Politics Has Failed Mothers. Can Design Help?


With her Mother/Child Dining Table, Maartje Steenkamp reflects on the connection between parents and their babies at mealtime. “[It] goes much deeper than just giving food; mother and child are almost one, as with the umbilical cord before birth,” she says. “In this way the furniture has to be one, too.” She based the orientation of its seats, and the length of the table, on the size and position of her own body while feeding her child. Courtesy Inga Powilleit

With her Mother/Child Dining Table, Maartje Steenkamp reflects on the connection between parents and their babies at mealtime. “[It] goes much deeper than just giving food; mother and child are almost one, as with the umbilical cord before birth,” she says. “In this way the furniture has to be one, too.” She based the orientation of its seats, and the length of the table, on the size and position of her own body while feeding her child. Courtesy Inga Powilleit

Designers, curators, and entrepreneurs are scrambling to make sense of motherhood in a culture that’s often hostile to it.

At their most extravagant, the tendriled seed pods of the Nigella damascena flower resemble the curled necks of swans in a Tunnel of Love. Its fringed, quick-growing blooms have long appeared in English cottage gardens, and in southern Europe and North Africa, where the species grows wild. In the United States you can purchase a packet of its seeds—around 2,200 of them—for about $6.

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