cosmetic robots beautify visitors at saint-etienne design biennale 2015
cosmetic robots beautify visitors at saint-etienne design biennale 2015 cosmetic robots beautify visitors at saint-etienne design biennale 2015
mar 17, 2015

cosmetic robots beautify visitors at saint-etienne design biennale 2015

cosmetic robots beautify visitors at saint-etienne design biennale 2015
all images courtesy of maya pindeus




how should we think of beauty in the age of digital manipulation? if judgements are resigned to simple robot intelligence, would lives be less emotionally complicated, less vain? computers and machines are programmed perfectionists, unable to comprehend the uniqueness and irregularities of every human being.

exploring the differences between human and machine




‘beautification’ is an interactive installation by viennese designers johanna pichlbauer and maya pindeus. the project aims at sparking conversation about attractiveness and glamour, and how those ideals relate to the ever-growing presence of automation. three machines are given the responsibility of carrying out intimate cosmetic tasks on participants faces. they analyze, sparkle, buzz, and slide over faces following their own secret blueprint. faces become canvases to be painted, guided not by the individual, but by a numerical formula of aesthetics. the exhibit is part of ‘artifact #b‘, curated by noémie bonnet-saint-georges, on display at biennale internationale design saint-etienne 2015.


video courtesy of johanna pichlbauer


with determined brush strokes the cosmetic ritual takes its course

motorized lipstick restless circles leave a red trail across participants

what if aesthetic judgements are resigned to artificial intelligence?

the mask completes the ritual

the installation is part of ‘artifact #b’ at saint-etienne biennale 2015

visitors engaging with the cosmetic brush

detail of makeup brush




designboom has received this project through its ‘DIY submissions’ feature, which welcomes readers to submit their own work for publication. see more designboom readers submissions here.

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