Bioinstinct

Van Mensvoort
May 8th 2009

laura-boffi.jpg
Designer Laura Boffi envisions a future in which human instincts will leap behind on technological progress. For example, once the 'disease called mortality' is cured with regenerative medicine, man may start to see death not as a biological event in his life, but as something that may occur to the 'unlucky on call'.  What would be the implications for our instincts for death?

Will human instincts become object of design, and if so, how would that work? Will there be schools for 'bioinstinct designers'? Will it be arranged by the government? Or will it be a personal choice, depending on religious and cultural views?

To fuel the debate, Boffi created an incubator in which parents can implant certain instincts in their infant. They could agree on the genetic modification for the sake of the social ecology, depending on their ethical values, or they could go for it to suit natural parents' concern of protecting their baby.

Attributing a cultural use of the biotechnology, rather than a technical use, Bioinstinct is a project about the way man could cope with his instincts in the age of biotechnology.

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laura
Posted 04/06/2009 – 18:45

tx again for the comments. the aim of the project is actually question people about possible uses of new technologies and the implications of those...
my incubator is meant to work as a big question mark and a "forced stop" to think about where to drive our technological progress.
no distopya, no uthopya vision, but lots of layers of meanings that make me reflect and drive me on my working on this kind of topic as a designer.
So, tx again!

Greg Western
Posted 03/06/2009 – 03:13

It surprises me that so few people seem at all concerned about the implications of death being cured. It would be wonderful to live for a thousand years or more, I'm sure a lot of us would, given the opportunity. But the end result of that would be an unparalleled population explosion. Death is the dam holding that flood back, and it is already leaky, given our exponentially increasing population. If that dam were removed completely, there could only be two outcomes, as I see it. Option one would be widespread famine, as resources would vanish to support the Earth's massive (and ever-older) population. Option two would be management of everyone's reproductive rights by the government, so that the only babies born would be replacements for the members of the population dying due to accidents. If option two were the case, humanity would essentially become frozen in time, culturally and ideologically, because there would be no new people to take things in different directions. Unless we suddenly discovered a means of rapid interstellar travel so we could spread proportionally to our new growth rate, I really don't see any other alternatives with death removed as a factor.

Denny
Posted 10/05/2009 – 17:35

Whenever I read articles like this it sends a panicked chill down my spine. Not because of mans "tampering" with nature but rather because we are so incredibly primitive. We could achieve so much if we could overcome our shelf-life by a few hundred or even thousands of years.
I really do believe we are living in a dark age. A time when the only coping mechanisms for death are brainwashing, morbid acceptance and mass delusion.
Far too many of us were born too early :(
-Denny

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Lisa Mandemaker: Using an artificial womb could lead to more equality between sexes, but also between different family layouts. If men would be able to give birth to children, it would maybe be easier for male same-sex couples to have a child together.

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