Sem 01 / Studies of Form 03

Making a Prosthetic

Apurva Talpade

Payal Sandhan and Jeet Guneria: The body engulfed in and vibrating with many fans on it to repel a lot of mosquitoes

Shubh Patel and Dishika More: The arm extending into a large vacuuming device to pick up insects that smell foul when you crush them

Manan Kava and Chaitanya Gaikwad: Many many arms as appendages to hug a friendly cow

Madhura Nar and Indraneel More: A camouflage that is also a shelter from where to observe birds

Ankita Gathibandhe and Kanchi Jobanputra: Wearing a garden to attract butterflies

Amey Thakare and Bhumi Bhansali: A suit to wash errant and dirty dogs that you encounter

Netra Tamore and Khyati Agrawal: A large prehensile tail to hold animals that choose to sit next to you close

Yadnesh Bangar and Arnav Gujarani: Becoming a mother animal, with several teats for suckling puppies and kittens to feed from

The project for the third Studies of Form module looked at making a prosthetic, or a device that transforms the body when worn. The prosthetic was a response to a relationship that the students had with animals and it came from their varied experiences with them, emerging from acts of everyday care, of a mutually held distance, of annoyance and mistrust, of urges to befriend, to entice, to espy, to ward off, to protect, among several others.

The project and the prosthetic took care to not enforce an idea of compassion on the works, but build on existing associations - whether they be those of kinship and affinity, or of aversion and distaste, with care being taken to steer ideas away from blatant hostility. This may have proved a challenge for the teachers themselves, who are all mostly openly demonstrative of their affections towards the creatures great and small in the neighbourhood, but the anchor of the project was the metamorphosis of the body itself, with the devices imagined and designed not as sleek, unobtrusive and discrete forms, but as brazen exaggerations and extensions of limbs, as skins of fur and flowers, as cyborgian alterations of certain body parts, as florid growths and chimeric combinings.
This reimagination of the body is crucial, because the body is at the centre of the designed space. The uniform, standardised notion of the body brings with it its own important baggage regarding acceptable forms of the body, its behaviours, and the range of experiences it is expected to have, and thus the shift in seeing the body becomes necessary to destabilise this breadth of paradigms.