An allegory about human idealism based on sensibility, beauty, femininity, and gracefulness. This project illustrates, with support from factual information and important ideas, a utopian future possible to achieve.

Mission
  •  

Civilization has come a long way, and our understanding of the world and the advancements we have achieved deserve admiration. At the same time, the world remains in great peril and abysmal disparity. The potential for conflict between (or within) some societies seems omnipresent, or at the brink of eruption. Ignorance, laziness, greed, selfishness, cruelty, egotism — or combinations of these shortcomings — continue to be the cause of every human struggle, and nothing seems to threaten this paradigm.

Next Human Project is a multimedia, interdisciplinary movement based on a manifesto condemning the brutal and aggressive behavior attributed to machismo and patriarchy in all societies. As a solution, the project presents an allegory of human idealism — for it is a practical parallel to frame “how we should and shouldn’t be.” This allegory, the Next Us, represents the future evolutionary metamorphosis of our own species and it is characterized by the many virtues inherent to femininity and motherhood. Next Human Project offers a far-reaching — yet possible to attain — prescription, extrapolated from scientific research published by distinguished universities and institutions.

With this, I'm attempting to encourage thought and dialogue about how to: progress as a species; put our own ephemeral existence into perspective to spark cooperation and a sense of oneness; underscore the virtues that will conduct us toward a more certain future; and inspire hope for humanity.

The idea for Next Human Project as conceptual artwork arose organically, and has become an essential component of my latest body of work, the series Future. In the past, I've opted to use narrative through landscapes without people — only focusing on the things that we build. However, to explain the landscapes in the series Future, it became necessary to illustrate the beings inhabiting these fictional scenes. I concluded that rendering a place where our most pressing issues don't exist would be a place where we don't exist — as we exist today. Partially based on research in science and technology, this new series submerges into a world of unobstructed possibilities, bypassing social and political problems. I use escapism as an accessible way to evoke interest and will, in order to forge a lasting tomorrow.

There will be a point when our species will branch out and take the next evolutionary step. We humans will die off eventually, and just like we differ from the Neanderthals or the Homo Sapiens Idaltu, the Next Us will differ from ourselves. However, unlike our common ancestors (or even us), they will have absolute control over their evolution.

Physically, they will all be elegantly beautiful, with female skeletal structure and body-mass distribution. Their bodies will be gracefully proportional and elongated, extremely healthy, athletic and strong — though delicate and feminine in appearance. Their faces will be pleasant, attractive, and symmetrical.

Genetically, both sexes will have very similar karyotypes. Though, in males, key genes found only in the Y chromosome will be reengineered to work harmoniously and in synchronization inside the X chromosome. This will allow a new type of masculinity, characterized by the XX+ chromosomes.

Physiologically, they will achieve a perfect balance between biology and robotics. They will be made up of smart bio-robots instead of living cells. Nevertheless, these microscopic super machines will interact with microbes and their natural ecosystem, and will function and appear just like flawless versions of our cells, and will appear completely natural. They will be very different than what we call “robots” or “plastic”. From a molecular level, they will be partly composed of indestructable synthetic polymers that will prevent decaying and be more resistant. The Next Us will live indefinitely, and at a certain age they will reach the “immortalization phase,” a time in their lives when they halt development and maintain a constant metabolism throughout eternity. In the case of injury or malfunctioning body parts, the next humans will be able to harvest body parts from scratch and surgically reattach a perfect match to the part of the body that is missing.

Their species will have greater diversity than ours, as they will choose to mutate into other breeds — e.g., beings adapted to live on Mars, Europa, or in zero gravity; submarine mermaids or beings with feathered wings.

The next humans will transcend evolution. Because genetically they will all be very similar and their species will consciously control their environment, their phenotype will not need to randomly mutate for adaptation. Procreation for survival will be obsolete and reproduction will only happen when replacing an existing member of society who might not want to continue living, or when populating other planets (spaceships will be sent to other solar systems with Earth’s offspring). They will copy their DNA, reengineer it (to combine genes for specific traits), and replicate it in vivo. Nevertheless, sexual activity will be an important ritual in their love lives.

