Tampons. The pill. Stirrups. The speculum. The breast pump. Postpartum underwear. Family leave. Cribs and baby monitors. Designs for reproductive lifespans have long been taboo and are rarely, if ever, held up to the light and scrutinized in public. Yet every living being today shares the universal circumstance of being born, and the objects and systems that impact con(tra)ception, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum unquestionably shape the subsequent arc of our lives in unique ways.
Designing Motherhood takes a close, multidimensional look at such designs. The project will
manifest as a multi-site exhibition (at the Mutter Museum and the Center for Architecture and Design), book (MIT Press), and series of public programs helmed by Philadelphia-based thought leaders, Maternity Care Coalition (MCC), unfolding throughout 2021. MCC seeks to improve the health and well-being of pregnant people and parenting families for an equitable future.
The Designing Motherhood collaboration is influenced by a very particular social location: a country which ranks last worldwide for paid family leave provisions, where maternal mortality has doubled since 1991, and where reproductive justice is inflected by experiences of race, gender, and class, among other intersections. Join MCC and the Designing Motherhood curators as they convene designers, health workers, and activists to discuss the universal and urgent design challenges, needs, and opportunities at the intersections of design and reproductive justice.
1. Tekara Gainey , doula, Maternity Care Coalition
2. Loretta Ross , pioneer of reproductive justice and Dalkon Shield survivor
3. Fran Wang, co-founder, Yona speculum
Moderated by: curators Michelle Millar Fisher and Amber Winick