The Interplanetary Womb

The Interplanetary Womb is a speculative design which proposes an artificial womb structure situated on Mars. I combined up to date science surrounding artificial wombs and space travel with my own imagination in order to come to a finalised design proposal. Entwined throughout the project are the themes of transhumanism, gender and patriarchy.

There were two pieces of research which were crucial in the formulation of the concept. Firstly, in 2019, The Guardian published an article which explained that the first missions to Mars may involve women only space crews due to a recent study which found that frozen samples of sperm are able to survive in microgravity, meaning men would not be needed to physically be on Mars in order to populate it. Although men would eventually join women they would not be necessary for the continuation of mankind. Secondly, in 2017, there was a study where lambs were successfully grown in artificial wombs. In theory this means humans could be next. This led me to imagine a world on Mars where babies are grown in artificial wombs. This would both free women from the constraints of pregnancy and challenge the concept of a ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’ which in consequence would dismantle the concept of the nuclear family.

Although Artificial Wombs act as a feminist intervention, I was aware that the act of physically carrying a baby is often regarded as a metamorphic experience which creates a bond between parent and child. Therefore I concluded the design should create an otherworldly and life changing experience for the parent which would be created through entering the womb pods which act as a portal to The Womb World. 

The Womb World is a dimension I created which unborn babies inhabit where reality is blurred with imagination. I intended for The Womb World to act as a gateway for parent(s) which would enhance their understanding and connection to their child as well as provide parent(s) with a symbolic and transforming experience without the constraints of physically carrying their baby.




Interplanetary Womb

The theme of anatomy is embedded throughout the design as the building acts as a deconstructed female body. Womb pods - which grow individual foetuses - are grown internally and multiply and form the same way cells form an embryo (the building grows over a span of 9 months). The building is powered by a heart and lungs which are situated underground. The deconstruction of the body within the structure is reflective of the overall concept which dismantles the patriarchal positioning of women in society. The female body is reclaimed through the design as the building takes on the role of a woman, thereby liberating the bodies of physical women and equalising societal gender roles.

Womb World