Bearina by Ronen Kadushin

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Bearina by Ronen Kadushin

Berlin designer Ronen Kadushin has made a conceptual, open-source, contraceptive intrauterine device from a one-cent coin.

Bearina by Ronen Kadushin

His design is published under a Creative Commons license so that anyone can download and adapt the production files.

Bearina by Ronen Kadushin

In normal copper IUDs metal ions dissolving from the device act as spermicide, so Kadushin's fictional design involves a rapid-prototyped holder for the copper-coated steel coin plus a piece of nylon thread.

Bearina by Ronen Kadushin

He hopes that making the files available for collaborative development will lead to a working version, undermining the control pharmaceutical firms have over the price and availability of their products.

Bearina by Ronen Kadushin

While a normal IUD costs hundreds of dollars, Kadushin's prototype costs just €1.25. Download the production files here or order a prototype here.

Kadushin is a champion of open design and past projects include a chair to be "hacked" and an open-source mallet for smashing up iPhones. Watch him talk about open design in our movie on Dezeen Screen.

For more designer contraception check out our story from 2007 about the 4:Secs condom applicator.

Here are some more details from Kadushin:

 


 

Bearina
Open Design IUD concept

The intrauterine device (IUD) is the world's most widely used method of reversible birth control for women. But as their production and common materials cost only a few cents, they are sold for a staggering 400$- 850$, unreachable for many women, especially young ones.

The Bearina IUD is a political product. It demonstrates the disruptive potential of 3D printed Open Designs to give free and global access to essential products, and circumvent industries (such as the Pharma industry) that aggressively defend their intellectual property to control the price and availability of their products.

As an Open Design, the Bearina IUD promotes collaboration and free sharing of knowledge. Further developed by a networked community or in partnership with a forward-looking pharma company, it is always available for experimenting with and improving, and could evolve into a functional IUD.

The Bearina, with its bear head image, is visually friendly, to appeal, so to speak, to younger women. It is a conceptual product, a design fiction, and absolutely should not be used as an IUD. Nevertheless, it is designed according to dimensions, materials and shapes commonly found in IUDs.

You are welcome to download the production file of the Bearina IUD from my website (.stl- Creative Commons at-nc-sa 3.0 lisenced). It is free and ready for 3D printing. But if you prefer, you can also download it, or even order some Bearinas from Shapeways.com. They are only 1.25€ each.

In copper-containing IUDs, metal ions dissolving from the device create a spermicidal action. To do precisely that, a 1€ cent coin (copper covered steel) easily snaps in the plastic 3D printed part. An additional piece of nylon string is tied to the bottom part to complete the assembly of the Bearina IUD.

Disclaimer

The Bearina is a conceptual research object, and absolutely should not be used as an IUD or for any internal use.

You expressly agree to hold the designer, Ronen Kadushin, harmless for any property damage, personal injury and/or death, or any other loss or damage that may result from your use of the information or designs provided, specifically the Bearina IUD concept design.

The use of Open Design designs should be based on your own due diligence and you agree that Ronen Kadushin is not liable for any success or failure of your actions you take to modify, produce, assemble or repair your products.

The user further agrees that use of this design and all products or content contained herein are at your own risk and there is no warranty expressly made herein.

  • http://www.eastgradcreative.com/blog Animesh

    An interesting idea. That's all I can say right now.

  • http://www.hifilofi.co.uk LBRN

    This is really, really smart.

  • lauren

    Ehh i dont know how i feel about the idea of an appealing attractive device to poke up my insides. And i understand that the designer
    strictly says not to in any way use the device internally. So then may i ask why is it available for purchase? I understand the idea of prototyping but the designer is inviting all kinds of trouble by making it available and open source. Maybe ive missed the point… if so then…why? The idea of a designer and cheaply made IUD freaks me out! And the coin part…so wrong.

  • evastruz

    Agree with Lauren, why encourage something has not been tested as safe to use!?

  • kapnkrunch

    open-source contraception. lol-wut?
    also, are pennies even made out of copper? I doubt they'd be very effective as a spermicide, more likely to give an STI from all the bacteria they carry.

  • Marj

    The beauty of current day IUD's is their ability to be inserted at the doctors office. They are collapsing in nature and unfold when being pushed through an insertion plunger device. This bear shaped device can't do that. If you've never had a pelvic exam, then you have no idea of how small an opening the cervix is. This design will require some sort of out patient surgery and possibly anestesia. So much for that low cost promise.

