Cycle Bowl

6th March 2020 as part of Design Criticism


  • Karla Guttierez
  • Pauline Piguet
  • Adrian Demleitner


The Cycle Bowl is a follow-up of this group’s discussion on invasive technologies, from which we also derived our Time Manifesto.

Menstrual cycle tracker are helpful applications which found their way into many mobile phones. Besides being of great value to those who use them, they also have negative aspects, which are found in all data tracking applications, but being exemplified in this use case.

In tracking the menstrual cycle, the users of these applications give over some of their most intimate information without having any control whatsoever of what happens with this data. All the users can do, is to trust the providers of the applications.


The Cycle Bowl should give back this control and the lost privacy of the process of menstrual cycle tracking without resorting to a quick-fix solution via digital technology.


The Cycle Bowl is one of many possible executions in form. Embed in the ceramics are colonies of extremophiles. These interact with the hormone balance of it’s user. The bowl can be used as any other bowl found in the house hold: for eating breakfast cereals, to sip some warming tea or some miso soup. The important aspect is physical contact, through handling with your hands.

Over the course of the menstrual cycle of the beholder of the bowl, the colonies will change their form and color. As every bowl is unique in it’s microbial markup, the user first needs to learn which shapes and color indicate what. After a first cycle of calibration and getting to know each other, the indications are stable and reliable.

The bacterias feed of the clay and with proper handling, can live up to many decades. Since different users can confuse the colonies it is advised, that a bowl is used by just one person. The bacterias will get to know the users hormone balance and adjust to it.