Menstruation at Work
How might we improve the experience of menstruating in the workplace?
Academic Work: RISD Spring 2021
What does it mean to live in a world that in not designed for menstruation, but is widely populated by people who menstruate? My exploration moved from thinking about stigma and the most common symptoms experienced by menstruators - fatigue, to thinking about the most effective site for intervention - the cubicle itself.
Initial Concept: Care Station
Out of all the symptoms of menstruation, most menstruators experience fatigue, cramps and low mood - based on User Surveys. I designed a prototype that aimed to encourage rest in the workplace, since menstruators also told me that they avoided taking a day off/resting if they could, sometimes 'pushing through' pain as well.
This also implied that there is stigma around acknowledging menstruation itself, so the design was meant to make menstruation itself explicit.
In terms of improving the experience of menstruation itself, I noticed and tested the idea that the most effective site for intervention would be the toilet cubicle itself. Normally menstrual care dispensers are outside of the cubicle. And the experience of menstruation means often realising and having to deal with changing products, soiling, and pain in the privacy of the cubicle itself.
Within the cubicle site my design proposes a Menstruation Unit that is easy to use, retrofit, modify based on budget, and is cost effective.
The unit combines the need for running water and soap with product dispensing inside the cubicle itself - when you need it the most.
It is made with a lightweight plastic, and matches the toilet paper dispenser in dimensions.
The products add up to $30 which last ~6 months.
The design can be adapted to various budgets - with sensor activated taps vs. an analog push button on the floor.
For the next phase of this I would develop a more refined model to test in different cubicle locations. This would help me develop both the form of the sink but also the heights, and test the effectiveness and ergonomics of how the unit works.