Projects ︎ Publications ︎ Tidepool ︎ About ︎ ︎ ︎

︎︎ Dr KitKat


The Open Source 3D Printed Speculum
Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A)
London, UK 2021


Material inquiry
Critical making
Who has the right to control the dissemination of medical knowledge? Who has the right to access the bodies of those who are underserved by society? How are power dynamics associated with ongoing barriers to healthcare access for society’s most marginalised? 

For this residency, a small group of artists, curators, researchers and activists were asked to explore the digital material of the Gynepunk Open Source 3D Printed Speculum, a speculative design artefact which had just been acquired by the V&A for its permanent collection. We worked with local community groups including the TransHackFeminists and public institutions such as the University College London Department of Biomechanical Engineering to explore the obstructed community histories that lied beneath the artefact's software & hardware, and produced a set of well-received public knowledge products, including publications, teaching materials, artworks and a film, which asked difficult questions about reproductive justice, the dissemination of medical knowledge, and the politics of healthcare access.  

As project lead Anouska Samms explains: "Design does not exist in a vacuum. It can be argued that to understand the relationship between an object and its material fully, we need to consider the social and political questions entangled within an object’s inception. The stories surrounding [the Gynepunk’s] making are not only enmeshed within different disciplines, but also with complex emotions."

- PublicationAccess, power geometries and cyborg witches: Unpacking the digital material of the GynePunk – and its omissions
- Teaching kitWhat do you carry (with care)?
- V&A film: The Open Source Speculum (Content warning: This film may include triggering and sensitive material, such as content around racism, enslavement, colonial and contemporary medical violence and medical imagery of reproductive organs.)

“I want to dance for the renewal of the world.” - robin well kimmerer