Wednesday, 21 November 2007

100 mini project

Designing for the post-human

I am not going to come up with one question from my research such as below and make this my project because firstly Post-humanism is such a vast area and why choose one question and not the other. secondly im designing for a fictional user with technologies that are still being developed and have not been implemented in our lives yet to fully understand the consequences.
Also I feel that later questions will arise such as how do I know that is what will happen, how will that work? I wont be able to test such ideas.

The answer is to set myself 100 mini projects. I need to think of 100 questions for me to answer in project form. As it is fictional design in a sense then by doing lots of mini projects I wont be digging myself a hole. One project per day will be my aim.

by doing 100 projects i will have 100 final pieces (objects, technical drawings, illustrations etc)
Also I expect the each project will result in more questions being asked about that area which I intend to log and thus I could have between 200-400 more questions.

Final result 100 pieces of work, lots more questions to be answer and the overall final result would be to spark debate around the area of post humanism. 

I could present everything in a book form or maybe it could be a collection of 100 mini books. 

moving forward in 2 directions

1>I intend to explore the area of when does a human become post-human? Creating a piece of design that creates debate around this specific topic. Looking further at how boundaries are broken down, change in identity and the physical change of adding technology to the human body.

2>Designing for the needs of the post-human, use design to question the what if's. For example if our sexual parts are taken away and all reproduction is carried out in the laboratory to prevent disease and create the perfect baby. What could be the possible reaction of human kind I.E. what would we find to replace our sexual needs?

background to brief

A post-human is a hypothetical future being whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer unambiguously human by our current standards. Post-humans could be a symbiosis of human and artificial intelligence, or uploaded consciousness, or the result of making many smaller but cumulatively augmentations to a biological human i.e. cyborg.

Advancements in medicine have led us into the first stages of post-humanism through the use of heart pacemakers, cochlear implants, contact lenses, bionic limbs and immunizations. These advancements contribute to extending the average life expectancy defying the built in obsolescence of the ageing process as well as replacing natural organic matter with advanced technology.

Through cyber-punk and sci-fi the boundaries are broken down between human and post-human. Using films such as the Terminator, Robocop and the popular television series of the six million dollar man we see a popular representation of the cyborg ( A person having mechanical elements built into the body to extend their normal physical abilities.)

Tuesday, 20 November 2007


Do post humans already exist? 

1> No, technology needs to be developed so much more that it gets to a point when we are becoming cyborgs for example like the six million dollar man. When advanced technology is implemented into our bodies to increase strength, knowledge etc.

2>Yes, We already use implants in medicine to replace limbs and other areas of the body. Also medicine has helped increase our life expectancy with cures and the use of technology. Our use of the internet and such websites as face book are making us more reliant on technology and changing the way we live our lives. Societies us of technology has changes its identity and function.

The reason why I ask this question is because for my major project at this time I am questioning wether it is feasible to design for a post human. 

If they don't exist already, I will be designing for a fictional user and as such cant go down my normal route of finding a problem that the user has and designing a solution. The answer is to design a piece of work that sparks debate. If I go down this route then I need to identify a particular area within post-humanism that I can question and workout what my message is. 


how do I keep it within design and not art. The last thing I want to do is for the piece to give of a confusing message of wether it is design or art.

"Captain Picard joins the borg."

We see images of cyborgs all the time in films, literature, games, comics. It has become such a popular subject that makes money and when integrated with our utopian sense to better ourselves its no wonder we can easily see technology as a big part of our future. 

Is this an alien or an image of a post-human?
Magnetic Implant
area 1
Do objects control the user?

area 2
How does a novice gain experience?

Can objects teach us?

What factors are involved in the learning process?

example: I just upgraded my mobile phone from a blackberry to a samsung. The operating system is different and when I turned the phone on for the first time I was lost and found it hard to navigate around the phone. Over the next few days I gradually broke down the system and found that I could navigate around my new phone. Is it practice that makes possible? What are the factors that make me able to learn a new phone?

Is the phone designed to let you understand particular parts of the phone at your own learning pace? Is it that society is so used to these forms of technology and that we come into contact with technology on a daily basis that we are starting to form a whole new language that lets us understand more efficiently technology than we did in the past?

Could we look at objects historically and explain the language that we have formed?

Area 3

Can objects help the morning process?
this question seems very vague in that i have not said what kind of object and what user i want to define narrative between. I want to use these two weeks before my territories presentation to research this subject as much as I can before specifically having to choose an area to take further.

sexual fetishisms,
fetishisms as a consumer society,
our obsession with particular objects,
improving relstionship between object and user,
utopian object,
objects that we learn,
objects that inspire debate
cyborg object.

Because I am looking at a broad area to study further I am going to undertake research methods that will also seem general but will give me results that can break down this area into specific points of interest:

I will send out questions to everyone that I know and ask them to tell me about how they are or have had a relationship with an object that is of interest to them. Whether this is physical or emotional does not matter.

I am going to produce short films regarding objects and how they fit into our lives.

These are two definite routes im going to follow and the next is a possibility.

What would happen if i set up a website for objects. Kinda like a facebook but with objects being the users. People would set up accounts with there favorite objects and they could tell us things about those objects e.g. personal details, their feelings, interacting with other objects, pictures etc. My point is that with this research what would happen if the user became the object and the object became the user.


-how can i define narrative between object and user??????