ITP Spring Show 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2-6pm & Monday, May 11, 5-9 pm

Asli Sevinc


"Fresh-Back" is a therapeutic technology for women to record their frustrations into a device and share them online without facing any consequences.

Technology as Identity

Everyday, women in the workplace deal with sexist demoralization by their male colleagues. Women are disempowered and generally afraid to respond when they receive such remarks, as they are often regarded as “weak” and “emotional.” As a result, in order to keep their jobs, women end up enduring degrading remarks.
This simple but sophisticated device is camouflaged by embedding the components into a generic Altoids Mint Box, which would not raise suspicion in any work setting. The components include a micro-audio recorder and a wireless transmitter, which allows women to record their frustrations with the ease of just two buttons. After transmission, their freshly recorded remarks will be posted anonymously to the “Fresh-Back” blog.
The “Fresh-Black” blog is a platform for women around the world to be reminded that they are not alone in this daily struggle, and to bond with other women who face the same problem in the workplace.

This project was created in collaboration with Gallatin Gradute student, Chand Nirankari.

This prototype was designed after we explored the topic gender as identity. We wanted to tackle sexism, because we encounter it personally on a daily basis, and therefore wanted draw attention to it, but in a fun, playful way.

Working women from all around the world can use the device, as well as the blogging platform.

User Scenario

1. When a male co-worker makes a sexist remark and tries to degrade you, first take a deep, long breath.
2. If you find yourself still feeling frustrated, angry, upset or violated, grab your Fresh-Back.
3. Gather your thoughts, press the RECORD button and say whatever you would want to say back to your co-worker if you could.
4. If you feel like sharing your frustration with other women, press the SHARE button and transmit your freshly recorded audio-back to the Fresh-Back blog.
5. Go to to listen to your audio or browse through the frustrations of other women.
6. Now sit back and smile. You just got your fresh-back!

Audio is recorded, sent wirelessly to the computer and added to the database using arduino. Processing communicates with the database and then the audio clip is uploaded to the blog.

Female contributors and test-users were really enthusiastic about the project. They were willing to share their frustrations through audio recording and in writing. We are hoping for women that visit the show to share their frustrations to be shared on the blog.