Future Body Architect

Lucy McRae is a science fiction artist, body architect and inventor of Swallowable Perfume. She places the body in complex future scenarios, inventing visually iconic films and experiences that connect science with imagination. Lucy influences culture by providing a feminine point of view on scientific breakthroughs related to health and the human body.

Her award-winning artworks have been exhibited at London Science Museum, Royal Academy of Arts, Centre Pompidou and Venice Biennale, developed in collaboration with leading Institutes like NASA, MIT and Ars Electronica. Lucy is listed by Fast Company as one of 50 designers shaping the future.

Make Your Maker

Make Your Maker takes genetic engineering to the extreme, depicting a world where technology is liquid and the human body is cloned to the point of a food source.

Food and Body Inseparable – Make Your Maker takes the concept of genetic manipulation to extreme; where gender and ego are blended like a chef makes a cake and human edible clones are consumed for sensory enhancement. The deliberate modification of life led Lucy to question her own genetic make up; “What if we could choose our own human traits; or if our parents could choose what they give us?”

Assembling the body from scratch in the kitchen where technology and biology merge, may seem absurd – But its important to hover the imagination and discuss how scientific breakthroughs are slowly reconstructing the body.

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Swallowable Parfum

Swallowable Parfum is a cosmetic pill that works from the inside, emitting fragrance through the skin’s surface when you perspire.

Body as Atomiser – This is a story where technology is the size of a blood cell and our skin is programmed to emit a biologically enhanced fragrance. Swallowable Parfum was developed alongside synthetic biologist, Sharef Mansy, where the body is turned into an atomizer and the skin sweats cosmetics.

The scientific potential behind Swallowing Parfum provokes entirely new ground for people suffering hyperhidrosis; a compulsive sweating disorder. Swallowable Parfum “gave me hope to a condition that has no real effective sure”, says one reader. If this tech is possible, what things greater than this could exist?

Swallowable Parfum
Swallowable Parfum
Swallowable Parfum
Swallowable Parfum
Swallowable Parfum
Swallowable Parfum

Part of the Swallowable Parfum project was a performance that used the gallery as a laboratory and place to prototype scientific “What if’s”. Immersive experiences, like these engage the public and provide a platform to explore the emotional impact technologies have and how scientific breakthroughs are slowly transforming the body.

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The Future Day Spa

Personalised, guided experience, offering treatments that evoke states of love, trust & relaxation.

Science Fiction Wellness – Replicating the feeling of being hugged, audiences temporarily hand their bodies over to a part–human, part–machine process that induces the body into a state of relaxation.

Guided by a therapist, participants enter a clean room and lay down underneath a pressurised sheet, as a controlled vacuum is applied to the entire body. Biometric technologies are integrated into each treatment capturing physiological changes to the body. Clients review their depth of their relaxation and how they compared to previous visitors.

The emotional changes brought on by restricted movement moves this work into the “market of pleasure” – Could new kinds of isolation be developed to treat spectrums of autism? Whether it’s ridding hangovers or treating social isolation, transcending people has great value.

Watch The Future Day Spa here

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Institute of Isolation

The Institute of Isolation is an observational documentary that contemplates whether isolation; or more broadly speaking, extreme experience, be used as a gateway to train human resilience.

Body Beyond Earth’s edge – Set in a near future reality this fictional organisation is a research and training ground, that references developments in genetic engineering, space travel and the changing relationship the body is forming with technology.

Institute of Isolation
Institute of Isolation
Institute of Isolation
Institute of Isolation
Institute of Isolation
Institute of Isolation

McRae (the protagonist) moves through a series of sensory chambers spending time in an anechoic chamber examining the psychoacoustics of silence or in her self–invented Microgravity Trainer conditioning the body for possible life in space. These fictional locations explore whether the design of isolation into buildings could play a role in advancing human biology on an evolutionary scale.

Watch the Institute of Isolation here

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Lucy Representing at 2012′s TED conference; the Olympics of ideas. Lucy took the audience on a moving image adventure, introducing what life could be like if we perspired beads of fragrance and what the future looks like for this body architect.

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www.lucymcrae.net

All images and text copyright and courtesy of Lucy McRae

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