Victoria Punturere Proposes An Artificial Alternative To Reproduction Through Spatial Practice

Image: Victoria Punturere

Victoria Punturere is an emerging designer who has recently concluded her honours degree in interior architecture at Monash University. Her spatial practice embraces science and technology to propose speculative projects that enter the science fiction realm. Driven by an interest for human and non-human science, Punturere experiments unfold through a utilisation of space, body, object, material, film and performance. Her practice employs an intellectual and critical approach in raising a consciousness to question and guide the direction of future bio-technologies. 

Punturere honours project 'In vitro', proposes an artificial alternative to reproduction through spatial practice. The reproductive journey unfolds through a speculative narrative that enters the science fiction realm. The concept stems from an intersect of feminist and ecological theory to investigate male/female, production/reproduction and human/non-human binaries. Research has been drawn from reproductive biotechnologies to propose two speculative mechanisms - an Artificial sex cell generator and Artificial womb. The proposition utilises the redundant architecture of abandoned Mount Morgan Mine QLD in constructing a non-binary reproductive program to deliver human offspring.

Image: Victoria Punturere

Image: Victoria Punturere

Punturere research proposal predicts a world that is perhaps a few years away from today. What will happen when the artificial sex cell and womb arrives? These biotechnologies enable same sex couples, singles and infertile parent’s reproductive possibilities. The DNA of a human can be transformed into an artificial sex cell and then fertilised, birthed from an artificial womb. This technology could rewrite heteronormative values by creating new radical definitions of a parent and family. Could artificial birthing potentially blur the differences between the sexes in human biology? The proposal directly asks us to question who benefits from these reproductive technologies. Will artificial wombs liberate some and alienate others? Who is developing this technology? Does this technology reduce the reproductive power from women and place It in the hands of the patriarchy? 

Image: Victoria Punturere

Image: Victoria Punturere

The technology enables women to work throughout gestation. Artificial wombs provide a potential solution for women with uterine abnormalities and women who are naturally unable to conceive. This technology could also reduce the implications with pregnancy as it would eliminate pregnancy risks for women’s health and also prevent the lives of premature babies. The speculative proposal combines feminist theory, fiction and criticism to question and guide the potential development and outcomes of advanced reproductive bio-technologies. 

Image: Victoria Punturere

Image: Victoria Punturere

Project supervisor: Dr Matthew Bird