Genetic trace

0apourlen.jpgAll the projects of the Design Interactions work in progress show occupied only one room. Yet i had to go the RCA 3 times to get only a rough idea of what was going on there*. Am i getting old or was the exhibition just too dense and engaging for one small brain?

One of the works that fascinated me most was Susana Soares‘ exploration of Genetic sexual attraction, a sexual attraction –observed in relatives who first meet as adults– between close relatives, such as a brother and sister. As The Guardian writes, in the age of the sperm donor, it’s a growing reality: 50% of reunions between siblings, or parents and offspring, separated at birth result in obsessive emotions.

Soares imagined that in the near future people could be equipped with a series of instruments that would enhance their senses and allow then to collect genetic material, detect their genetic family and avoid “wicked relationships.”

The collection of genetic material could be extended to physical contact like handshakes or kisses. While touching the hand of the other person you would use your “brushy” nails to scrap some genetic material from his or her palm. Similarly women facial hair would finally be useful because they would allow you to grab genetic information (saliva or dead cells containing DNA) after a kiss.


In Soares scenario, you could also grow whiskers on your eyebrow that would act as complementary sensors.

Small accessories for the nose would let you sniff out others’ genetic codes and detect who might be an acceptable partner.

* if i ever find the time i’ll try to blog about the show of the architecture department, there were some very interesting projects there as well.