Madeline Schwartzman – See Yourself X: Human Futures Expanded


Black Dog Press, ISBN-13: 978-1910433225, English, 192 pages, 2018, UK

The seminal “See Yourself Sensing: Redefining Human Perception”, in 2011 created waves in the design community. Illustrating cutting edge sensory-based projects developed over time, this new volume by Schwartzman focuses on our “fundamental perceptual domain” – the head, with its possible “extension into space”. Different sections define the author’s research trajectories: Extended, Analyzed, Clad, Transformed, and Obliterated, dealing with the respective attitudes of designers and artists towards possible head enhancements and extensions. Form and function are then twisted, crossing disciplines, aesthetics and technologies. The speculative and spectacular style of editing that Schwartzman adopts in her selections is nonetheless carefully focused. The artists and designers involved are forging plainly conceptual ideas. The very different approaches taken by these artists and designers are not only aesthetically impressive in the majority of cases, they also deeply question our normal habits and awareness. And despite the extremely varied materials involved, there’s still somehow a systemic approach at play here. All of the material discussed challenges the perception of how we can extend our own bodies and experience an amplified version of ourselves. With its delightful visual journey, this is another unmissable dive into the near future.