In Japan 2050, our scenario probed a world of subtle and seamless engineering in the concept of a perceived utopia where a system embedded within the body allows for an individual personalized experience. Our theme of biotechnology explored the personalised augmented body that would act as a positive feature to support our memory span and information processing that enhances our lives and function as part of us allowing for greater sensory experiences and responses.
Mixed media and Industrial designer Naomi Kizhner has designed a speculative object based on the augmented body. Her projected called, ‘Energy Addicts’ comprises of pieces of jewellery that theoretically distills energy from the wearer’s own body. Naomi states that the jewellery piece is not a practical source of energy but however tests the ability of how far we would go in order to feed our energy consumption addiction in a world of declining resources (Kizhner 2014).
I believe that Naomi’s object is relatable to today’s society and our hunger for energy sources. For instance, we have this psychological perception of panic when simply running low of power on our mobile phones. Imagine the convenience of operating a piece of design so seamless as an ordinary object to perform such a powerful action and harvest our own energy. The device works by placing the object on top of the skin and embedding the gold needles into the human vein. This would theoretically collect the user’s blood by body movement allowing the wheel inside the device to spin and generate electricity. The activity may be gruesome to some however the artist aims to provoke a controversial discussion on how we are willing to sacrifice our own bodies for energy.
Kizhner’s work was very inspiring towards our scenario and speculative object design as our similarities drew from the intension of the augmented body. However we shifted our ideas from the negative ideology of self-energy consumption and built a scenario based on the importance of advancing technology to enhance and benefit our way of living in 2050.
Our speculative object aimed at improving lives by enhancing the memory span of everyday individuals and/or cancer patients allowing for greater sensory experiences and responses. Within our scenario and object being embedded within the body at a young age, we also acquired areas of need in children who require greater attention span as distracting stimuli is difficult to ignore. Creating an argument that we may have been prone to procrastination at a young age (Olesen 2007).
Towards the end of our design process we had several speculative object prototypes, as we believe that good design must be continuously tested. Our models mostly vary on state transitions of materials as we greatly aimed to design for an environmentally friendly prosper future.
Kizhner, N. 2014. Energy Addicts, Portfolio Webpage, last viewed 29th of October 2015, < http://www.naomikizhner.com/#!final-project–energy-addicts/c7q0>
Olesen, P.J., Macoveanu, J., Jesper Tegnér & Klingberg, T. 2007, “Brain Activity Related to Working Memory and Distraction in Children and Adults”, Cerebral Cortex, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 1047-54.