Some of you are wondering why i still haven't posted anything about the interim show of Design Interactions (RCA, London). Can my silence be interpreted as a critique? No, on the contrary. The show is overwhelming, stimulating and i need some time to digest it. There's some "traditional" interaction design projects and some very challenging works which engage with issues such as stem cell research, viruses, phantom limbs, etc. There's a lot of humour, dark moments, a bit of religion, funghi here and there and apples that communicate how good they are for you. All of that co-exists without any trouble.
Here's one of my favourite projects. It's called Future Farm and its designer is Michael Burton whose previous project Memento Mori In Vitro had already put me into deep thoughts when i first heard about it.
Future Farm imagines a near future when stem cell research has lived up to its fantastic promises.
His scenario follows Beth, an employee of the Department of Stem Cell Technology (DSCT). She's now one of their representatives and organizes information meetings to convince people to do just what she used to do: become stem cell producers and turn their body into a farm where stem cell samples are grown then harvested. In return they will get some financial retribution and the satisfaction to know that their "work" will bring some health benefit to other people. It's not very easy to determine how much they will get pay, it depends on a series of factors such as the quality of the harvest and the kind of stem cell currently in demand.
A mobile clinic provide stem cell producers with all the help and answers they might need: diet plans, advice to become a healthy producer, etc.
As you have to be financially desperate to accept to cultivate stem cells on your face and other parts of the body or to get fat in order to be a provider of adipose-derived stem cells, only people with low income would go for it. This will very probably be echoed by changes in bodily aesthetics within the upper classes: they'll show off their pure, un-soiled, unspoilt body and wear as a sign of their social status body fragments that others have to sell in order to be able to pay the bills.