The aim of «ARIS» was to find a way to stiffen a surgically built penis (a so-called neophallus) so that active penetrative sex becomes possible, without requiring a further surgical procedure. Existing products are usually based on the anatomy of cis men. Their natural erectile tissue stiffens when it becomes engorged with blood. With a neophallus this can be dangerous, which makes a different solution necessary. In personal conversations with trans men who already have or are planning to have a neophallus, a list of requirements for the product was compiled. A survey was conducted and the clinical lead of gender variance at the University Hospital Basel was interviewed. The result is a sleeve which can be put around the neophallus, creating the necessary stiffness through its supporting elements. This product enables the wearer to have a confident sex life without being stigmatised. Owing to a new 3D printing process, «ARIS» can be manufactured from medical silicone and customised to meet individual requirements such as a specific circumference and length.
With this work, Stella Waldvogel moves into an area which was previously unfamiliar to her. Applying great sensitivity and keeping in close contact with the target group, she has successfully developed a product which offers trans men genuine added value in their sex lives. Stella tackles a classic Industrial Design task (ergonomics, usability, construction, statics, production, digital fabrication on demand) but in a new field. Her work exemplifies that new subject areas can be opened up for Industrial Design, and responds to present-day needs in society.
The project is funded by BØWIE, an incubator for LGBTIQ+ projects.
«In future, I see myself working as part of a design collective.» – Stella Waldvogel