DaSHI (Design and Sexual Health Innovation) at RMIT Industrial Design is a research and teaching cluster developing projects in the new field of Sexual Health, Wellbeing and Design led by Dr Judith Glover.

Her PHD (2013) on Industrial Design and the sex toy industry was the first design PHD to place Industrial Design within the field of Sexual Health and advocate for the safe and reliable production of sex toys facilitating healthy sexual practice for women and men.

Through the activities of DaSHI Dr Glover is establishing Sexual Health and Wellbeing as an adjunct to the research and design capabilities Industrial Design can offer into the health sector world wide. Sexual health is increasingly being seen as a right and part of healthy ageing and life-long wellbeing.

Research and design innovation in the area of sexual health goes beyond just the commercial interests of the sex toy industry and product design. Innovation will happen with a multi-disciplinary approach utilising the creativity of design thinking and the rigour of research methods to tackle problems previously considered taboo.  The sex toy industry can also benefit from the innovative outcomes design research can achieve.

If sexual health and practice is seen as a life-long journey there are many stages and many ways that people become affected by changes to life circumstances and physical health. Solutions to major sexual health issues in this area have been affected by the same socio-sexual taboos as the sex toy industry.  DaSHI advocates for designers to collaborate with medical, health professionals and clinicians in cross disciplinary projects targeting the issues affecting men’s and women’s sexual health.

DaSHI is interested in projects involving Sex and (Dis)ability, Vaginismus, Prostrate Cancer (and sexual rehabilitation from cancer in general), Sex and Ageing, Pelvic Pain, Pre and Post natal, Erectile Dysfunction and innovative new forms of sexual arousal. DaSHI advocates for rigorous analysis and research into these problems and the application of the full scope of creative and technical design methods.