The Men-strual Scheme
A design fiction set in 2030 where a mandatory education scheme called the The Men-strual Scheme has been implemented in United Kingdom schools for five years now. The scheme is for 13 year old boys, where they experience a mental and physical simulation of the menstrual cycle using digital technology and medication. Three simulations lasting seven days occur once a month for three months similar to a realistic period cycle. The scheme involves three main parts: A mobile application, muscle stimulator T-shirt to recreate the feeling of period pains, and the Emotion Pills to induce a replication of period emotions. This scheme aims to create societal change by helping boys understand the difficulties that girls endure and resulting in reduced sexism and period stigma, striving for overall equality. I portrayed this design fiction in an education style using an information video, app, software prototypes, posters, illustrations of the T-shirt and pills. I also included graphics of the responses to the fiction including news articles, social media and protest signs, showing the positives and negatives of the fiction. These mediums depicted the fiction in a believable and compelling way. This design fiction was mainly inspired by videos from Buzzfeed (2016) and MTV (2019) where groups of men experience realistic symptoms of periods and results these challenges had on them. The men had a newfound respect for women and the hardships they go through due to periods, inspiring a fiction that would make this lesson a mandatory part of growing up for men. When creating the parts of this fiction I followed a design process of researching into related work, brainstorming ideas, then illustrating these ideas first through low-fidelity storyboarding, sketches and/or wireframes. I then further developed the parts into hi-fidelity videos, illustrations and/or prototypes.