Pregnancy will happen outside their body, in an organic, specifically engineered egg-like cocoon. Because this womb can be supervised, and also be attached to the mother or the father’s abdomen, that special mother-child bond will be shared, and maximized with improved pre-natal therapy. Offspring will resemble their procreators, and these mutations will determine unique psychological aptitude tendencies linked to specific physical characteristics. Other mutations will include so-called racial differences, which will be randomly selected in the fetus with the purpose of maintaining diversity in the species’ gene pool as well as to prevent from unknown diseases.

Growing up will be slowed down and take decades longer in order for “brain development re-adaptation.” This means that the brain will be physically enhanced incrementally throughout their early life with technology that expands memory, cognition, and brain performance. Thus, their education will consist of mental and motor exercises, building life experiences for character development, and spiritual (or artistic) development for an open mind and a rich, pleasurable life.

The next humans will be mentally interconnected, highly attuned to their surroundings and the environment — more than any other species on Earth. They will be apt to learn and handle most tasks just by receiving information into their brain via a much more sophisticated type of internet. Facts and information will be instantly received as the mind inquires them, and fed as memories directly and wirelessly, thousands of times faster than any human mind living today. Recording memories — to avoid information overload — will be a way to remember after hundreds of millions of years.

Malevolent behavior will be seen as malfunctioning brain activity, registering a distinctive signature easy to detect by others in dialogue with her or him. Ill-natured conduct will be fixed by either self-correction or surgical procedure — depending on the severity of the problem.

Body

  • Leading women’s health expert and cardiologist, Dr. Noel Merz, explains the differences between male and female cardiovascular systems, as well as the high success rate of female stem cells.
    Heart Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
    Read PDF
  • How female stem cells are superior to males for cardiovascular repair
    American Journal of Physiology — Regulatory, Integrative, and Physiology
    Read PDF
  • Dr. Noel Merz: The Single Biggest Health Threat Women Face
    TED :: March 2012
    View Video
  • Preliminary evidence of superhuman tetrachromats in women (why color vision deficiencies are more common among men)
    Ryan Sutherland :: April 2001
    Read PDF
  • Test the accuracy of your color vision with this 100-hue test (Fun fact: Just 1 out of 255 women have some form of color vision deficiency, compared with 1 out of 12 men)
    View Link
  • The Neuroeconomics of Distrust: Sex Differences in Behavior and Physiology
    American Economic Review :: 2005
    Read PDF
  • Men or Women: Who’s the Better Leader?: A Paradox in Public Attitudes
    PEW Research Center :: August 2008
    Read PDF
  • Quantitative Analysis of pre and postsynaptic sex difference in nucleus accumbens (sex differences in drug addiction due to women showing superior neurological circuit complexity)
    Department of Neurobiology and Physiology, Northwestern University
    Read PDF
  • Research suggests that women from countries with healthier populations prefer more feminine-looking men.
    Wall Street Journal :: March 2010
    View Link
  • Online psychology experiments for facial and vocal attractiveness.
    View Link
  • Online research lab focusing on facial characteristics and attractiveness
    Perception Lab University of St Andrews, Scotland
    View Link
  • What Do Women Want? (Various aspects of female sexuality, referencing neurological and psychological research by leading experts)
    The New York Times :: January 2008
    View Link
  • Learn more about karyotypes: define and play match that gene!
    Genetic Science Learning Center, University of Utah
    View Link
  • Evolution of the Y Chromosome, from the lecture series The Meaning of Sex: Genes and Gender
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute :: 2001
    View Link
  • Male Sex Chromosome Losing Genes by Rapid Evolution, Study Reveals
    Penn State, Eberly College of Science :: July 2009
    View Link
  • Explore the parallels between both genders' genetic differences and the wide spectrum that gives men the potential for anything from greatness to criminality.
    American Scientist :: The Most Dangerous Equation :: June 2007
    Read PDF
  • Testosterone disrupts human collaboration by increasing egocentric choices
    The Royal Society, Biological Sciences :: Feb 2012
    View Link
  • Definition of Technological Singularity
    View Link
  • The Pentagon’s Cyborg-Army (documenting interesting technological research done by U.S. Department of Defense)
    Wired.com :: October 2010
    View Link
  • Talk given by an artist who can only see color through musical notes using an electronic sensor. He is able to experience the world at a whole new level and encourages the public to become cyborgs like him.
    TED Talk :: Neil Harbisson – I Listen To Color :: July 2012
    View Link
  • Amazing computer animation of cellular functions and mechanics.
    TED Talk :: Drew Berry – Animations of Useable Biology :: January 2012
    View Link
  • Watch an explanatory video about polymers
    National Science Foundation :: Chalk Talk
    View Link
  • Tardigrades: the indestructible 8-legged microscopic “bears of the moss”.
    American Scientist :: Tardigrades :: October 2011
    View Link
  • Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality?
    New York Times :: November 2012
    View Link
  • Book review of Immortality: Do You Really Want To Live Forever?
    Reason.com :: May 2012
    View Link
  • Anthony Atala: Printing a Human Kidney
    TED Talk :: March 2011
    View Link
  • 3D printing body parts
    The Atlantic :: December 2011
    View Link
  • UCLA Face Transplant Procedure
    Wired.com :: June 2012
    View Link
  • A blood substitute, PolyHeme, could save lives in a life-or-death situation. However, it still doesn’t function exactly like natural blood, and can act as a replacement for just a few hours.
    Wired.com :: June 2012
    View Link
  • Another blood substitute, this one using stem cells.
    August 2012
    View Link
  • Blood transfusions via Stem Cells Translational Medicine
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine :: May 2012
    Read PDF
  • Learn about Jupiter's icy moon, Europa. The ocean beneath its surface may hold life.
    View Link
  • A complete compilation of the effects and dangers of living in space
    View Link

