Mikael Staer Nathan

UI,UX,Design + Code

Mikael Staer Nathan is a designer from Toronto, Canada, whose work focuses on interaction design, web development and graphic design.

The Great Enhancement Debate

A visio-verbal exploration into Transhumanism.

This project is an investigation into transhumanism, an international intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of science and technology to improve human mental and physical characteristics and capacities, by way of emerging technologies (biotech, robotics, AI, genetics).

The dreams of science fiction, those of the future Earth with a population of humanoids – the singularity – are actually not too distant. What is the future of humanity? What is the next phase of human evolution? What defines a human being?

Concept

Transhumanism presents an endless series of significant existential and ethical questions, which have, as of yet, no definitive answers. There is much debate and discussion surrounding the movement, trying to find a balance between the possibilities new technologies afford us and the essence of humanity.

This project is a collection of this discourse, pulled from various sources, in a booklet-poster format. I was very much inspired by the writings on SpaceCollective, particularly "The Great Enhancement Debate" project – the title of which perfectly captures the essence of the movement.

Imagery

The booklet was divided into three sections, each representing an important part of the debate: The Mind/Body Problem, Playing God, and Shifting Paradigms.

Three illustrations were created and paired with a key quote from each section, highlighting an important idea or question.

Topics and Issues Addressed

The Mind/Body Problem

What is the mind? What does it mean to be human? What exactly defines who we are, and how can we describe and preserve that identity?

Playing God

Should we take the reins of our future evolution? Should we engage in a coordinated, large-scale project of augmenting our brains and eventually our biology?– Spaceweaver, Changing our Minds on SpaceCollective

Shifting Paradigms

How do we approach the reshaping of cultural norms and the opportunity to consciously select what we are? How will the world look when the human population is made up of different species: enhanced and naturals?