Mike Thompson’s Growing Pains
In his project Growing Pains: Nurturing the Relationship Between Man & Object designer and researcher Mike Thompson toys with the notion of death, imagining a future wherein our bodies could cultivate an object that would represent us beyond the grave. If this design were possible, Thompson writes that “we would grow death inside of us, forcing us to interact with it on a daily basis whilst nurturing new material in preparation for our decay.”
Over the course of its growth process, we would shape the object under our skin through our physical interaction with it. Effectively, we would be designing our own death.
After our death, the object would be extracted from our body and passed onto a loved one as a physical and symbolic representation of ourselves. In the images above, we see Thompson’s imagined object: a simulated bone shaped into a pipe by its agent.
Although imagined, Thompson’s project presents us with some challenging questions. If we were preparing for our death rather than attempting to run away from it, how might we live differently? If we could design our own death, what form would it take? How would we want to be remembered?
For more information about this project and others by Thompson, visit his website.
- Gabrielle Doiron