From Wednesday till Sunday this week you can visit the work-in-progress exhibition by students of The School of Design at RCA. Most pieces need a bit of explanation to be fully appreciated, so whenever you have a chance to talk with the designers about their work, take it! We picked couple of projects that caught our attention. One of them is second year’s Design Interactions student Agatha Haines‘ piece Transfiguration.

This work is not only conceptually cool but also amazingly visually accomplished. Besides that it gives you the creeps ;-). It shows five hyperrealistic (think of Ron Mueck – style hyperrealistic) baby dolls, that might just as well come out from some cruel human experiment lab or a Star Trek episode. One has multiple folds on its head, the other is missing a toe, yet another sports a Michael Jackson-like looking nose etc. Haines plays with the concept of using medical interventions to give infants a higher level of functionality and advantage amongst their (future) peers.

For instance the Jackson lookalike has a bright future granted in the field of sports, with his aerodynamically sculpted nose. Other interventions are intended to improve health or survival prospects: the folds-headed creature should be able to stand heat really well, so no fear of global warming; the one with hanging cheeks might look like a hamster but guess what? those extra surface will increase an absorption of food, drugs and caffeine.

As absurd as it all sounds (and looks), who knows? As we could have seen on the brilliant expo Superhuman @ Wellcome collection last year, altering human body to enhance its functions has been common practice for some time now, sometimes leading to tragic outcomes. What looks like a Frankenstein nursery ward now might become an accepted practice in couple of decades.

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