What role do we as designers play in shaping our future as cyborgs?

Cyborg-Centered Design

master thesis | design research | thesis , website, animation movie, talk | 2018

Challenge

Rapid technological change can make future developments hardly calculable. Technology is becoming smaller, cheaper and is getting closer to the human body: We are turning into cyborgs. What role do we as designers play in shaping our future as cyborgs?

There are several definitions about — at which level people can be called: cyborgs. Its from wearing glasses over wearables and exoskeletons to implants. We came to the conclusion: it doesn’t matter if we are already cyborgs or not. The important thing is that we are in transition being more cyborg like. Thats why we are talking about the cyborgisation as a Process.

Approach

The initial theoretical discussion served as the basis for the precise definition of the topic: Through the social-theoretical and technological knowledge gained through specialized literature and interviews, the focus has been placed on implanted technologies. The development of a design solution based on an exemplary project in the context of the metabolic disease diabetes made it possible to make design-relevant statements.

Result

The thesis is the theoretical part of the work: it covers a detailed examination of the human transformation to machine and the debate around this topic. This serves as the basis for future projects. The designed website and the introductory film should make designers aware of the topic’s relevance in hopes to inspire designers to deal with this topic. Furthermore, the terms Cyborg-Centered Design #CCD, Body User Interface #BUI and Internet of Cyborg #IoC were coined during this project. They are used to investigate which new challenges designers will face when the body becomes the interface and the human being becomes the center of its networked environment.

Sharing data can strengthen personal connection.
Interaction surfaces can be attached nearby sensory organs.
Natural Stimuli can be boosted or expanded.
Objects in its environment can allow access.
Technology can display information directly on the body.
In an emergency, intelligent products can intervene automatically.

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