Techno Tampons: Menstrual Hygiene Products as Technologies Workshop with Dr. Milena Radzikowska
Through this micro-make, we will encourage our participants to think about the space created by menstruation, design, and technology through a critical, provo-making lens. We will engage our participants in a "thinking through making" activity to tackle the above-listed questions using topic-emergent materials—imagine boxes of pads, tampons, and cups and boxes of circuits, LEDs, motors, and rubber bands. Our objectives are in no way to solve the problem of menstruation, nor to investigate how users interact with hygiene products in their everyday life. Rather, we follow Dunne and Raby in attempting to "challenge narrow assumptions, preconceptions, and givens about the role (menstrual) products (and menstruation) play in everyday life". Our questions will be as follows: - what can we learn about the territory of designing for comfort and discomfort by intersecting technology and menstruation; - how can design help to disrupt the problematic, binary social and cultural norms surrounding menstruation; and - how does the reframing of menstrual hygiene products as technology change our approaches to their design?