Ruby Red South Moffat
After completing the undergrad in Interior Design at GSA, I chose to join the Masters programme in order to explore my potential as a designer and test the limits of the subject itself. As a designer I have a particular interest in exploring themes such as feminism, gender, patriarchy, science fiction and transhumanism. With a specific fascination with combining the female body with architectural and interior structures and mechanisms. Using Interior Design as a creative medium, I strive to create speculative alternative feminine narratives which raise questions about society and challenge the status quo. Furthermore I have adapted an overall feminine approach to design which celebrates fluidity, openness and informality as a rejection of the masculine nature of design which favours practicality, rationality and technicality.
I am a multidisciplinary designer and incorporate illustration, animation, collage and 3d modelling into my practice. I also seek inspiration from varied sources such as academic texts, literature, films and artwork.
Life Recycling: An Alternative Feminist Narrative of Birth and Death
Life Recycling: An alternative feminist narrative of Birth and Death revolves around creating a feminist spatial design, which combines the experiences of Birth and Death. The fundamental aims of the project are to restore the role of femininity in the events of Birth and Death, to encapsulate feminist ideals within an interior space and to adapt an overall feminine approach to design. In doing so adding to the ever-growing discourse surrounding feminism in regard to Interior Design and challenging the limits and parameters of the subject. As well as this the objective is to create a non-religious solution that provides acceptance and comfort when confronted with the subject of our own mortality.
Researching feminist discourse was integral to my project as well as the exploration of films, literature, design and art. Key findings from my research were the many correlations between Birth and Death, the historical relationship between women and nature within the interior and the connection between femininity, sentiment and ritual. I also adapted a feminine approach to the design process which incorporated fluid research methods such as imaginative drawing, collages, experimentation and 3D modelling. From such studies I was able to unearth an in-depth understanding of my project which fuelled core developments of the project.
The result of my research manifested in three identical structures which act as temporary birth/burial Life Recycling centres, the skin of the buildings are designed to decompose after five years allowing nature to reclaim the site. Core mechanisms within the design are underground Metamorphic Pods which use the energy produced by deceased bodies to grow artificial wombs where babies are grown, and Decomposing Ornamental Graves which serve as a form of remembrance for the deceased and for parent(s) of born/unborn babies. The project acts as feminist interpretation of spatial practice which challenges the rules, conventions and male canon of design and academia.
 Parent(s) referring to the variable combinations of guardians due to the use of Artificial Wombs.
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.
Immortalising The Alternative Story
The project centres around the speculative reconfiguration of a 19th century Scottish tenement in order to reflect and better suit the lives of the Victorian women who were confined to its interior. I aimed to embed the story of such women into the structure and fabrication of the building, and for the design to immortalise an alternative, feminine story in contrast to the historically masculine narrative exhibited throughout cities and buildings. Integral to the conception of the design was the investigation of the private (feminine)/ public (masculine) spheres, which led me on to the analysis of the window. This led to an exploration into the deconstruction of the window as well as the architectural skin of the building in order to create feminine oriented design interventions. These interventions include the separation of the inner and outer shell in order to maximise the light intake to the building as well as ‘Light Chambers’ which are situated between the inner and outer shell, acting as movable three-dimensional windows. Furthermore, the design heavily focuses on communal areas where women can conduct their daily tasks which is inspired by the 19th Century Communal Housekeeping movement. Created by Victorian middle-class women, the movement aimed to alter and improve their everyday lives. Women came up with designs for buildings where families lived and shared numerous communal areas such as kitchens, dining rooms and nurseries. Another important factor which aided the formation of the design was the Victorian bloomer suit which became the main reference for the ideology, structure and aesthetic of the building. I combined the Bloomer suit with the notion of an architectural exoskeleton which resulted in the building acting as a nurturing feminine body which provides its inhabitants with a variety of beneficial needs. This led me on to the concept of cyber feminism which is ‘an alliance between women, machinery and new technology’ which evolved my idea of the building acting as a female body, into the building acting as female mechanical body.