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Should i Have Kids?

2022 - 2023
Interviews, Animatiom, Pottery
Research process at the Royal College of Art,
MA in Information Experience Design
Professor - Charlotte Jarvis

Should I have kids?

In this exercise, I decided to approach the brief on the future of reproduction from a personal point of view.

I asked friends and family members if they think I should start a family. As part of our conversations, many questions arise regarding pregnancy and giving birth, reasons for making this choice, money issues, the climate crisis, the complex life in Israel, Jewish tradition, complexity and politics of having children as a gay man and more.

Fence-sitters Club

If it exists on Reddit it exists also outside of Reddit. I decided to form the IRL “fence sitters club”. In order to get into the club you must get a tattoo and share why you consider yourself a fence sitter. The club has gatherings, barbecues and some merch, and can help you feel like you are not alone with your doubts. Parents are welcome, as long as they are still questioning their decision, or are talking freely about the things they regret regarding their choice.

Menstrual cycle tracking calendar

This object was made following an article in the Guardian “Why US women deleting their period tracking apps?”.

This article covers privacy issues with menstrual cycle tracking apps in the US after Roe vs Wade was overturned. 

 

“Many American women in recent days have deleted period tracking apps from their cellphones, amid fears the data collected by the apps could be used against them in future criminal cases in states where abortion has become illegal.”

 

The cycle tracking calendar provides an “analog” data collection that visualizes a year of menstrations. Every bleeding day is marked by folding in down, then the red color is revealed.

History of art moms

Perceptions of parenting and family structure have changed a lot since some of this art was made. However, the theme of parenting has always been a central theme in art, with the image of the mother and the child (who was born from the image of Mary and Jesus) being the most famous of all. But do we have a way of knowing anything about these mothers? How was motherhood for them? What difficulties did they face? Were they happy, or did they suffer from problems that today we are more aware of such as postpartum depression or difficulty getting used to motherhood?

Since we cannot understand these women in depth, I chose to use our most futuristic tool (which currently does not give any profound results) to try and understand what I can from the little information we do have about them - their faces frozen in time

I asked Reddit if I should have kids

In order to find a community that might sympathise with me, and perhaps also to find an answer to my question, I turned to the internet, and there I found the group known as ״fence sitters״ on Reddit which deals with questions around having children. Using a sentiment analysis tool, I checked which word combinations people repeat the most, and are they in a positive or negative context. The results are quite amusing since the algorithm is also written in a rather superficial way and therefore are a bit one-dimensional. However, I feel they are similar issues that came up in the interviews I held in Brief #1.

Pregnancy test 

This speculative pregnancy test is inspired by ancient fertility goddesses. Many mythologies have icons representing fertility, motherhood, and the creation of life.  The design is inspired by wheat, which is a symbol for fertility in many mythologies and cultures, also in judaism. 

Taking a pregnancy test is a moment of hope - either you want to be pregnant or not. In this sense this design touches both scenarios and serves as a kind of prayer to the goddesses of fertility. The object changes from the moment of the test to the moment of the result and develops crystals that originate from the ammonia in the urine, creating a beautiful fettish object. In a situation where you don't want to be pregnant and take this test at a gas station, or in the bathroom at your parents' house, the test turns the stressful wait into a beautiful moment. And if you are interested in pregnancy, you have a souvenir or a winning photo for social media.

How many children am I 
going to have?

As kids we often used to speculate about our future selves as parents. This object is recreating a childhood game we used to play in nature. Using a plant that can stick to clothes (goosegrass/ wild oat) we would throw a handful of leaves at each other, and the amount of leaves that stuck to our shirts represented how many kids we were going to have. I find it interesting that as children there is some playfulness and anticipation with the idea of being parents, something that tends to fade the closer we get to the point of decision. I feel like this game could revive some of the playfulness that we have as children while imagining our futures.