Growing Pains


Growing Pains

Self Initiated Research Investigation

How might new biological processes alter our relationship with objects?

Breakthroughs in biological science have redefined the capabilities of the human body. A new frontier has opened for design, allowing the employment of the body’s material to cultivate products within. How might this new biological process alter our relationship with objects and the world around us?

If man were to grow an optimised material he must nurture a relationship with the object, physically interacting with it under the skin. Through this process, the object is personalised, carrying the indexical traces of its interactions and experiences in its form. If man treats his cells right they will grow. ‘Growing Pains’ is a term referring to the pain symptoms commonly felt by children during development.

Metaphorically, it can also be applied to the growth we experience throughout life both physically and emotionally.

If we were to cultivate an object inside of our bodies that represents us beyond the grave, 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. In this instance, new tools are needed to help us interact and nurture the object, tools that customise the final form.

These tools become part of our daily routine, enhancing our lives whilst preparing us for death. In this growth process, by physically interacting with the item under the skin, we not only shape and increase its growth potential, but also come to terms with our own mortality – you design your own death. Upon death the object is removed from the body and passed onto a relative or loved one, a representation of the self both physically and symbolically.

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Project Team

Body Interior Illustration by: Maartje Kunen
3D Visualisation by: Daniel Rossi

Thanks To:
Dr. C.C. van Donkelaar Associate Professor in Cartilage Mechanics, Biomedical Engineering Department, Technical University Eindhoven