The Booby Trap

National College of Art and DesignIreland

Connecting, Empowering, Engaging, Optimizing

Concept / Student


Dehlia McCarthy


The Booby Trap is a speculative design project which centres around the question, “What if women could sell their breast milk?” The project uses physical and digital props, designed for inclusion in social media videos, to start conversations about breastfeeding in Ireland. This is an important topic, as Ireland has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world.
These props, the Milk Tester, the Milk Pasteurizer and the ‘Breast Friends’ App, were all individually designed to raise different questions surrounding breastfeeding. The ‘Breast Friends’ app was designed to be an online platform, where women could buy and sell their milk to each other. It raises questions about Irish society, breastfeeding rates and reasons for selling breast milk. The Milk Tester, which tests milk for pathogens and contaminants, begins conversations about bodily autonomy, safety and the composition of breast milk. Finally, the milk pasteurizer, which sterilizes breast milk bought off the app, starts conversations about trust, the composition of breast milk and the dairy industry.
Videos of this hypothetical scenario were then made, and posted to social media to create a discussion amongst the audience. These online conversations were then analysed, and included into the project. It resulted in audience members educating one another, sharing opinions, seeking more information and having conversations about breastfeeding with friends and family. Breastfeeding is still a taboo subject in Ireland, so reaching out to people who may never have given it much thought before is a vital step to normalizing it.

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