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Prosthetic X

In today’s hectic world there are a lot of changes and uncertainties. This results in a desire for control, people want to take matters into their own hands. To what extent are we willing to go to gain this control?

Isaac Monté explored this question by creating project Prosthetic X. His project is an art-driven innovation made out of 9 protheses that collect data by the means of an artificial, physical data organ. With the information it gathers, the user gains insights into his or her physical and mental health. The design focuses on older people and enables them to understand and have control over their own wellbeing.

“Imagine a future where we have a data organ that shows how healthy we are. This seems like a speculative scenario, but in fact this will become possible soon.”

Monté fascination with the fact that our population is rapidly growing older served as an inspiration for this project. Even though we are getting older, we want to stay healthy and be vital. For now, the goal of the project is to trigger people to think and share their opinions. Later on, he hopes to turn his ideas into real wearable technology.

From experiments conducted, he got positive reactions from people who desire a balance between giving information away in order to receive control over their health. However, there were also people who were a bit reluctant because of the data that was collected from them. In response, Monté is developing another tool, “data donor register“. This tool could empower the user of prosthetic X to define with who he or she wants to share the data. There are several options on how to manage your data: only you have control over it, it is shared with your partner and/or family, with your doctor, scientists, and the most extreme option – commercial parties.

The design is not only inspiring and thought provoking, it also connects to a trend that we describe in our trendbook, “Control regained”. Control Regained focuses on the new, innovative era of control in which people want to regain a sense balance by becoming more self-sufficient. Prosthetic X fits the trend because it helps older people to be more self-sufficient regarding their wellbeing. The design also raises some interesting ethical questions about having control over our mental health and control over personal data. It triggers people to think about the meaning of control, are we willing to give away control in order to receive it?

If you like to know more about Isaac Monté or his work, click here.

If you like to know more about the trends we researched for Dutch Design Week 2020, you can download our trendbook here.

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