'What is the perfect human body?': These artists have surprising answers

One exhibit asks what the human body would need to look like to withstand a car crash.

‘WHAT WOULD THE human body look like if it was designed to withstand the impact of a low impact car crash?’

That’s the question artist Patricia Piccinini had in mind when she created ‘Graham’, the perfectly curated human body designed to take the impact of 30km/h car crash. 

graham Graham designed by Patricia Piccinini

His enlarged skull is filled with extra cerebrospinal fluid and ligaments to protect the brain, while the neck, one of the most vulnerable parts of the body in a collision, has been removed completely. 

Sacks have been placed between each of his ribs to create airbag-like cushioning, and extra joints in his legs allow him to jump out of the way quickly or bend around a car bonnet.

Graham along with other futuristic exhibits are set to go on display on Friday at the Science Gallery Dublin in the Perfection exhibition, which mixes technology with science to question what perfection in the human body would look like.

Professor Ciaran Simms of Trinity College Dublin said this exhibit highlights the vulnerabilities of the human body.

“Understanding how we receive traumatic injuries is a prerequisite to designing safe environments. Unfortunately, the complexity of the human body and the environments in which we operate make this a difficult task.

“What does this mean for injury prevention? We might envisage a personalised musculoskeletal passport which encodes our body shape and frailty, and which communicates with protective equipment in a car,” he said. 


Another exhibit set to go on display asks whether humans will develop intimate relationships with robots. 

‘Harmony’, a robot that can be customised to look exactly how you want it to look including the shape of her eyes and lips, will be showcased to the Irish public. 

Harmony Harmony is a customisable robot designed to question the relaitonship between humans and robots

The robot is capable of its own facial expressions and movements, communicates via artificial intelligence and has multiple personalities. 

“Although it might appear strange and taboo, the prospect of creating a synthetic partner could seem oddly attractive to many people,” Professor Conor McGinn of Trinity College Dublin said. 

In a modern world where people seem to have less and less time, it offers unparalleled convenience, asks for nothing in return, and will never break your heart.

“Plus, it can be designed to resemble the bodily ideals of men and women that would normally be accessible only through glossy magazines or on posters that inhabit the walls of teenagers’ bedrooms,” he added. 

The exhibition, which is free to attend, is set to run from next Friday until 6 October with a number of talks lined-up to run alongside it. 

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