Revital Cohen

Shortlisted in 2012 for Product Design

Revital Cohen operates on the experimental outskirts of design. She believes the craft of design can be much more than a commercial pursuit – it can also function as a tool for exploration, critique and debate.

“My work often explores themes relating to nature, technology and – first and foremost – human behaviour. I think design in its experimental form can reach into people’s understanding of reality and challenge it by being familiar yet speculative at the same time.”

Her project Life Support explores the idea that animals could be bred commercially as living providers of replacement organs, creating a kind of symbiosis between owner and pet. Anthony Dunne, Head of Design at the Royal College of Art, says of her approach, “What makes Cohen’s designs interesting is that they pose questions – in this case, about limits to the medical use of animals to prolong human life. It’s not meant to suggest how things should be but to encourage debate about the kind of technologically mediated world we wish to live in”.

Other Cohen projects explore artificial biological clocks that prompt busy career women about the optimal physical, psychological and financial time to get pregnant – or how to create electricity within the body. In an article that features The New Pioneers in design, Icon magazine writes; “With ideas that resonate with both the design and medical communities, she has the potential to create great things”.

Looking to the future, Cohen would like to use plants as her next platform for design.