    • pearl

      Most definitely agreed with you… This is impossible!

  • http://dailygrail.com Red Pill Junkie

    This design has overlooked the fact that coins are among the filthiest objects one can find.

    "A study of American coins and currency revealed the presence of bacteria, including staphylococcus, E. coli, and klebsiella, on 18 percent of the coins and 7 percent of the bills" (http://www.fleur-de-coin.com/coinfacts/unitedstates_3.asp)

    So one would need to device a way to inexpensively sterilize the coins before inserting them on a woman's privates.

    • amsam

      boil them. there are problems with the project, but this isn't one.

      • http://www.dailygrail.com Red Pill Junkie

        I'm still worried about all the grooves and reliefs on the surface. But boiling and alcohol might solve the problem.

        • JVichitt

          An autoclave will kill all microbial life in less than 20 minutes. Units can be quite cheap, and can be heated using a conventional gas stove.

  • Noa

    Cool idea. good project to discuss design and takes the fab-lab concept out of making little gifts and decorations to something which is a necessity

  • kms

    This seems absurdly infectious. I don't mean that positively. Why not just design a good IUD and release it into the public domain… Same profitability, but with real effectiveness. Maybe less "clever" but only designers care about that.

  • http://www.pdmdesign.com Leiurus

    When I saw the picture product I first thought it was a pendant concept and I found it cute. Then I went through the article and realized it is a IUD. After reading the designer's brief I find the idea interesting, but visually, I can't help thinking that the first message sent is not "contraceptive IUD should be cheaper" but "my vagina is worth 0.01euro only"…Might be my twisted mind though…

  • Ho-

    I don't believe it … this is a joke rite?
    There is absolutely no design here ..but evil ..pure sickness.

    • amsam

      I think this is the first time I've seen someone's design described as "evil" on dezeen. Congratulations, Ho, on a new low.

  • bhshaffer

    too bad pennies are only made of 2.5% copper and it wears off easily. You might want to consider doing research next time.

  • shuston

    This design is so nieve and so so dangerous. Nothing short of plans on how to design a hanger to be used in a back alley.

  • jeremy

    perfect for when you are short of change for the parking meter….

  • sudark

    As a concept its semiotic implications are illconsidered. It makes use of a copper coin inserted like a piggy bank or video game arcade.. I understand copper as a spermicide, but please do not even suggest the use of a coin, that must be dirty as hell. Doesnt anyone else find this offensive?!

  • christine

    Im horrified.
    I really hope no woman (rich or poor) will think this is tested and safe to use.
    Who would want to fuck up their uterous?
    Stupid stupid designer.
    Dezeeen – please do not encourage this type of products by posting them. It reads as if you stand behind them.

  • Noa

    Cool idea. Takes the fab-lab idea out of the gadgets world to the index planet

  • Axel

    Please insert coin to continue… Very awfull, but the idea of making economical contraceptive intrauterine device is nice.

  • Ollie

    Dear Dezeen, I understand that you need to be provocative to retain a readership and maintain your edge. But this post is hostile, foul, and downright irresponsible. If the product hasn't been fully developed for use (as the designer clearly acknowledges) how can it be made available for purchase? The thought of grimy polluted coins inside women's sexual organs is nauseating. And that Dezeen is helping to promote such an idea is baffling.

  • detailmerchant

    @Noa.. fab-lab idea? gadgets world? index planet?? If youre taking the mick its not very funny, if youre not then the men in white coats are clearly missing someone.

  • http://www.flong.com Golan Levin

    According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_%28United_Stat… US pennies were 95% copper until 1982. (After that, they became copper-plated zinc.) It might be worthwhile to make a design version that fits US pennies (with the advice of using a pre-1982 penny), rather than the current Euro coins which only have a thin copper plating on steel.

  • Sophia Yen MD MPH

    Biggest drawback would be insertion? The others are all sticks b/c to dilate the cervix the size of a penny… that might be VERY painful and difficult and possibly unfeasible.

  • Nicolas

    Intrauterine filthy coins? This is sick.