Reproduction

  • Definition of "phenotype"
    View Link
  • Information Theory, Inference, and Learning Algorithms
    Cambridge University Press :: 2003 Read PDF
  • Reproductive biology: women can make new eggs throughout their lives
    Nature—International Weekly Journal of Science :: November 2012
    View Link
  • Stem cells from adult mammalian ovaries: a step closer towards control of the female biological clock?
    Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology :: 2009
    Read PDF
  • Definition of "in vivo"
    View Link
  • The Artificial Womb
    Annals of The New York Academy of Science, Reproductive Science :: 2011
    Read PDF
  • Is There an Error Correcting Code In the Base Sequence of DNA?
    Center for Complex Systems :: Biophysical Journal :: 1996
    Read PDF
  • Cell trafficking between pregnant mother and fetus.
    Journal of Pediatric Surgery :: Robert E. Gross Lectures :: November 2007
    Read PDF
  • This paper explains the complex patterns of inheritance by studying mitochondrial deficiency.
    Center for Genetics Education :: The Australesian Genetic Resource Book :: 2007 :: November 2010
    Read PDF
  • Juan Enriquez: Will our kids be a different species?
    TED Talk :: June 2012
    Watch Video
  • Mirror-image Cells Could Transform Science, or Kill Us All
    Wired.com :: November 2010
    View Link

Mind

  • Watch conversations with professionals at the forefront of neurological and behavioral brain studies.
    Charlie Rose :: The Brain Series (episodes 1–12)
    Watch Video
  • This podcast, hosted by Ginger Campbell, MD, deals with everything about the brain — from plasticity to conciousness.
    Follow Podcast
  • Brains Are Different in People With Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory
    Science Daily :: July 2012
    View Link
  • Scientific paper on the understanding of Highly Superior Autobiographical Memories or (HSAM)
    University of California, Irving :: May 2012
    Read PDF
  • The book World Wide Mind, by Michael Chrost, proposes that "humanity can incorporate the computer into its collective soul."
    View Link
  • Neural Recordings (Recording memories)
    Georgia Tech :: May 2012
    View Link
  • Neuroactive Hormones and Interpersonal Trust: International evidence (Correlations have been made between countries’ populations with better environments for entrepreneurship and economic development, and hormonal activities in their brain, such as higher rates of oxytocin release.)
    Elsevier :: Economics and Human Biology :: 2006
    Read PDF
  • Monetary sacrifice among strangers is induced by endogenous oxytocin release after physical contact (Hugs and warm embraces release hormones in the brain that induce generosity towards strangers.)
    Elsevier :: Evolution and Human Behavior :: April 2008
    Read PDF
  • Empathy Towards Strangers Triggers Oxytocin Release and Subsequent Generosity (Showing empathy towards strangers releases oxytocin, which triggers monetary sacrifice.)
    Annals of The New York Academy of Science :: Values, Empathy, and Fairness across Social Barriers :: 2009
    Read PDF
  • Marc Goodman: Crime in the Future (what the future of criminality may look with the ever-growing interconnectivity of our infrastructure, lives, and technology)
    TED Talk :: July 2012
    Watch Video

