Biofilie Lab: Growing vaginal microbiome at home
Biofilie Lab is a kitchen based educational lab to learn how to grow vaginal microbiome at home. During the workshop, participants will access the procedure of the Biofilie Lab protocol and explore their personal relationship with vaginal microbiome and its understanding following recent scientific studies. There is a growing interest in the vaginal microbiome from the citizen science field, but there is still room to discuss the power balance in the conversation. Biofilie Lab is also an interdisciplinary project aimed to explore the biosocial and political intersectionality of human-vaginal microbiome combining disciplines like art, design, microbiology, medical anthropology and feminist theories. The project will engage in a political questioning of the emergence of the new scientific understandings on vaginal microbiome.
Picture credits: Giulia Tomasello, ALMA.
Isabel Farina and Giulia Tomasello are co-founders of ALMA, a multidisciplinary studio that combines design, science and anthropology to destigamtise taboos in female intimate health.
Isabel Farina is medical anthropologist but she considers herself a nerd of creative methodology for research. She is currently finishing her PhD in Health Management and Service Design at Politecnico of Milan where she has studied and evaluated mental health services for children and adolescents. She has previously worked as Senior Researcher at Experientia, one of the first human-centered design consultancy companies in Italy. She has also worked as consultant for several social design projects. Isabel is also an active feminist and is part of a collective that fight for autonomy and equity in gender health.
Giulia Tomasello is interaction designer and educator who has several years of experience in speculative design and technology for intimate and vaginal health. In 2018 she wins the STARTS Prize with her project Future Flora. Her multidisciplinary work has also received other awards at international level such as the World Omosiroi Japanese Award 2020. Giulia is currently a visiting lecturer at various Italian and European universities where she teaches soft wearables and exploration of biological tissues. Giulia is also co-founder of the collective Bruixas Lab, nomadic lab for sex-biohacking and witchy rituals; she is co-founder of Tides, a sensorial vibrator for women in menopause. Finally she is part of Hogar a cultural association that educates young people about gender equity.
During the MAKEAWARE! workshops, participants will be asked to collaborate and share personal experiences and stories about antimicrobial and antibiotic resistance, antibiotic consumption, and urinary tract infection diseases and remedies. Different media such as photos, graphics, and texts will be used to document the outputs of the collaboration process. The outputs will be edited or coded and shared via the repository as anonymized open datasets for anyone to use. Learn more about the use of data in the Data Privacy and Management Policy Page.