What does the future family look like? Should we externalize pregnancy with artificial wombs? And are these feminist dreams or frankenstein nightmares? It’s time for a much-needed discussion about the way technology radically alters our attitude towards reproduction, gender, relationships and love in the 21st century.
Dream or nightmare?
For a long time the birds and the bees served us well to explain where our children come from. Yet radical developments in reproductive technology force us to rewrite this story. Artificial wombs, gene editing techniques and reprogramming adult cells into eggs or sperm cells are revolutionary ways for human beings to reproduce, and appear to be closer than any of us can imagine.
Welcome to Reprodutopia
Reprodutopia is an exhibition disguised as a future clinic that presents thought-provoking visions of reproductive technologies by artists and designers. Some may be considered dark or uncanny, while others may be seen as hopeful dreams. Each project enriches the technology debate in a variety of ways, and helps us to decide which reproductive futures we actually want.More info & booking
Where would you live?
What if you would imagine a place called Reprodutopia. Divided in four sections and based on two axes. The horizontal axis opposes ‘born’ versus ‘made’. The vertical axis does so based on control. These axes then, create four provinces. Consider this place and ask yourself, where would you live?
What an artificial womb could look like
Part of the Reprodutopia project is an investigation into what an artificial womb could look like in the future. In fall 2018, a team led by designer Hendrik-Jan Grievink designed a proposal for an artificial womb, commissioned by Dr. Guid Oei, gynecologist at the Máxima Medical Centre in The Netherlands (as seen together on the left). The speculative model did not look like a futuristic aquarium or a ‘biobag’ but like a series of hanging organic spheres that mimic the conditions of an actual uterus.
A working prototype
On November 8th, 2019 the news was released that Dr. Guid Oei and his team received a grant of €2.9 mln to create a prototype of an artificial womb and the image of our model went all over the internet. Based on the reactions online, we feel now is exactly the right moment to debate our reproductive future.
Join the technology debate!
The goal of this project is not so much to predict the future, but to open up a conversation among members of the network; we hope nextnature.net can serve as a thrilling platform for dialogue among our authors, members, and anyone interested in exploring the next nature with us.Join the debate
Initiator and Creative Lead: Hendrik-Jan Grievink
Copywriting: Joyce Nabuurs, Hendrik-Jan Grievink
Exhibition Design: Lisa Mandemaker, Hendrik-Jan Grievink
Publication design: Patrycia Zyzniewska
Photography: Nichon Glerum
Living lab: Athena Institute (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)
Speculative Artificial Womb prototype
Design: Hendrik-Jan Grievink, Lisa Mandemaker
Modelmaking: Lisa Mandemaker
Commissioner: Máxima Medical Centre (Eindhoven)