Kamila Rudnicka is a young designer, recently graduated from the University of Arts in Poznań. She defines herself as “an ambitious person with a head full of ideas”. Her main field of interest is medical design, an interesting field often ignored, but full of new possibilities for the design world.
Kamila created an artificial insemination tool, WAY. It doubles up as a sex toy, in the hopes of restoring pleasure to an often clinical process. Like other self-insemination aids, it allows the intimate process of conception to be carried out in the comfort and privacy of the home. WAY is made of soft pink, medical-grade silicone with a ring at its base containing a removable bubble, which holds the semen. The process is reminiscent of separating an egg yolk from the white using the suction of an empty plastic bottle.
“To use the device, you first need to deposit the semen into the jar that’s included in the kit, and suck it into the bubble using air pressure,” Rudnicka told Dezeen. “Then the bubble goes back into the ring and needs to be connected with a tube that’s wound around the hilt. From there, everything works thanks to the pressure that we have in the bubble.”
When the WAY device is inserted into the vagina, pressing the bubble propels the semen into the uterus via these tubes. Although they are embedded in the base of the device like veins, they can also be taken off and strapped onto the hand as a harness for insemination during manual stimulation.
“Hands are very important when we are making love, especially in lesbian sex,” said Rudnicka. “That’s why I decided to use them to connect two people. Just using a device will not give them the same feeling as using their own body during sex.”
By integrating the device into a couple’s sexual activity, the non-conceiving partner can feel like they are a part of the process, while making the process itself more pleasurable. Far from being secondary, Rudnicka explained, this could actually be crucial to aiding fertilisation, as some studies show that orgasming could increase a woman’s chances of conceiving by up to 15 per cent. At the same time, the designer also hopes that it could eliminate the pressure and psychological stress that can be associated with repeated rounds of fertility treatments – especially when they are not immediately successful.
WAY was developed in consultation with gynaecologists and psychologists, and its not conceived for people who have been trying to get pregnant for years, it’s for couples where one side has HIV, for lesbian and transgender people and those with disabilities – people who are unable to conceive during their regular sexual activity.”
WAY is an example of universal design – design for all. A clever and important project that pays attention not only to a sensitive issue but also to a broad target, which includes the less fortunate. WAY shows us what design can really do for people and our everyday life.
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