Every day, millions of breastfeeding mothers head to work knowing they will need to express milk in dark conference rooms, converted closets and other makeshift spaces not appropriately designed for privacy, personalization of sanitization. These same women will also have to visibly pack and carry their equipment each time they need to pump and store the resulting milk in small refrigerators under their desks or in communal areas. To be direct, these women deserve better.
Our team has conceptually developed a better solution called Sona that confronts traditional, segregated and clinically driven spaces typically devoted to new mothers for expressing milk. Taking into account the often taboo nature of “pumping” at work, the design team has developed Sona as an experience-driven, mobile pod to meet and exceed the needs of women who choose to pump. Sona is a champion for equity in the workplace by allowing women to express breast milk when and where they please, without sacrificing privacy or sanitation.
Our team is submitting Sona to Amp – CannonDesign’s in-house business incubator focused on developing new products and services to take to market – and beginning to explore how we could manufacture it. We are hopeful Sona can soon become more than an idea, an an actual reality for working mothers. We look forward to sharing more information soon. Enter your e-mail address below to keep in touch on future updates to Sona.
Here are key features of Sona:
- Sona is a completely mobile, acoustically isolated unit that can be stationed anywhere within the workplace (or in airports, convention centers, public parks, etc.). The unit’s innovative design allows women to express breast milk as part of a seamless workday. Equipped with a comfortable soft lounge seat, integrated, refrigerated storage for milk, UV sterilization cubbies for pump equipment, and a low-profile wash sink for convenience, Sona is a dedicated, comprehensive, private space exclusively for new mothers.
- The pod’s interior environment is 100% user-defined. By interfacing with an integrated smart screen on the pod’s interior, women can control a range of atmospheric conditions within, including lighting, temperature, sound and visuals, as well as massage functions and seat recline. Now mothers can select whether they want a fully immersive, meditation experience or one that enables continued and seamless work (i.e. e-mails, conference calls, etc.) The result is a curated experience designed for breastfeeding mothers.
- Sona’s form and feel enable new mothers to efficiently and effectively express milk without sacrificing sophistication or self-confidence. The pod is an enclosable, standalone unit, scaled to achieve mobility as well as intimacy and comfort. The pod’s exterior hard shell is thick enough to accommodate integrated storage, pocket doors, power and plumbing for a concealed sink. Compact refrigeration units located within the wall are accessible from inside and outside the pod for maximum convenience.
- Sona’s thickened wall also houses a retractable soft, felted hood that upon deployment offers a private, acoustically tempered environment. The pod is also equipped with concealed potable and grey water receptacles below the seat. For ease of transport, Sona is mounted on concealed casters and includes a retractable power cable that enables the pod to charge in any location with nearby power.
- The team envisions Sona as a rentable, modestly sized mobile object for daily use or special events. Host businesses and organizations can rent any number of Sona pods based on the number of staff requiring them without incurring large capital expenditures to retrofit existing offices and without permanently reassigning square footage to a single use space.
- To offset rental costs, Sona offers opportunities for product partnerships (think fully stocked beverage bars) and targeted amenity integration – women can use Sona’s smart screen to shop for baby food, diapers and more.
Our team designed Sona in response to Fast Company’s Provocation series through which we were asked to help develop a better solution for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace. We were excited and honored to take on the challenge and are remarkably proud of the results. We look forward to continuing to develop the idea and hopefully bring it to market.