Designing Motherhood

  • Designing Motherhood
  • Designing Motherhood
  • Designing Motherhood
  • Designing Motherhood
  • Designing Motherhood
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While birth often brings great joy, making babies  is a knotty enterprise. The designed objects that surround us when it  comes to menstruation, birth control, conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and early motherhood vary as oddly, messily, and dramatically as the stereotypes suggest. This smart, image-rich, fashion-forward, and design-driven book explores more than eighty designs—iconic, conceptual,  archaic, titillating, emotionally charged, or just plain strange—that  have defined the relationships between people and babies during the past  century.

Each object tells a story. In striking images and engaging text, Designing Motherhood  unfolds the compelling design histories and real-world uses of the  objects that shape our reproductive experiences. The authors investigate  the baby carrier, from the Snugli to BabyBjörn, and the (re)discovery of the varied traditions of baby wearing; the tie-waist skirt, famously  worn by a pregnant Lucille Ball on I Love Lucy, and essential for camouflaging and slowly normalizing a public pregnancy; the home pregnancy kit, and its threat to the authority of male gynecologists;  and more. Memorable images—including historical ads, found photos, and  drawings—illustrate the crucial role design and material culture plays  throughout the arc of human reproduction. 

  • Authors:  Michelle Millar Fisher, Amber Winick, Alexandra Lange
  • Hardcover  
  • Publisher: MIT Press, 2021
  • 344 pages, 10.3" x 7.3"125 color illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780262044899 
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