Concept Development: The Human of the Future

Further areas of interest relating to the human body are the evolution and possible future obsolescence of the body.

As technology evolves the human body will evolve with it. We are seeing both natural changes in the body due to the use of technology, and also a kind of ‘manmade’ evolution through the upgrading of the body via new medical technologies. These changes currently occur after we are born and participate in a technological society, however it could be predicted that these changes will eventually affect our genetic make up, so that in future babies will be born with a biology that is adapted for the technological world. A kind of technological ‘nature vs nuture’, where we will move from changes in the body via nuture, or extensive use of technology, to a human race that is biologically inseparable from the impact of technology.

goldfishmemory
Credit: http://www.time.com
technologyevolution
Credit: http://www.marketingweek.com

Many of the key changes are happening in the brain. The constant stream of information affects memory as well as the way the brain processes the information, and even our ability to deep read.

In addition to these changes which are a by-product of technology use, the body is also being purposefully upgraded and enhanced.

exoskeleton2
Credit: http://www.technologyreview.com
exoskeleton
Credit: http://www.sciencemag.org

What once was science fiction has fast become reality, as increasingly extensive technological body enhancement becomes possible. The options are vast: practical transhumanists have already augmented their bodies with antenna allowing them to hear colour, implanted magnets into their fingertips in order to feel electromagnetic currents, and even attempted to develop infrared vision through diet.

What is interesting to me is the ways in which the human body might one day become obsolete. If human augmentation becomes widely available, and is used not only where necessary but simply to become stronger, faster and more powerful, would people renounce their biology to become mechanically evolved? The impact on society would be vast. We would likely see clashes between those for and against extensive enhancement. The image of an augmented military, with abilities not granted to the average citizen, is highly dystopic, with widespread implications.

It is this idea of the human of the future that I would like to explore further in the architectural project, with a focus on linking this to the biological forms previously explored.

Header image credit: Sun Lee via www.wired.co.uk

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