Preserving, nurturing, and spreading flora, fauna, and civilization will be central to their collective sentiment — their reason for being. Their lives will be much more devoted to the arts and the pursuit of creativity and intuition, by exploiting the conscious and unconscious ambiguities of the mind. They will be obsessed with the pursuit of balance and aesthetics, love and goodness, complexity in simplicity, and order in chaos. They’ll have an unquenchable curiosity, and an incessant impulse for exploration and adventure.

They will be astute problem solvers and will work more efficiently, more effectively, more collaboratively, and in very specialized roles, which the next humans will practice and perfect — always pushing the boundaries to the limit. Experience and talent will determine the teachers, the leaders — the most respected individuals in their society. However, hierarchies will not exist, just mutual respect and appreciation for every individual.

The structure of their society will be based on individual liberties and civic responsibility. Institutions will be lean, effective, and efficient local "companies" dedicated to organize, design, develop, oversee, restore, or preserve any integral aspect that constitutes that specific location — its unique geography, history and culture, inhabitants, as well as its trades and exchanges with other locations.

War and conflict will not exist, since needs, desires, and intentions will be common knowledge, and aggression, cruelty, and selfishness will be eradicated from their minds. They will work to achieve universal and local ambitions, both, independently and through cooperation. With no religion or politics, rather a system based on transparency, run by free-willed individuals who do what they are supposed to — because they desire the betterment and advancement of their species and home. They will live by ethic reciprocity, or the Golden Rule: “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.”

Because the next humans will communicate honestly and share information with everyone, there will not be a need for a system of laws. Instead of following rules, they will be guided by duty, a deep sense of morality, and sets of goals. Accomplishing said goals will determined success and reward will bring respect from others, leadership in their field, and boundless freedom. There will not be an economy, currency, or accumulation of wealth; anyone who holds an integral place in their society will have merit and what we understand as luxury and comfortable living.

They will be highly social individuals, and live in active and cosmopolitan cities. They will have a nuclear family, and consider the whole species their extended family and the whole world their nation. Even if they never meet, they will all know and help each other, and communicate freely via telepathy — though, face-to-face and verbal interaction will be practiced as much as humans generally do today.

As our species mutates into a more advanced species, love (in all its expressions) will be kept intact. Human affection (for friends, family, and for romantic and sexual partners) will be explored and experienced more intensely by understanding and revealing feelings more appropriately, more directly, and in other forms by eliminating negative thoughts and actions. Interconnectivity and openness since early life, will mold friendships and create perfectly matching relationships. Celebratory rituals signifying the union of two or more people will be part of their society.

Their clothing will serve purposes beyond just being fashion statements of self-expression. Commonly worn items will include:

A nylon-thin body suit that provides extra strength — much like an exoskeleton — by expanding and contracting its hexagonal-pattern structure. The body suit will adjust to muscle responses, and also receive electric signals from the nervous system through the epidermis. It will also provide protection against the elements, maintain a constant body temperature, and heal wounds by identifying their location, distributing chemical aid, and self-repairing to protect the wound until further medical attention is received. The body suit will be its own power plant, harvesting kinetic and thermal energy from the body. It will be applied onto the body in liquid form through showering, and self-assemble according to its molecular and chemical structure; and removed by showering away the material.

A dress partly made out of a thin, ultra-light superconducting fabric, which additionally cools and maintains the fabric’s temperature below the critical point for quantum locking. The shape of the dress is A-line to balance the body, as the flux from the Earth’s magnetic field run through the superconducting fabric, creating quantum levitation. The dress will generate its own power that keeps its low temperature, by harvesting energy from the sun, movement, and friction against the wind.

