Transformation Design

New Humanity

Esmay Wagemans
A research of the identity-shift between robot and human. Are robots becoming us or are we becoming robots? Graduation project.
Practice Autonomous Practices
Project Hacking
Major Transformation Design
Year Graduation year



New Humanity

Human (hyoo͞ ′mən)— a member of the primate genus Homo and distinguished from other apes by a large brain and the capacity for speech. But do we still belong to primates if we modify and manipulate our body? And are we still human if our bodies are enhanced by technology? Are we evolving to a new species, or should we reconsider what it means to be human?

In nowadays society technology is more and more at the forefront, as natural assumptions about humanity are fading to the background. We are extending our abilities and overcoming the limitations that stem from our physical bodies' limitations by accepting new technologies— that is human evolution. Technological developments give us the opportunity to become our own creator, but also create a hyper-self awareness of the body. Humans aren’t longer strictly nature, but also a product of culture.


Humans avert themselves from a natural self-image, as they don’t want to lag behind the superiority of the robot. This is in contrast to a big part of social robots, as they are given the most natural and humanly identity as possible. A human replicate is the most common interface, since humans are more likely to empathise with- and relate to creations that look like themselves. By being more human, robots are more accepted by human.

At the heart of both situations, both robot and human seem to regenerate to stay alike and thus become both accepted in society. A society in which the makeable human transformed from a disturbing fear image to a desirable ideal image. Continuously influencing each other creates a loop between both identities— a feedback system in which robots need to be more human and people more robot.