Dismantling feminist biology through the design of etextiles

We present the design of a toolkit that explores textile materials with electronics as interaction material for intimate health literacy, and method for engaging women in self-care. This toolkit includes a series of artifacts designed for research. A range of design and craft techniques were used, and materials explored, as medium to engender conversations between communities of women on practices of intimate care. The toolkit consists of a set of materials for the following two activities 1) body mapping and 2) do-it-yourself (DIY) wearable eTextiles. We present findings from our case study that included iterations with the toolkit within four discrete workshops, and a total of 22 women and girls age range 15-52.

Our approach draws from feminist biology to assimilate notions of embodiment and bodily functions in ways that are conducive to knowledge production. Within this study we put a focus on interweaving aesthetics with the material landscape of electronic textiles and the body; making with and through DIY artefacts supported by technology-enabled materials, to shape and strengthen knowledge of processes within and between bodies. We contribute a designerly approach to creating bodily awareness through hands-on engagement with crafting technology.