Michelle Millar Fisher, a curator and architecture and design historian, is Ronald C. and Anita L. Wornick Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She lecture frequently on design, people, and the politics of things. Amber Winick is a writer, design historian, and recipient of two Fulbright Awards. She has lived, researched, and written about family and child-related designs, policies, and practices around the world.
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"A history-in-images of the most intimate experiences of womanhood, collecting objects relied upon over decades: from the BabyBjoern to at-home pregnancy tests to birth control methods."
-New York Times Book Review
"The provocative new book and exhibition series, "Designing Motherhood: Things That Make and Break Our Births," makes the case that there is a whole world of objects pertaining to women, mothers and pregnant people that have been overlooked from the perspective of form and function, and unstudied in terms of how their designs came to be."
-New York Times Arts
"Prompting readers to consider how design shapes their own bodies, Designing Motherhood is not just a history but a call to action, an invitation to reflect on how objects, practices, and policies might be redesigned to better serve the diverse experiences of motherhood."
-Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
"To the authors, the word mother is both noun and verb, inclusive of gender. With abortion, family leave, and funding for doula work in the news, the book is essential reading-satisfying, unnerving, and galvanizing all the same."
"Designing Motherhood is an encyclopedia of how innovators-often women in precarious circumstances, driven by necessity-have tackled public health challenges through social, mechanical, medical, and political interventions...The issues highlighted in Designing Motherhood aren't mothers' issues, or women's issues, or even limited to topics of women's work or labor rights. The project offers highly visual reminders that caregiving topics affect all of us: parents and non-parents, managers and reports."
"Through the lens of design, this book offers a more comprehensive and empowered approach to sexuality, procreation, and rearing than any mass-market guide, medical textbook, or doctor's office."
-the Brooklyn Rail
"Through striking visuals and compelling stories, Designing Motherhood: Things That Make and Break Our Births illustrates the vital role design plays in the arc of human reproduction."
"A first-of-its-kind exploration of the arc of human reproduction through the lens of design."
"A rousing new book put out by the MIT Press looks at human reproduction - fertility, birth control, menstruation, pregnancy, birth, post-pregnancy, and menopause - through the lens of design."
-The Boston Globe
"Designing Motherhood ostensibly opens in an era of frank conversations about femme bodies, pleasure, and the full spectrum of fertility...the book explores not only consumer technology, but also equitable access and the infrastructure of care."
"Joy and trauma exist side by side in Designing Motherhood."
"Designing Motherhood strives to challenge the stigma surrounding objects associated with pregnancy and reproductive health."
"While there is so much cultural messaging around the relationship between parents and babies, there hasn't been a critical look at the forces that contribute to our ideas about this human experience until Designing Motherhood."
"Millar Fisher and Winick hope to let people find knowledge and joy in the overlooked history of design for mothers. Their book, which is accompanied by two exhibitions in the US, covers population policy posters all the way to pushchair design, from the bizarre to the genius to the aesthetically beautiful."
"While Designing Motherhood covers a shared human experience that is, in a plethora of forms, deeply familiar to all of us, it is still a powerful political statement by virtue of focusing on a topic that is still too-often repressed, unspoken, and taboo...[The book] very clearly shows us that while there are countless designs surrounding motherhood, there is still a lot of room for improvement, especially in terms of making conception, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum equitable for all...Designing Motherhood explores the intersection of design and motherhood with an unprecedented depth and nuance."
-Design and Culture: The Journal of the Design Studies Forum