In our diversifying and increasingly secular society, rituals that unify us are dying by inches. But we still share a multitude of events, such as childbirth. Can new products and rituals stoke our memories and communal bonds? IDEO’s Designs On: Birth is the latest in a series of pamphlets offering products related to grand themes, such as global warming and food.
Granted, IDEO’s tongue is planted firmly in cheek — and creating a ritual out of whole cloth is about has impossible as coining a new word. But the concepts nonetheless point to the simple fact that for even something as life-changing as birth, the modern world lacks the social structures to actually celebrate the moments that people remember.
Here are some of the designs IDEO proposed.
A bracelet to subtly indicate when the wearer is pregnant:
A dice game to play with potential baby variables before his/her arrival:
A phone for expectant moms to talk to their babies with:
A video exploring man’s perspective during childbirth: