Design Yourself
Design Yourself

September 2016, São Paulo

Design Yourself

Neil Harbisson was born color-blind and has developed an implant that allows him to ‘hear color’. That’s it: to hear color. Not to see color. His antenna is directly implanted in his skull and transmits light frequencies into sound waves.

His partner Moon Ribas has an implant that allows her to perceive the movement of real-time earthquakes all around the world.

Both Neil and Moon have developed an intelligence from their implants which they call ‘Artificial Senses’.

“We don’t want to use technology to give us information which is artificial intelligence. We want to use it to sense the information and gives us artificial senses. In this way technology can help we evolve as a race, make us smarter and more intuitive, and improve how we perceive the world around us”, he says.

It might feel controversial, unnatural or extremely intrusive, as if we’re toying with nature too much. But Neil and Moon see it differently: not only they get a lot of their inspiration from nature but they also challenge us in our ethics towards nature. “People think putting an antenna in my brain is too much. But they think it’s ok to cut down an entire rainforest to put concrete and electricity in the middle of it. We believe it’s way more ethical to use technology to change ourselves and we’re going to need to in order to survive in the ever-changing world.”

To help them spread the message of cyborgism to the world, of changing the human body to ensure the survival of the species, we put together a group of people (which included a dental surgeon, engineers and a psychologist) to create “Design Yourself” – a visual identity, tagline and website for the Foundation. The site explores the different human relationships with technology, and offers tools for expanding senses and abilities, and in the process, for becoming a cyborg.

The group also developed a brand-new dental implant, the WeTooth, that uses bluetooth technology and morse code and allowed us to present the world’s first-ever ‘transdental communication’.

They plan to test and improve on the WeTooth and eventually produce at scale so everyone can “feel speech”.

Our Mission

Create a way to communicate to the world the concept and mission of Cyborgism.

To accomplish that, we’ll create:
• a platform that informs people about different types of cyborgs and helps them on the path of becoming one.
• a body part in the mouth that extends human senses or abilities, inspired by other species.

Around the Table
  • Thiago Avelar, Dental Surgeon at Clinica Avelar
  • Igor Oliveira, Hardware Developer at innovation tech lab Aerolito
  • Diogo Seibert, Art Director at JWT
  • Gustavo Nogueira, Technology and Communication Consultant, Co-founder of Perestroika Porto Alegre
    Monica Nassar, Architect, Dancer and Director
  • Daniela Klaiman, Futurist and Consumer Behaviour Expert
    Richard Alexandre, Manufacturing Engineer at NexoHW, specialised in exponential entrepreneurship
    Rômulo Justa, Partner at conscious innovation consultancy Mandalah, Psychologist, specialising in hacking and cyborgism
  • Valentina Ferrari, Designer and Creator of a kit to teach the homeless to code
  • Silvia Daou, Mechanical Engineer and Assistant Director
  • Fabio Couto, Interactive Installation Specialist
  • Andreia Kalvon, Media Specialist
    Juscelino Vieira, Creative Technologist at Publicis
    Lina Lopes, Artist and Founder of maker and innovation lab LILO.Zone
Mesa Team
  • Senta Slingerland
  • Isabella Nardini
    Thum Thompson
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