In addition to the brain’s enhancements, a headpiece can be worn for increased abilities during very specific or intensive activities (such as flying, multi-server virtual interaction, or synchronized telekinetic capability). It will also record and store memories.

Shoes that propel. They will be connected to the body suit, which they receive power from.

Purpose

  • The Power of Myth— A Joseph Campbell interview by Bill Moyers.
    PBS :: 1988
    Watch Video
  • “The Botany of Desire,” by Michael Pollan is a PBS special which explains how some plants have evolved to capture our attention, whether it is by beautiful looks, or by producing certain chemicals that alter our mind’s consciousness
    PBS :: September 2009
    View Link
  • Helen Fisher: Why We Love, Why We Cheat
    TED Talk :: September 2006
    Watch Video
  • Helen Fisher: The Brain In Love
    TED Talk :: September 2008
    Watch Video
  • Entropy can lead to order, paving he route to nanostructures.
    Michigan Engineering :: July 2012
    View Link
  • Entropy of Crystals: Predictive Self-assemble of Polyhedra into Complex Structures.
    Science Magazin :: July 2012
    View Link
  • Fractal Geometry: online course
    Yale University :: July 2012
    View Link
  • In this podcast, Dr. Campbell interviews Terrence Deacon about his book Incomplete Nature: How the Mind Emerged from Matter
    Hear Podcast
  • "Top-Down Causation as the Operation of Context Sensitive Constraints" (audio of presentation given by Alicia Juarrero)
    CTNS/STARS Conference :: Cancún, Mexico :: January 2007
    Hear Podcast

System

  • Steven Pinker: The Myth of Violence
    TED Talk :: September 2007
    Watch Video
  • Paul J. Zak: Trust, Mortality, and Oxytocin
    TED Talk :: Nov 2011
    Watch Video
  • Alain de Botton: Atheism 2.0
    TED Talk :: January 2012
    Watch Video
  • The passionate writer, social critique, and legendary debater Christopher Hitchens was the author of several books and articles about organized religion and geopolitics. Here is a collection of his work.
    View Link
  • Go to Stanford University’s Encyclopedia of Philosophy to learn more about Deontological Ethics
    View Link
  • The best summary of Kantian Ethics I've found.
    View Link
  • Virtue Ethics philosophy and Aristotle
    View Link
  • Arete, or excellence or virtue
    View Link
  • Phronesis, or practical or moral wisdom
    View Link
  • Eudaimonia, or human flourishing
    View Link
  • Definition: "rule utilitarianism" and "rule consequentialism"
    View Link
  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Rule Consequentialism
    View Link
  • Lord of The Ants (ants, bees, and us)
    PBS/NOVA :: May 2008
    View Link
  • Wikipedia’s book sources for The Social Conquest of Earth by E.O. Wilson
    View Link
  • Richard Dawkin’s book review of The Social Conquest of Earth by E.O. Willson
    View Link

Garment

  • Exoskeleton ("HULC")
    Wired :: May 2012
    View Link
  • Nanotubes and Buckyballs
    Nanotechnology Now :: May 2012
    View Link
  • Products that Heal themselves
    Forbes :: November 2009
    View Link
  • Boaz Almog: Superconducting Levitation
    TED Talk :: July 2012
    Watch Video
  • Learn more about quantum levitation
    View Link
  • The Pentagon’s Cyborg-Army (documenting interesting technological research done by U.S. Department of Defense)
    Wired.com :: October 2010
    View Link
  • Learning Method Through Vision
    National Science Foundation :: December 2011
    View Link
  • Neural Recordings (Recording memories)
    Georgia Tech :: May 2012
    View Link

Less than a billion of them will populate environmentally self-sustainable locations — concentrated areas, which will be enormous metropolises spread across Earth — near vast natural resources and away from extreme weather or disaster-prone zones. These cities will be mostly comprised of circular conglomerations, raised from the ground to preserve the ecosystem. At the very center of each circle there will be a thin tall building — proportional to the diameter of the circle it surrounds. These skyscrapers (some taller than our tallest structures) will be the common, work, manufacturing and industrial environments; the encompassing low ring-like structures, the living and social spaces. Exterior walls and surfaces will harvest solar and wind energy, while the supporting columns will partly maintain climate stability indoors by retrieving the subsoil’s constant temperature. Potable water will be created in “home-clouds," and sewage and waste will be recycled and divided for compost and fuel. The massive ring-shape structures will also let wild vegetation and gardens grow on top, and on some walls, to shield the buildings from the weather, to provide a source of food for the habitants, to shelter wild cohabitant species of animals, and to drain and filter water for irrigation, as well as for fire prevention.

