Duration: 2019 - 2020
Role: Research and Writing, Graphic Designer, Soldering, 3D Building, AR Filter Design and AR Filter Building (with Spark AR)
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Rights Studio is a design fellowship program created by Child Rights International Network where graduates explore the intersection between art and activism for 7 months focusing on human and children’s rights. The fellowship was piloted for the first time with Anna Tsuda, Maria Than, Safiya Ahmed, and myself in 2019 which founded the Red Cloud Project.
This project consisted of building the "Period Cloud", an interactive printing machine providing information on various topics within menstruation, and co-authoring "From Your Big Sisters: A Guide on Periods and Everything Around It", an educational book on menstruation.
Through this project, we also received the opportunity to run a Period Tracking Bracelet workshop at MenstrUAL Festival, organised by UAL's Post-grad community, and feature in the Empower Period Podcast hosted by Irise International.
Book: From Your Big Sisters (book version) - coming soon
Period Cloud, an interactive printing machine providing factual information on menstrual health and period poverty, crowdsourced stories about anything period-related, and positive stories of menstruation across cultures and religions.
The user simply presses a button and learns something new about periods. Our aim is to encourage discussion around periods and to open up the conversation as much as possible. The receipt acts as a springboard for dialogue, or simply for the user to reflect on the content. This was a way for us to explore alternative and creative ways of delivering knowledge or engaging with our audience. All content was extracted from our upcoming book.
The Period Cloud was showcased at Tate Modern for International Women’s Day 2020.
As we were writing our book, we wanted to explore alternative ways of sharing knowledge and engaging audiences in discussing important social topics in public or community spaces. Activism starts with a conversation or simply sharing your opinion.
First, we looked for a way to store the information and found a storage box shaped like a cloud. We then carefully planned out what each of the 5 buttons, screen, and the printer was going to do. As the storage box was made from wood we were able to drill 5 large holes in the correct size to fit each bottom using an electric hole saw in the UAL Camberwell workshop. We then laser cut the red drops to attach to the buttons. Using a silhouette machine we created the labels.
Tech-wise, we used the Arduino microcontroller, a thermal printer, and a LCD screen. One of our team members was a Master's student in Creative Computing who has tested the tech beforehand. Once we had programmed the buttons to the printer and screen, we assembled the cloud and tidied up the wires for the final prototype.
PERIOD TRACKING BRACELET WORKSHOP
Wearing a period tracking bracelet is a tangible way of visualising the menstrual phases throughout the month. We found sitting and talking with people while they made their personalised bracelets to be an engaging experience since it's not often you can ask strangers what stage they are in their menstrual cycle.
Through the Red Cloud Project, we have encountered many exciting opportunities like taking part in Irise’s Empower Period podcast in May. We discussed Menstruation in the Media and explored how menstruation is written about within religions. The podcast was hosted by Acushla Young and Maria Tomlinson.
Additionally, we hosted a segment on Irise's One World Period event for Menstrual Hygiene Day (Thursday 28th May). The livestreamed event featured entertainment and educational sections co-created by the menstrual health community who care about restoring power to the most vulnerable menstruators. Using the content of the book, we shared about how menstruation is spoken about within different religions and the '5 WHY'S' exercise as a way to get to the root of an issue.