Next event:
ERINN SAVAGE – Performance
Tomorrow 15:00 GMT

Future Experiences Project - Mother

Mother is a speculative LGBTQ health brand, offering discreet care under the guise of consumer products through an imaginative distribution network. Brand ambassadors or ‘Mothers’ act as representatives for the service’s members, providing information on risks the community may face and advising on a range of products to be distributed to members. These might include items relating to self-care, health and peace of mind.

Mother - Context

The project is a response to the current persecution of people pursuing same-sex relationships in some countries in the Global South. The brand name, Mother, is inspired by surrogate families which exist within the LGBTQ community, and the service itself is intended to mirror this dynamic. By posing as consumer goods and infiltrating existing supply networks, Mother will covertly provide illicit care and support to people forced into living secret lives.

Mother - Moodboard

While I began the project designing a service to covertly deliver medication, the scope quickly expanded to address the additional emotional impact which living in isolation and secrecy can cause. More than just providing medication, I wanted Mother to be a service which recognised and supported people from the LGBT community in countries and environments where traditional and official avenues would not. This ethos would be reflected in the choice of products distributed to members, with items related to relaxation and self-care offering moments of peace and tranquillity to make members feel valued and cared for.

Mother - Prototype

Early prototypes explored ways of delivering sexual health products and test kits with discretion and secrecy. Here a box of sweets acts as a decoy for the delivery of health products stashed underneath.

Mother - User Journey

Mother is intended as a small but powerful token of love and validation for people who have been ostracised from their families and communities. While the larger fight to eradicate homophobia around the world continues, Mother focuses on tangible moments of personal support and care, empowering individuals so that they might continue to live, seek community, and fight for their rights.

Self-Initiated Project - Maker

Maker reimagines the relationship between craftspeople and social media. While the online platform economy has in many ways saved the craft industry by allowing independent craftspeople to reach wider and more lucrative audiences, it has also introduced distinct new challenges to do with mastering social medias and marketing yourself online. Maker is a response to this juxtaposition of skill sets, attempting to create a seamless bridge between analogue craft practices and online sharing.

Maker - Homescreen

The project was designed in collaboration with a range of local craftspeople throughout Glasgow. The insights they provided went on to influence the design of the service, incorporating their complaints and suggestions. Many remarked that social media felt like a job too far removed from their craft practice, while others commented that properly communicating their personality or value was an ongoing challenge. The challenge then became to design a platform which felt like a continuation of their craft practice.

Maker - Research Quotes

Early research included examining existing social media platforms used by craftspeople, to map the kind of interactions which they uniquely cultivate. Instagram was mainly described to be about style and image, whereas Twitter represented voice and personality. The leading craft selling platform Etsy was described as being the most sales driven, while neglecting some of the capacity to show personality and process which other platforms facilitated. Collectively, each platform represented a facet of the contemporary craftperson's practice, but no one platform encompassed all of these elements, and all felt distinctly separate from the practice of craft itself.

Maker - Platform Research

Further research into existing platforms demonstrated distinct "types" of profile employed by craftspeople. Some makers cultivated a unique aesthetic to draw attention, while others relied more on their personality, sociality, or insights into their making process in order to cultivate interest. I wanted the Maker platform to facilitate all approaches, and furthermore assist craftspeople in identifying and developing their own unique style and approach, something which no current platform does.

Maker - Products

A range of physical products further blur the lines between craft and social media. 'Peek' lives overhead in the workplace or studio, allowing potential customers to 'peek' inside, as if looking through a shop window. 'Gander' lives on a desktop or worktable, capturing an insight into craft process from the makers perspective, while 'Yap' facilitates live interaction between maker and followers by broadcasting into the space. Products can be used individually or in combination to support each makers distinct personality or style.