How to design for taboos? A design intervention to overcome the taboo of menstruation in India

J.C. Diehl, P. Salarić

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Taboos are like ‘’open public secrets’’ and often dealing with these topics can be challenging due to the negative societal view. However, taboos can have a strong impact on the well-being of people, therefore, addressing these subjects is of high importance. In this paper seven building blocks to design for taboos are presented. These blocks were identified during our desk and field research project on the taboo of menstruation in India. Menstruation is a taboo that is prevalent worldwide, but in the low and middle
income countries such as India, it has an even stronger negative impact on the lives of women. It is a subject that women deal with in secrecy and shame, often without involving men into the subject. However, India is a patriarchal country where men have a direct impact on the lives of women and the way women conduct their periods. Though efforts do exist to deal with the issue of menstruation, none so far have a focus on the stigma and shame that prevent from dealing with the subject openly. This paper presents the approach of gamification and humor in order to create a positive atmosphere for a discussion on the topic of menstruation inside the family house with all family members as a first steptowards dealing with the subject.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings book of UNIDCOM/IADE Conferences
EditorsEmília Duarte, Carlos Rosa
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-989-54829-3-1
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventSenses & Sensibility 2019
: Lost in (G)lobalization
- Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 27 Nov 201929 Nov 2019


ConferenceSenses & Sensibility 2019


  • design for well-being
  • gamification
  • humor
  • India
  • menstruation
  • taboo


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