000 users worldwide, with the highest number of downloads in China , United States, Brazil and Italy , further establishing Perani’s goal.

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