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I am passionate about:
A little known fact about me is:
I am a Colombian Industrial Designer and founder of Be Girl Inc, a social venture with a mission to make period protection radically accessible so that being a girl isn’t a barrier to health, dignity, and success
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“Good design is simple, resourceful, aspirational and responsive; but its even more important that design should be inclusive. I believe that every person has the right to feel ownership of products that fill him or her with pride and a sense of dignity. I am dedicated to creating extremely affordable and high-performance products that support, enhance and enable women’s and girls’ autonomy and confidence while generating opportunities to radically improve their quality of life, in other words: empowering women through design.
Hola Abdul, Thanks a lot of the positive comments on the SmartCycle. It has been a great tool to teach girls and also boys, check our page in the impact section and scroll down to see the workshops we do with boys from as little as 10Yrs to 18Yrs. https://www.begirl.org/journal-impact/ The fun intent of the design was to be approachable, easy to understand and fun, so I am glad you see it that way, as a designer that is the best compliment I can get :)
PRODUCT, SERVICE AND HUMAN-CENTERED DESIGN QUESTIONS (HCDQ)
HCDQ1 Answer: Our design process is human centered and that is why our SmartCycle is currently available in one of its many possible embodiments that include not only necklaces but also wristbands. As is visible in our patent filing, our design has many possible embodiments that helps us meet local needs. Stigmatization and endangerment of users was central in our design considerations as well, that is why our initial production units have taken the necklace embodiments that can be worn as a necklace and hidden under the clothing. Our concern is always that if the tool is recognizable, it will unintendedly stigmatize or even endanger girls as the onset of menstruation is often considered a sign of sexual maturity. Being able to keep the tracker private and hidden has been a design priority.
For more design embodiments of the tool please refer to our patent application: https://patents.google.com/patent/US20170215528A1/en?assignee=Be+Girl+Inc This shows the multiple form factors for the necklace that are possible.
HCDQ2 Answer: The main difference between many cycle tracking apps and Be Girl SmartCycle, is that most tools that exist have been developed for the purpose of fertility tracking, and Be Girl SmartCycle is a cycle tracker with a significant focus on education and awareness.
Menstruation due to its biological nature “Blood”, is an extremely stigmatized and subject to taboos, that in most of the cases are detrimental to the proper development of girls. Tools like the SmartCycle (Digital/ Analog) can help close the knowledge gap that give space for misinformation to create barriers to proper sexual reproductive health education and practices that should be taught since the menarche.
Our goal is to proof to organizations working in the SRH space that here is an opportunity to reach and educate that pre-teen girl before she becomes a pregnant teen with products that are specifically design for her and target the problem of unwanted pregnancies before they even happen, using design as the means to spark that behavior needed to ignite generational change.