October 2011 – February 2012

The research project for students of the third year and bridging program at MAD-faculty (campus C-mine) focuses on design in the context of human enhancement. The project “H(ello).E.T.!“ aims to explore the field of human enhancement and its implications in order to develop design outputs that relate to the debate concerning human enhancement technologies.

To trigger reflection on the difficulties of this debate, the project started off with an immersion in the world of people with a physical disability. Student teams did interviews and observations with people with a physical disability and experts in prosthetics.

This all served as extreme user experiences. The aim was to bring students closer to situations in which they were confronted with a desire or a moral debate concerning enhancing – or in this case, curing – human performances and abilities. The experiences and insights that the students gained via these observations and interviews will be interpreted and translated to the field of human enhancement in the next phases of the project.

The (research) questions that the students need to answer through their research are: how do you position yourselves – via design – in the debate around Human Enhancement? Which role does the designer and his/her design play in this debate? And how far can you go in enhancing/improving humans as a designer?

“H(ello)E.T.!” is a cross-disciplinary research project executed by the third year and bridging program students of Graphic Design, Television/Film, Product Design, Communication- and MultimediaDesign, Photography and Animationfilm of Media, Arts & Design Faculty (campus C-mine).

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