For a glimpse into the minds of the future’s great designers, Design Indaba this year invited the top graduates from design institutions across the world to not only come and experience Design Indaba, but also share their work in Pecha Kucha format. Speaking at the conference were Jon Stam from Design Academy Eindhoven, Sandhya Lalloo from the University of Johannesburg, Revital Cohen from the Royal College of Art in London, Arno Mathies from ECAL Lausanne in Switzerland, Barbara Cilliers from the University of Pretoria and Lauren Mackler from Rhode Island School of Design in the US.

This presentation by Revital Cohen, in which she talks about her Life Support Project, was also presented at the Design Indaba Expo.

About Revital Cohen:

Cohen recently attained a Masters in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art in London, which followed a BA in Contemporary Furniture Design from Buckinghamshire New University. As a designer and researcher she develops critical objects and provocative scenarios exploring the juxtaposition of the natural with the artificial. Her work spans across various media and includes collaborations with scientists, animal breeders and medical consultants. Website:

About the Life Support project:

“Assistance animals - from guide dogs to psychiatric service cats - unlike computerised machines, can establish a natural symbiosis with the patients who rely on them. Could animals be transformed into medical devices? This project proposes using animals bred commercially for consumption or entertainment as companions and providers of external organ replacement. The use of transgenic farm animals, or retired working dogs, as life support ‘devices’ for renal and respiratory patients offers an alternative to inhumane medical therapies. Could a transgenic animal function as a whole mechanism and not simply supply the parts? Could humans become parasites and live off another organism’s bodily functions?”

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