The structural materials for most buildings will be molecularly engineered to form whatever shape the next humans need, and these will “grow” on site — much like a tree would, or crystals form, though much faster — and stop growth, depending on what these have been programmed to construct. The amenities for any home would be comparable to very comfortable living seen today, yet outfitted with much superior technology and always-impeccable taste. Some of their own cities will be grown above what they decide to preserve from our cities and ruins.

Human building, infrastructure, and ruins that exist today (the things worth saving) are going to be carefully restored, maintained, and utilized (depending on their condition) for historical significance. These will be transformed into didactical or recreational destinations. Still, more than 99% of what we have built throughout human history will not survive, and will be giving way to nature to take its course—particularly, transportation and other civil infrastructure.

Every corner of the world will be surveyed and studied to keep equilibrium in every habitat. Individuals will frequent hundreds of thousands of stations scattered around the globe, where they will vacation, collaborate, or learn firsthand about specific geographical locations. Each monitoring station will be sensible to its environment, autonomous, and accessed only by air. These will comfortably hold dozens of students, interns, and vacationers at a time.

Other worlds in our solar system will be colonized, and their populations will adopt different physical characteristics. At the same time, entire families will become explorers to other solar systems, and because of their nomadic lives, they will also adopt specific characteristics uniquely built for space travel.

City

  • The world's tallest structures (engineering)
    View Link
  • No Furnaces but Heat Aplenty in ‘Passive Houses’
    New York Times :: December 2008
    View Link
  • Meet Passivhaus Institut, a German architectural firm that constructs living spaces requiring minimal energy for heating or cooling.
    View Link
  • Harnessing the subsoil’s almost-constant temperature
    View Link
  • Learn about the physics of clouds.
    View Link
  • Green roofs from around the world (photo gallery).
    National Geographic News :: May 2009
    View Link
  • Rachel Armstrong: Self-repairing Architecture ("growing" architecture on-site)
    TED Talk :: October 2009
    Watch Video
  • A stimulating talk given by Mitchell Joachim, founding co-President of Terreform ONE, a non-profit design group that promotes green design in cities.
    TED Talk :: October 2009
    Watch Video
  • Mitchell Joachim: Grow Your Own Home
    TED Talk :: July 2010
    Watch Video
  • Grow Your Own Architecture
    Designboom :: September 2009
    View Link

History

  • 10 high-tech buildings with solutions for urban heat island problems.
    National Geographic News :: July 2012
    View Link
  • “Design and the Elastic Mind” was a 2008 exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art dealt with many aspects of our culture and its future, from a design point of view.
    View Link
  • Watch Charlie Rose’s interview with Paola Antonelli, the curator of MoMA’s exhibit “Design and the Elastic Mind.”
    PBS :: May 2008
    Watch Video

Home

Illustrating a brighter and better future for us all, artwork for Next Human Project is meant to inspire hope and creativity.

stills
    Poster — Vitruvian Woman
    Poster — Purpose
    Poster — Next City
    Poster — Next City at Night
    Poster — Artificial Womb
    Poster — The Next Him
    Poster — The Next Eves (Medicine & Justice)
    Ultra-efficient cities will be raised from the ground to preserve the ecosystem.
    Homes and public areas in a ring-like structure will surround a skyscraper for commerce and industry.
    Next Us
    Next Adam & Eve
    They will be mentally interconnected and highly attuned to their surroundings.
    video
      Brainstorming — What inspires the look of the short film, The Next Him, and why it's a meaningful project.
      Funding Perks — Choose your gift when pledging your support to fund The Next Him. Pledge now!
      The Next Him — Promo is an introduction to a short film currently seeking funding. Visit USA Projects to contribute now!