  • Oliver Sowerby

    I was about to say exactly what everyone has already said before reading the comments: not hygienic, bad idea. Also, it's all vey well that it's really cheap to produce, but he's failed to mention the need for about £10K's worth of equipment to print it. Assuming it would actually work – health and technical reasons aside, why not injection mould it for about £0.05 a unit?

  • Christina

    I think everyone here missed the "The Bearina is a conceptual research object, and absolutely should not be used as an IUD or for any internal use."

    • http://dailygrail.com Red Pill Junkie

      Oh! kinda like all those disclaimers you (barely) see on tiny text at the end all the wonder-drugs infomercials on TV, huh?

      This one is my fave:

      "You expressly agree to hold the designer, Ronen Kadushin, harmless for any property damage, personal injury and/or death, or any other loss or damage that may result from your use of the information or designs provided, specifically the Bearina IUD concept design."

    • amsam

      Thank you Christina, the lameness of the average Dezeen commenter is a cause of ongoing despair to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/yaelmillerusa Yael Miller

    Once hacked, as the designer encourages, the design will have to get a new name and will have zero resemblance to the original design as shown here. If you know anything about this subject you'll understand that very little research went into this design and is in no way suitable as a real-world product. You can read about the design of IUDs in a recent issue of Wired: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/07/ff_iud/

  • josepheath

    “You expressly agree to hold the designer, Ronen Kadushin, harmless for any property damage, personal injury and/or death, or any other loss…”

    Such as a one cent coin?

  • Kristoffer

    A very important social issue. Thank you!

  • Skaap

    Obviously designed by a man…but I’ll wear it as jewellery

  • broes

    A few thing crossed my mind, you can read them here: http://broesvitrine.blogspot.com/2011/09/bearina-

  • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=654171620 Lienelle Geldenhuys

    What's the point of posting this? Clearly from all the comments posted, it's not realistic. If the design were to be developed it's sounds like not only will it not work because of the size and the caracter of a coin, but if it does go through proper testing and development it will no longer be cost effective – so product and the political commentary it's trying to give is meaningless? Is it then conceptual art instead?

  • http://www.facebook.com/santonsen2 Susan Antonsen

    Dezeen sometimes you are really twisted

  • michael macias

    Clearly a lot of people here have indeed missed the point of this idea. Re-read it! In fact, I will paste the important bit so everyone that missed it knows exactly what I'm talking about:-

    The Bearina IUD is a political product. It demonstrates the disruptive potential of 3D printed Open Designs to give free and global access to essential products, and circumvent industries (such as the Pharma industry) that aggressively defend their intellectual property to control the price and availability of their products.

    As an Open Design, the Bearina IUD promotes collaboration and free sharing of knowledge. Further developed by a networked community or in partnership with a forward-looking pharma company, it is always available for experimenting with and improving, and could evolve into a functional IUD.

    • ollie

      Clearly you missed the point of most comments: Re-read them!
      If the product were able to empower users to "circumvent industries (such as the Pharma industry)" as it claims, it would work as a contraceptive! But it doesn't work! Nobody can circumvent the Pharma industry with this product. It is not a “political product” because it does not have any political effect and it doesn’t empower anybody in any way. It is meaningless (and irresponsible) noise and provocation.

  • Michael

    I thought it was a cool pendant which is trying to let people understand the value of 1 cent! Wouldn't be a crazy idea though.

  • Kyrin

    Brilliantly thought-provoking! It's unfortunate that most people take this way too literally as an actual product instead of the embodiment of a statement and subversive idea. These people likely do not have much exposure to open-source and hacker subculture.

    It would never (in this form) work in real life. Nay, it's unlikely a penny could even fit through a cervix purely due to geometry. But an idea grows and evolves, it sticks to some people (usually the thinkers, dreamers and tinkerers) and gnaws at them until it takes new forms. The idea that contraception, something all humans should have access to, does not need to be a pharmaceutical product.

    Who knows what it will become?

    • http://dailygrail.com Red Pill Junkie

      I get your point, and I think this particular project raises a few important problems with the open-source movement that need to be addressed:

      Who is to blame for the damages caused by an open-source design if someone gets harmed by it?

      You might think I'm being a bit melodramatic. After all, if someone gets a C- because the Wikipedia entry they used as reference is inaccurate, is not that a big problem, right? But what if the open-source project means the difference between life and death to the end user? what then?

