Abstract

This paper begins by offering a feminist reading of the visible increase in design research within the category of “women’s health”. A critical feminist reading of menstrual cycle tracking technologies is then used to investigate how the way that we frame design problems influences the artifacts produced and their impact within society. I argue that by re-framing design problems from the perspective of third and fourth wave feminism we can develop women’s health technologies that are more affirmative, inclusive and which celebrate difference and reflect the complexity around what it means to be a woman in today’s society. I illustrate the potential of this reframing by presenting three approaches to the design of menstrual tracking technologies that better adhere to current feminist ideologies.

Keywords:

women’s health; design problems; feminism; menstrual cycle tracking technologies

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

Reframing Design Problems Within Women’s Health

This paper begins by offering a feminist reading of the visible increase in design research within the category of “women’s health”. A critical feminist reading of menstrual cycle tracking technologies is then used to investigate how the way that we frame design problems influences the artifacts produced and their impact within society. I argue that by re-framing design problems from the perspective of third and fourth wave feminism we can develop women’s health technologies that are more affirmative, inclusive and which celebrate difference and reflect the complexity around what it means to be a woman in today’s society. I illustrate the potential of this reframing by presenting three approaches to the design of menstrual tracking technologies that better adhere to current feminist ideologies.

 

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