Tyler Coburn, Ergonomic Futures, 2016 — Furniture designed in collaboration with Bureau V, Website : www.ergonomicfutures.com, Installation view: “Joining Forces with the Unknown,” 2016, Paris. Photo credit: Tyler Coburn
Tyler Coburn, Ergonomic Futures, 2016. Furniture designed in collaboration with Bureau V. Website: www.ergonomicfutures.com. Installation view: Joining Forces with the Unknown, Paris. Photo credit: Tyler Coburn. © Tyler Coburn

Ergonomic Futures

Date: 2016
Medium: Digital milling, glass fiber, soft touch paint
Collection: Centre Pompidou & Musée de l'Homme, Paris

Banking on scientific knowledge and cultural studies as much as on the science of imagination, Ergonomic Futures, Tyler Coburn's speculative design project, raises the following questions: What possible scenarios could be imagined for new human body types? And how can these bodies change today’s discourse on disability?

The artist put these very questions to paleoanthropologists, evolutionary biologists, genetic engineers, and even ergonomists. The questions were also debated and formalised in collaboration with New York architects Bureau V.

This process resulted in the construction of one bench presented during Joining Forces with the Unknown. After the conclusion of the event, the bench – along with an exact copy – was placed in Centre Pompidou and Musée de l’Homme (Paris) where it will fulfill its utilitarian function for decades to come. If these museums survive history and the bench survives oblivion, it could receive at an unspecified point in the future the bodies of which it will have anticipated the contours, needs and attitudes towards the contemplation of art, history and artefacts.

This bench, which will increase in number in the years to come, is accompanied by a website of short stories, written by the artist, relating to its creation: ergonomicfutures.com.

Bureau V (furniture co-design)
Luke Gould and Afonso Martins (graphic and web design)
Nicolas Grenier and Éric Rollet from Creaform (digital milling)
Tyler Coburn, Ergonomic Futures, 2016 — Furniture designed in collaboration with Bureau V, Website : www.ergonomicfutures.com, Installation view: “Joining Forces with the Unknown,” 2016, Paris. Photo credit: Tyler Coburn
Tyler Coburn, Ergonomic Futures, 2016. Furniture designed in collaboration with Bureau V. Website: www.ergonomicfutures.com. Installation view: Joining Forces with the Unknown, Paris. Photo credit: Tyler Coburn. © Tyler Coburn
Tyler Coburn, Ergonomic Futures, 2016 — Furniture designed in collaboration with Bureau V, Website (www.ergonomicfutures.com), Installation view: Centre Pompidou, Paris. Photo credit: Tyler Coburn
Tyler Coburn, Ergonomic Futures, 2016. Furniture designed in collaboration with Bureau V. Website: www.ergonomicfutures.com. Installation view: Centre Pompidou, Paris. Photo credit: Tyler Coburn. © Tyler Coburn
Tyler Coburn, Ergonomic Futures, 2016 — Furniture designed in collaboration with Bureau V, Website (www.ergonomicfutures.com), Installation view: Centre Pompidou, Paris. Photo credit: Tyler Coburn
Tyler Coburn, Ergonomic Futures, 2016. Furniture designed in collaboration with Bureau V. Website: www.ergonomicfutures.com. Installation view: Centre Pompidou, Paris. Photo credit: Tyler Coburn. © Tyler Coburn