Birth control technologies such as oral contraceptives (‘the pill’) have disconnected sexual intercourse from biological reproduction and in doing so, triggered a sexual revolution. Still early in the 21st century, we now face the disconnection between biological reproduction and the female body facilitated by ectogenesis , the artificial womb. How will this emerging technology affect our culture and how should it be designed?

On July 25th 2018 Louise Brown will celebrate her 40th birthday. In 1978, she was the first human born after conception by in vitro fertilization (IVF). Although only a few decades old, this assisted reproductive technology has put over 5 million humans on earth and has become widely accepted as an extension to reproduction methods deemed ‘natural’.

Ectogenesis is also an assisted reproductive technology but, unlike IVF, still resides in the laboratory and at this point it is unclear if it will ever make it into the ‘real’ world. Beyond the many technical questions, there is an urgent question of desirability; do we want this in our lives? Next Nature Network researches the merging of the born and the made by exploring both dream and nightmare around ectogenesis and the artificial womb.

This Border Lab is part of Border Sessions 2017. For more information and submitting, please click here.