In 1679, the “Habeas Corpus Act” recognizes in England the individual right to “have the body” freedom. Three centuries later, technology and medicine hold the promise of an object body, an accessory, almost cumbersome. But this is not so. The body -our biometric identity, our material reference in a mutant universe of space and time- deserves now more than ever its subject status. It determines the pace of our lives and dictates what’s possible.
The modern evil of acceleration is not new. The burst of conditions such as stress, burnout, or depression, all cry out a single conclusion: it’s now urgent to slow down... in order to survive. Indeed, slow expands. Leisure and laziness' benefits are being rediscovered.
1. Launched as a joke, or a provocation, this Artpolitic T-shirt invites us to think about procrastination. Constant postponement also means to allow due time for present and to refuse the emergency. 2. An original project by Siren Elise Wilhelmsen for Berlin’s Universität der Kunste. Everything counts is a clock... knitting a scarf. This work embodies the expression and sensation of time over one year.
Our perception of the time-space environment seems to have been obscured by the exploration of new dimensions (the infinitely large and the infinitely small, the virtual spaces). But it’s just an illusion. Today our body constantly reminds us of the material reality we belong to. And even better, our body is the reference scale to grasp the world, our identity, art, the passing of time, or even effort.
1. Jacky, with her long gray hair and thin figure, is the face of the Californian brand American Apparel’s last campaign. 2. Kinect used as a 3D scanner, linked to a 3D printer printing body movements in volume. An experiment by Interactive Fabrication. On a more general note, Kinect tends to revolutionize the human-machine interaction: body interface and body joystick.
EVOLUTION OF VALUES
REGAIN BODY TIME
Alice’s tale suggests that we take the time when arriving somewhere. In wonderland, emergency is not inevitable and time is no luxury. It’s of vital importance to postpone, to unburden our daily lives and to listen to our body’s choices.
WORLD REALITY TUNED WITH BODY REALITY
Long gone avatars, fantasized bodies and mindscaped illusions. Today the body urges us to take care of its space, its movements, its energy, as well as it pace and needs when it grows old. It requires an experience-bearing, sense-stimulating, emotions-upwinding environment. To become one with matter or to penetrate the virtual world.
BODY POWER: FROM KNOWLEDGE TO ENERGY
We thought this world had entered the mind state, the era of intangible knowledge, for good. And just about now, gesture wants to speak. Knowledge of the flesh, touch-based operations, body imagination or spiritual sensations... are all new dimensions that the worlds of design, fashion, architecture, health, education and communication will need to integrate, before the body deceives us. The promise of an energetic future of the body, will surely raise awareness...
Design objects, services and spaces so as to get out of time, to de-contextualize and to forget about it. Recover the harmony of a body pace. Take some time. Open the gates of Time. Enjoy the pause, the comfy sensations of sustainable well-being.
1. Lib(e)ro by Setsu & Shinobu Ito. This modular urban furniture system enables to create micro-environments in the city, for pauses or meeting spots. Each container slice can be organized differently. 2. Night Night by Vanessa Hordies. An hourglass bedside lamp where sand runs for approximately ¼ hour, progressively making the light disappear and sleep come.
The world at hand... for all. Get to know through design, create shapes to realize and imagine, use gesture to stimulate the mind. Establish a dynamics of learning in the mind-body relationship.
1. Tai Chi Chair by Yuan Yuan. Specifically designed to combine both daily life and Tai Chi gestures, it balances the mind and body, for a better well-being at work. 2. Edible Schoolyard by Work aC. This “garden - kitchen” school awakens kids to the food-health connections, and to engage ecologically at all steps: from seeding to harvesting, and to preparing diet meals based on seasonal products.