We can’t live with out them. Literally. Toys, weapons, gadgets, tools, utensils, and doohickies. They are not only the things we create, but they are the things we create to be able to create. Man made objects are all around us, they are what allow us to travel long distances at high speeds, and even allow us to keep our food preserved for later. There are some objects designed for entertainment like games and toys, then others for pleasure, like a foot massager, then objects were designed for destruction, like an AK-47. No matter what purpose these items have been created for they are an extension of their creator, and thus an extension of man.
The objects in our environment, not only augment our abilities, like a megaphone, but there are chemicals that can augment our physical performance. There are even surgeries that pair us with objects, augmenting our appearance or sustaining our lives. I have always wondered about cyborgs, and robots, and prosthesis.With all the technology available to amplify a persons life and ability, at what point should we change their classification from human to something else? If our bodies are augmented by man made machines, and our minds are augmented by man made chemicals, what is it that makes us human? We’ll investigate this idea and pose a notion in a new section called Try This On, where we will present a radical idea relevant to our topic.
We’ll feature photos of people with their favorite objects and ask them why they feel strongly about them. We will speak to artists, black smiths, and surgeons about the special objects they create and use to do their work. This is a month where we will celebrate design itself and look into items and how their motives can be derived from their use.
To fully observe this topic we must also look to synthetic drugs, fabrics and the even smells. How we classify our reality is very much linked to our experience of the natural world but that experience is becoming increasingly artificial. We must ask if this is something we want or cause for concern. As we travel along this road paved by own hands it important to take ethical questions on as well. Should we create things just because we are able to? Are there moral limits that should be placed on design or innovation? What constraints are merited when a device or development can cause harm, who should govern these inventions, and what rights does the creator have over them.
These are no longer questions for tomorrow. With the rate of advancement in technology and design increasing exponentially we may find that we have created an object before we mature enough as a race to know what to do with it or why. At that moment we may find that it is too late to search for answers as the consequences with already be upon us.