2 Matter of Fat
A dystopian scenario where fat is a valuable material playing a crucial role in our future healthcare
2030, UK, London The current and steady privatisation of the NHS combined with the private development of stem cells medical treatments affected the UK's healthcare system. Closer to US healthcare subsidiaries, the NHS is becoming exclusively for people with comfortable incomes, leaving the lower income group deprived. Given the current demographics trends, the overweight percentage of the population is planned to raise from 30% to 50% in less than 10 years. Due to the economic inequalities growing bigger and bigger, the most affected by this global public health phenomenon are the classes with the lowest incomes. How could lower income families and individuals compensate these inequalities and find an alternative way to get access to healthcare? How could the problem of obesity potentially become a solution?
The project exposed a dystopian scenario, where fat is extracted for its monetary and medical qualities. Inspired by liposuction, a trendy plastic surgery, a DIY extraction device finds a place in the modest interiors. Extrapolating and re-contextualising current laboratory technics such as the treatment and storage of stem cells, the whole system where human fat is treated and cryopreserved, is presented as DIY and underground. The story relates the manners, devices and systems used by an opportunist and ambitious person - half-surgeon and half-dealer - creates a service for the modest households. Mixing horrific and visceral, medical and social problematics, between fat and health, a real questioning is awaiting you.
Matter of Fat is a research-driven and critical design project. By using storytelling and storymaking as speculative tools to build future scenarios and by extrapolating a strong current context to settle the project in, human fat is here showcased as a valuable material and as a prospective solution. However, at the same time, the presented solution is still illegal and asks a lot of engagement and a visceral commitment.
Matter of Fat, video presented in Dutch Design Week 2018
Matter of Fat, video presented in Milan Design Week
This project was developed in collaboration with: Alex McKeown Postdoctoral Research Fellow, the Neuroscience, Ethics & Society team (NEUROSEC), the Big Data Institute (BDI), Oxford, UK Prof. Max Lafontan Director of Research, Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases (INSERM), Toulouse, FR Dr. Anne Bouloumié Researcher in Stroma-vascular cells of adipose tissue, Microenvironment of Adipose Tissue (INSERM), Toulouse, FR Dr. Dominique Larrouy PResearcher, Maître de Conférence Physiologie (MCF), Obesity research laboratory, (INSERM), Toulouse, FR