So, I'm watching this video for the Funktionide [via]:

—and there's a part of me thinking that this could be incredibly useful in some forms of touch therapy for people with certain neurological disabilities or survivors of abuse or anyone who's dealing with a challenge that makes physical intimacy difficult...and then there's this other part of me going, "Lordy begordy. I'm looking at the future of Real Dolls."

The designer, Stefan Ulrich, says that the Funktionide
is an amorph object whose intention is to provide the owner with an atmosphere of presence thus counteracting the feeling of loneliness. In the visions future people are lonely and with all the new dimensions products offer, humans will eventually turn to "robots" for emotional satisfaction.

This gives rise to a number of questions: What happens if products that were proposed as a relief against social isolation begin to become the solution?

...In this way the works intention is to create a provocative picture for discussion, which enables us to question how much we want technological products to satisfy our emotional needs. To ask these questions will become part of the responsibility of future product design.

The ambiguity of this scenario is, that it could be understood as a solution to a wide range of different kinds of loneliness. But it might as well be understood as a scenario which should be avoided by all means possible.
Very interesting. Given that I was torn between feeling compelled and disturbed at the possibilities, I'd say that Ulrich's attempt to provoke multiple reactions was a success. At least for me.


[You can visit Ulrich here.]

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