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Artist Moms

A Cosmic Labor & Delivery Design You Need To See To Believe

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Photography by Stiliyana Minkovska

For Bulgaria-born, UK-based artist and designer Stiliyana Minkovska, the birth of her daughter three years ago was an awakening in more ways than one. As any birthing person can attest to, the process itself is hard to forget. For Stiliyana, it was also a creative reawakening, as she immediately saw the need for a more female-centered birthing experience. “During Stelena’s birth, I felt at the disposal of the hospital, I felt institutionalized, like a medical object,” she explains. “I knew this was not right and as a designer I had certain creative powers to change this. It changed me as a designer and it changed me as a person, it’s been something like being reborn.”

Just three years later, Stiliyana had a second “baby,” this time, a design project she dubs Ultima Thule—a stunning, sanctuary-like environment for birth, made up of three innovative, supportive, and flexible structures. While this month marked the end of Ultima Thule‘s display at London’s Design Museum (it’s since moved on to St. Thomas’ hospital, where Stiliyana gave birth!), we’ve got the whole story—and awe-inspiring photos—of the project right here.


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