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up to and including 13 October 2013

Design Column #5 - Body Building

Design Column #5 Body Building presented a number of scenarios about our physical improvement, and illustrates the need to make choices. It sheds light both on progress and on the downside of it all.

We are living longer and staying healthier. And although the opportunities to improve our bodies seem endless, the resources clearly are not. We have to make choices. Do we invest money and energy into one line of research and neglect another? Practical and strategic motives are factors here, but our moral compass also has to be constantly reset. How far can we go in adapting our bodies? And is this choice defined by the economic situation? Now that growth is no longer unrestricted, where do the desires and boundaries lie?

Supporters of trans-humanism, for example, argue that we have arrived in a post-Darwinian era in which we can shape our own evolution. Trans-humanists strive towards becoming ‘post-human’ - a human being that has physically improved with the aid of computers, software, nanotechnology and genetic manipulation. The inevitable symbiosis of computer technology and the human body was the subject of The Matrix film trilogy (The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions from 1999 to 2003) but little by little it now appears to be becoming reality.


Ideas that make a difference

Every three months the Design Column focuses on a news item in the form of a small exhibition. The column is a place where new ideas are made visible, where the power of imagination is given expression. Designers and artists are especially interested in experimental imagination. With their idiosyncratic vision, they see things differently and are capable of bringing about change. The Design Column creates a space for these innovative concepts.

The Design Column is not only a presentation but is also an opportunity for reaction and dialogue. You are cordially invited to participate in a roundtable conversation that will take place on Friday 11 October 2013. If you would like to participate in this conversation, please contact the curators of the Design Column at designcolumn@boijmans.nl.

The series Design Column has been made possible by Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie en BankGiro Loterij.