2016 Inception Award | Skinthetic

Emmeline Neate


Transforming the body into a hyper field.

Gold Winner Inception Award 2016


Understanding hyper reality as the ultimate authentic fake, Skinthetic transforms the human body into a hyper eld through cosmetic, sensory and virtual interfaces. Informing new spatial synergies between the natural and the arti cial, the built and un-built, and the body and its senses.

Skinthetic is a spatial experience that helps broaden our understanding of self, beyond just fixating on image and vision. Undertaking research around human evolution, synthetic biology and the potential industrialization of the body within Western Society, the project pursues whether the concept of the cosmetic can uncover new understandings of the body as a performer.

This research has conceptualized the human body as an intuitive performer, a malleable terrain that processes space. Pursuing the unique qualities of the body, allows the synthetic biology cosmetic and spatial interfaces to build a chemistry that reimagines the body from an image, to a eld that is constantly interacting with the external environment.

Skinthetic is located in the Aire Valley, Victoria. It is sighted amongst an exotic Plantation of Californian redwoods currently reaching 60 metres into the air, the plantation has been described to have a cathedral hush, and leads the question of how much more these natural sites have to offer to us as hyper realities.

The skin conservatory tests and measures the users sensory engagement, manipulating the interfaces to exalt the performance of the suit and the body.

Once the user descends into the site, the personal sensory compass software starts. The audio orienteering simulates a similar program to mindfulness meditation. This drives the user to be consumed by the body and its ability to process the surrounding space.

Using Bluetooth to connect to the users phone, the software uncovers information about the person including, name, ages, likes and dislikes, and introduces the user to the spatial experience. Virtual software informs a new visualization of space. The software produces graphics that are generated through the body’s perception of the spatial

experience; this becomes a new synaesthesia that informs vision as a product of inhabitation rather than a xed image. The mask worn by the user allows for projection for the graphics.

The site is tted out with sensory irrigation in a 5 by 10 metre grid. The sprinkler system relies on the sensory compass software to program a personalized sprinkler path that maps juxtaposing scents, lighting conditions and tastes.

Skinthetic has manipulated human skin structures such as pores, hairs and other keratin forms into a synthetic biology that directly reacts and performs to sensory engagement. The cosmetic skin includes 3 sensory types, the sensory stratum corneum, the sensory pore and the sensory hair. The sensory corneum is a skin barrier that’s controls the environment that comes within. The buds synthesize sensory information, tracking and informing the conservatory of what stimuli is reaching the body surface. The sensory pore helps to absorb the external environment within to react against the human skin. And the sensory hair heightens the sense of self-moving around the site through tickling the naked skin.

These skin types act as synthetic sensory receptors. When the cosmetic skin comes in contact with external stimuli, the cosmetic glows to inform that a reaction has occurred.

Through rigorous material testing the concept of a cosmetic was transformed from a beauty enhancer serum to be understood as interfaces of architectural skins. Analysing the role of clothing, the function of home and the intimacy of cosmetic lead to nding that the applications of natural and arti cial in today’s world is not so binary.

This research begins to explore the potential for Interior Architecture to move beyond developing constructed interior spaces, towards creating interiority within a eld of space. By focusing on moment and atmosphere, Skinthetic builds unique interfaces that engage the body in different ways. Creating a new field through the sensory interplay of; the user, space and the hyper and transforming the body into a hyper field.