The Interaction course at the Royal College of Art has recently been undergoing some reorientation. Anthony Dunne’s approach and research work follows the belief that technology-related design should still be about user interfaces but more and more focus on what follows new developments in terms of ethical and social issues, thus linking itself to society not only through aesthetic innovation. Therefore, the first brief was titled “Design for debate – victimless meat?” and faced people with the task of questioning a possible in-vitro meat production. A design’s success would be measured in its power to set off a debate.
An interesting yet disturbing project that resulted was done by Michiko Nitta. She left the field of animal meat in order to find a way to connect individual memory to the body. Michiko’s proposals include a technique for genetically growing selected parts of your body on a beloved person’s skin. Having a third nipple close to the pelvic bone would be one option, growing a certain beauty spot another. It would also be possible to grow a patch of living hair on your arm, reminding you of mum. It’s much like a tattoo, but you’d have to shave every now and then.