isaac monté and toby kiers manipulate organs for aesthetic purposes
isaac monté and toby kiers manipulate organs for aesthetic purposes isaac monté and toby kiers manipulate organs for aesthetic purposes
dec 09, 2015

isaac monté and toby kiers manipulate organs for aesthetic purposes

isaac monté and toby kiers manipulate organs for aesthetic purposes
(above ‘true heart’)
all images courtesy of atelier monté




a designer and scientist are pushing the boundaries of organ manipulation by presenting 21 designer organ transplants for public viewing. using techniques such as fluorescent dye injection to make hearts glow, making hearts expand and change color on cue, tattooing organs and engraving them with fashion brand names, the project aims at exploring a future where transplanted organs would be manipulated for aesthetic and fashion purposes.


the art of deception by isaac monté and toby kiers
video courtesy of isaac monté




designer isaac monté and toby kiers, professor at the free university in amsterdam, have created the first collection of designer hearts using a technique known as ‘decellularization’, a biomedical process in which an animal heart is stripped of its cellular contents. this translucent 3D protein scaffold becomes a white sterile frame for building a new personalized heart repopulated by healthy human stem cells. the process creates the potential for functioning hearts from discarded animal organs to trick one’s own body into accepting a dead heart from another organism by masking it with the recipient’s living cells. known in the medical sciences as ‘ghost organs’, the method relies on hearts collected from animals, such as pigs, that can be resurrected with healthy human cells.

the art of deception
‘fire heart’




the project, ‘the art of deception’, was conceived when monté and kiers became interested in how humans use deception to obtain perfection in society, art and science. monté, a design activist, is known for his past work using expired meat, such as bacon, to create marble-like vases and lighting objects. kiers is a professor of evolutionary biology studying the evolution of deception in nature. the team focused on the decellularization process because this rapidly emerging technique will soon allow science to shape and re-form bodies for medical and esthetical goals. such intervention will allow humans to redefine themselves, from curing deformities to manipulating status symbols.

the art of deception
‘inside out’




the twenty-one manipulated hearts are on display during the body of matter exhibit at mu in eindhoven from nov 27, 2015 – february 7, 2016.

the art of deception
‘heart of stone’




the team was funded by zonmw, the netherlands organization for health research and development as part of the annual bioart and design award competition. the team worked with dr. renée van amerongen – swammerdam institute for life sciences, dr. monique verstegen – erasmus medical center rotterdam, mrs yvonne steinvoort – erasmus medical center rotterdam, dr. ir. jos malda – university medical center utrecht, professor paul van der valk – vrije universiteit amsterdam.

the art of deception
‘soft heart’

the art of deception
‘missing heart’

the art of deception
‘fashion victim’

the art of deception
‘fashion victim’

the art of deception
‘deep inside my heart’

the art of deception
‘broken heart’

the art of deception
‘bright heart’

the art of deception
‘heart of steel’



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: juliana neira | designboom

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