For many years people have learnt about the body through simulacra, such as dissected dead material, marks on paper or digital replications. These models, although lacking the motion, consistency, behavior, moisture and smell of a living human, still seem to offer significant knowledge for clinical use. The applicable expertise gained through the interactions with models of the body are invaluable in the support towards medical knowledge, yet are oddly founded as a result of a simulated reality, that being in the simulacrum of the living human form.
In an attempt to prevent the loss of vulnerable human values in the face of nascent biomedical and healthcare technologies, perhaps building awareness of the representation of simulated realities may help when making decisions regarding the future of healthcare. This talk will look at the designer’s role in researching alternative or possible simulated realities as a platform for raising shared concerns about representation. Looking at the potential of design methodologies to encourage reflection regarding the interaction between the body and technology, and how this reflection may leave a cognitive imprint.
Agi Haines’ work is focused on the design of the human body. How might people respond to the possibilities of our body as another everyday material and how far can we push our malleable bodies while still being accepted by society?
After completing her masters in the Design Interactions department at the Royal College of Art, she is now undertaking PhD research at Transtechnology Research, funded by Plymouth University. This research sits within a transdisciplinary department called Cognovo – a large scale Marie Curie funded ITN exploring cognitive innovation. Working amongst various artists and scientists who are all focused on creativity and cognition, her inspiration comes from the weird and wonderful things that exist inside us. Questioning how our morbid curiosity for the viscera of life might affect the future of design, not only for the environment but also for us as sentient sacks of flesh within it?