SPECULATIVE DESIGN: BODY, BORDER, LAW
The workshops are free but limited to 8 – 10 participants each. No previous knowledge required. The workshop language is English. If you want to participate, please send an email to Felix Gerloff (email@example.com).
Medications and medical instruments, particularly those used in the management of fertility, are artefacts whose design is pivotal to their social, cultural and political value. Contraceptive and abortive medications and medical practices – from menstrual extraction kits to Plan B, from pennyroyal tea to Cytotec – are designed to operate within political systems that hierarchise, normalise and discipline the body.
This session invites participants to interrogate design’s position and role in the intricate mix of law, culture, gender politics, science, and technology that surrounds these issues. Together, we will speculate on the future of contraceptive and abortive medications and the relationship among design, medicine, gender, and sexuality. We will investigate how the erasure of indigenous knowledges has influenced public policies governing fertility and contraception in the Global South, and how shifting geopolitical borders may redirect the use and distribution of certain medications. We will discuss how design enacts systemic oppressions, and explore what kinds of critical and emancipatory practices may emerge in contexts where sovereignty over one’s body is not a given. Mixing fact and fiction, current events and imagined futures will be explored through improvisation theatre and role play. There is a possibility that sensitive topics related to fertility and contraception might be discussed, so caution is advised to attendants who might feel distressed by these subjects.
This event is hosted in collaboration with Critical Media Lab Basel, Academy of Art and Design FHNW (www.ixdm.ch).