Emma Whiteside was involved with Victoria University’s Design Led Futures program in 2009. Emma was involved in a collaboration of seven students to create a group called Puf. The Puf project is a direct response to the challenge to “step back from the constraints of daily practice, to look beyond the immediate product, to look at it in context, and to investigate the broader issues that surround it – human issues, issues of society, culture and behaviour –including emotional issues that are fundamental to design as a discipline”.
The BUD, pictured here, is a self-sustaining organ, a ‘mirror’ of our conscious self residing within our physical body. It in every way reflects our primary conscious self, our emotions, desires, memories, likes and dislikes. In constant synchronisation, the BUD affords us the unique ability to conduct ourselves in parallel worlds at the same time. One could be virtually skiing on the highest peaks of Mont Blanc, while physically one is preparing an evening meal. Both experiences being completely immersive, creating memories of the sensation of the bitter wintery conditions on your exposed face and the delightfully summery smell of dinner cooking on the BBQ.
Bio-genetic design of the BUD has resulted in the prolonged lifespan beyond that of our physical bodies. The BUD does not allow everlasting conscious life. The BUD begins life as a genetically cultivated neural seed. This seed is then implanted into the remaining umbilical cord when it is severed at birth. The neural seed then migrates to within the protective wall of the abdominal cavity and tethers itself into the vast array of neural pathways that connect it to the brain.
From here, the BUD utilises a semi-permeable micro-pore membrane in order to garner nutrients from the air and ground. The lifespan of the BUD provides our conscious self with an extended life of upward of a further 100 years. Our ongoing immersive experiences in the virtual world remain true to those we had in the physical world.
Many interations of models were made for the form of a BUD. The first models (Hybercoon’s) were said to be too much like us and disturbing. These forms also had no defense mechanisms. The second models were much more geometric and less human-like. These were seen as too ‘parasite’ like and nothing resembling what you would want in your body. The third and final set of models, shown here, were made of more delicate and soft materials and colours. The final models had a ‘puffing’ defence mechanism. The final BUDS also glow when approched as a sign of warning to preditors. They are all coloured slightly differently to reflect human individualtiy.