      I happen to agree that community-powered open source has the potential to radically change our world in a very positive way. But in order to do so effectively, we first need to lay down a few basic safety protocols that need to be followed.

      That's my 2 copper pennies anyway ;)

    • http://guykeulemans.com guy

      In addition to the excellent points made by Red Pill Junkie, I'd like throw a few more pennies into the fountain. I get conceptual design, I really do, but there is good conceptual design and bad conceptual design and this particular design is far to convoluted to be effective. Indeed, why does it need to address the open source / downloadable design movement at all directly? Only because that is the designer's oeuvre? It could have been simpler as critical design without this component, perhaps similar to the hugely influential work of Dunne and Raby, but with it, it draws the mind to thoughts of actual use, or rather misuse, and its just not functionally designed good enough for that, as many of the comments point out. Did the designer consider why IUD's cost so much in the first place? One reason is because huge amounts of money are spent testing them to make sure they are safe and to prevent situations like what happened with the Monsanto/Searle IUD. I don't doubt that pharma companies profiteer, but if that is the designers essential point his doesn't make it well by highlighting how sophisticated their products are compared to his own.

    • Fiona

      how prentious. NO I do understand Opensource and Hacking culture, please do not think that everyone is thinking on a lower level than yourself or is missing the point. Should we all list our education and experience before posting a comment so that it is worthy?
      I understand, I just think that this is an awful piece of work. That has been designed by someone who does not understand the subject, context, female reproductive organs, health and safety, or infrastructure behind this.
      Yves Behar tackles a related subject and nailed it. Dunne and Raby do the same.
      " If you do not understand this project then you are not a good conceptual designer " You should read the Emperors New Clothes again and consider it a Design Memorandum.

  • robotica

    There are only 2 things come to my mind:

    1.DEZEEN'S GRANDSTAND FLASH: It does a positive effect to increase readership and comment's amount on Dezeen as a Commercial Post.

    2.HATRED FOR POPULATION GROWTH: And it does makes me think of the hatred of this designer towards the Crisis of the Exponential Growth of World Population.

    Finally, I want to see ITS DESIGNER TO USE IT as a 'conceptual research object' and before it should 'Be used as an IUD or for any internal use.'

    lolllllllll….

  • robotica

    Ronen Kadushin must have a hatred towards prostitution in particular and woman in general.

  • martini-girl

    Are Dezeen readers among some of the stupidest people in the world??

    The designer makes it clear that this is a political statement and not a product intended for use.

    His point? That an IUD is one of the cheapest and simplest contraceptives to be manufactured (only a few cents to make – hence the 1cent piece, duh!) and yet it sells for many hundreds of dollars so is beyond the reach of many women.

    And just in case you missed this point, he states it very clearly when he says: "The Bearina IUD is a political product."

  • Sam

    this is interesting. In my own conceptual (read, useless ) open source ( read, worthless ) research (read ,messing around), I have been developing a male prophylactic which involves a rusty screw and a cork from a wine bottle I found outside in the park.
    Its so cheap and easy I am surprised no one has thought of it before.
    It is ironic that alcohol is a cause of many unwanted pregnancies and now a romanticised waste element of the evening is being recycled as a contraceptive. — so its a green project too.
    no need for an expensive wasteful "fab lab" poluting the eco system. (or worse a sterile controlled environment with someone of responsibility)
    Sometimes I get so pleased with myself helping the world I can barely contain myself…….some people just go through their lives never seeing the bigger picture
    Right?

    ……. No wait!

  • linotte

    Rubbish, a normal IUD doesn't cost hundreds of dollars – it costs about 25 $. The rest is the doctor's fee… and you can keep it up to 5 years (in fact it's one of the most affordable contraceptives).

    I don't sympathize with the pharma industry at all, but it's just a bad example.

  • http://www.facebook.com/solongsweetlime Jessamyn Miller

    I think that the creation of "design fiction" such as this is absolutely necessary for designers who want to push the limits of what is accepted as "normal" today. As designers, we must think like rhetoricians and propose our ideas to the public as if the future scenarios were already happening. I am excited to see this design and hope that more conversation and iteration will happen around the IUD method of contraception.

  • J

    Uhh. Isn’t making it look like a bear to be ‘visually friendly, to appeal so to speak, to younger women’ actually pretty offensive?