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ERINN SAVAGE – Performance
Tomorrow 15:00 GMT

Self Initiated- SELF-Brand Manifesto

Self is a wellness brand, promoting the benefits that masturbation has on an individuals’ mental health and self esteem. Self provides a range of products which are gender neutral as well as hosting events to promote body confidence. The term ‘self love’ replaces masturbation, to emphasise the benefits as well as moving away from the term which seems both mechanical and hyper-sexualised.

Brand Ethos

The colour palette chosen by Self includes a range of earth tones to suit all genders. The earth tones give off a feeling of nature, which works as a metaphor to emphasise the naturalness of masturbation. The colours contradict the usual colours of ‘sex toy’ branding, to clearly differentiate Self from them and target a younger audience by being less intimidating.

User Journey

Jo’s story shows a young person going through a difficult time of self doubt. With pressures of social media and pornography on both body confidence and sexual performance, adolescents can be left with feelings of low self esteem. Self ethos shows the benefits of self love emphasised by psychosexual therapists by explaining ‘if you learn to love and respect your own body, you will go on to love and respect others too.’

Form Exploration

These are material samples from the development stage of the project. The idea was to play around with ambiguous forms and materials to disconnect with conventional sex toys and create something which is gender neutral. The idea of the products is to leave the imagination up to the user, and to pass as unrelated objects. The inspiration for the half egg shape is taken from worry stones used in meditation, to redesign masturbation as a wellness ritual.

Leading Insight

Currently Scotland has the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Europe, compared to The Netherland which remains at the lowest. My dissertation looked at influencing factors including sexual health and relationship education in schools. The key insights were the tone of voice which sex is transmitted to young people. The Dutch’s positive and pro-sex approach with the introduction of pleasure is contrasted with the clinical tone projected by the Scottish curriculum. SELF’s ambition is to tackle this issue without the challenging task of changing the education curriculum. SELF’s aim is to educate young people that both masturbation and sex are natural and create positive views surrounding sex. This will reduce the act of rebellion from the clinical style of education which results in risky behaviours.

Research Tool

The reserved attitudes present in Scottish culture can often result in ‘prudishness’ when discussing sex. This has a negative impact on young people's mental and sexual health, preventing the discussion of important issues regarding sexual health due to fear. This research tool provided me with insights on what young people felt most uncomfortable speaking about, but in a lighthearted and interactive way breaking down barriers which are present in education.

Future Expierences - The Blended Healthcare System 2030

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increased global emphasis placed on the pursuit of new cures and vaccines. I decided to flip the brief on its head, and look at what we could learn from the Global South - the western way is not the only way. The Blended Healthcare system aims to develop cures whilst introducing cultural sensitivity in medicine by encouraging collaboration between different practices, traditional and conventional medicine. The system introduces a new healthcare role – the Treatment Mediator and Consultant (TMC).

Personal Health Records

Due to conventional medicine being considered the best way to treat illness, trust must be established before traditional medicine can be accepted by society. To reduce any speculation on new treatments as a result of the newly developed system, devices have been created allowing patients to access their own health records. The health records are stored and accessed through fingerprint biometric data which provide updates on advice from the TMCs or doctors, previous and future appointments, treatments given, analysis of health and goals set by doctors and TMCs.

Africa's answer to Ebola

The research for the project was based around the International NGO - Prometra, The Andrew Young Foundation and Morehouse Medical School Ebola project. Through the combination of traditional African medicine and conventional medicine, they found plant extracts that are a ritual of African traditional medicine which stopped the growth of the Ebola virus. In the press conference conducted relating to these findings, all partners urged for more organisations to work with them in order to transform healthcare through working together. Link to full video: Link to press conference: Prometra’s take on COVID-19: