Mothering in Academia

An attempt to push forward environmental sustainability inside academia by including the “other”.


Role: Artistic Researcher while pursuing a Master in Fine Arts at HDK-Valand, Gothenburg University

Timeline:  10 weeks

Tools used: Miro/Adobe Photoshop/Teams

Date: ongoing till 31 May 2024


While pursuing the research on to Embodied Multiplicities of Motherhood, while performing interviews and workshops a new problem came to surface that needed a solution.


Given its prominence in people’s lives, parenthood necessitates special attention in order to guarantee a fair and encouraging learning environment. The institution needs to acknowledge the significance of meeting the requirements of parents  to comply with the principles of the Swedish Higher Education Act. The university does not currently have any extra spaces designated for parents, nor does it have an academic setting that meets their demands.


Together, establish a proactive plan that the university can follow to create a more sustainable and inclusive environment.

the problem

Together with the Artists Mother Collective and Konstkåren Student Union, we are trying to gather mothers and non-mothers from inside the university—students, teachers, and alumni to draw together a proposal for the University to ensure a supportive study and work environment for people who are mothering.

Gathering insights

 After collecting the documentation from the interviews, I conducted concept mapping with my teammates to synthesize the pains identified. We grouped these problems under common themes and features, to determine what artistic approach is more suited in order to build a proactive plan.

Collaboratively with the audience, we actively explored and generated proactive ideas aimed at addressing the needs of parents within the university.

The meeting spanned two hours, during which we successfully collected a variety of suggestions. Subsequently, the compiled list of recommendations was formatted into an easily navigable document and submitted to the university’s legal team for thorough assessment on February 12th.



I proceeded to create a low fidelity wireframe as the next phase in my process. 

I experimented digitally with different ways of compiling the information in a way that is accessible and pro-active, solution oriented.

The first version of lo-fi wireframes allowed me to run early tests and discover with the legal team different discrepancies that needed alternation. Some other iterations came from the work environment committee, which led us closer to the final draft.

The version below includes the revisions made:


Results and takeaways

Since the subject was brought to the university’s attention, we have seen positive feedback from users in almost all departments for the initiative, hoping for actual change. The most important changes that the users requested were:
  • Nursery rooms: Nursery rooms in each building, with a card key access just for parents. These rooms should be equipped with proper furniture, including facilities for nursing, pumping milk, and changing tables, creating a supportive environment for parents with young children
  • Child-friendly studio: Child-friendly studio in each building, with a card key access just for parents. These studios ensure that parents can seamlessly continue their artistic progress without compromising on their work due to childcare needs, that at times might not be available (ex. study day in preschool)
  • No teaching weeks sync: Synchronizing the university’s no-teaching weeks with children’s school vacations addresses the practical needs of parents, promoting family well-being and allowing for constructive learning without scheduling conflicts.

Through the process, we came up with pro-active plans of implementation and are currently waiting for the stakeholders meeting feedback.

A seat on the Artist’s Mother Collective board was awarded to me as a thank-you for the exceptional work that went into this project.

Have any questions about this project?
I would love to talk more about it with you!