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Design Futures

Hyehyun Song

Hye Hyun Song is an artist and designer from South Korea. She has a background in furniture design, woodworking, conceptual art, and product design. During her time at RCA, her projects involve sustainable design including biomaterial, and speculative design.

Her works always aim to raise more questions and expand perspectives than merely provide solutions to problems. She believes design has more power and voice beyond its form and functionality.


Royal College of Art / MA / Design Products + Design Futures 2022

Hongik Art University / BA / Woodworking & Furniture Design 2018


Logitech Grand Challenge 2020: Enhancing the Human, 2nd Prize, 2020

JTl Korea Portable Ashtray Design Competition, Special Prize, 2017


Fuorisalone, Isola Design District, 2020

Young Creative Korea, Seoul, 2018

Show Location: Battersea campus: Studio Building, Third floor

Hyehyun Song-statement

By designing products, we may not solve problems.

However, by changing human ideas, we can solve problems.

Even though I am talking about the far future in my project, you will notice it reflects many aspects of our present society. Neo-robophilia presents unforeseen and unfavorable consequences of technological progress. It is evident that technology has contributed enormously to human society, but we should not overlook its downsides. Creating the perfect 'human' for us will come at a price, and what if it is our humanity?

To you, does it sound uncomfortable, silly, or plausible?

The Mechanical Bride (The sound is designed for headphones.)
The Mechanical Bride, 2070, HD, Sound
The Mechanical Bride, 2070, HD, Sound
The Mechanical Bride, 2070, HD, Sound
The Mechanical Bride, 2070, HD, Sound
The Mechanical Bride, 2070, HD, Sound
The Mechanical Bride, 2070, HD, Sound
stills from The Mechanical Bride
stills from The Mechanical Bride

What if humans fall in love with robots?

With technological development, we see more natural and realistic humanoids, and there is no doubt that we will have a hybrid society with robots. Our future generation will be exposed to the human-like non-humans from a very early age, and they may build different relationships from us.

Neo-robophilia is a speculative design project that presents a set of tools for new sexual interaction and an expanded sensation between humans and machines in the future of 2070.

The scenario starts with the childcare crisis and addresses future human psychology, from child developmental theory to fetishism. The extreme and ridiculous example of posthuman society shows how humanity and traditional human concepts might change and questions audiences about what to consider to meet the future.


HD, Sound


object no.4
object no.4
object no.2 and no.3(up), object no.5(down)
object no.2 and no.3(up), object no.5(down)
object no.1
object no.1

Object no.1 Dust Blower

Grab a pump part and repeatedly press to blow dust.

Object no.2 Wipe

Put a wipe in a ring and clutch a part of a machine.

Move your hand up and down to wipe the surfaces.

Object no.3 Dust Gum

Insert two fingers into a machine's deep areas.

Curl the fingers gently to collect dust.

Object no.4 Lubricant

Lick the small ball on a gag attentively to adjust the length and direction of a nozzle.

It sensitizes your tongue and allows you to reach a delicate area you usually couldn’t.

Object no.5 Static

Place a device on your belly button.

Control body water using the dial.

By reducing body water level, the device allows you to feel sharing of electrons between machines and humans.


ABS Resin


Neo-robophilia, media item 1
Neo-robophilia, media item 2
Neo-robophilia, media item 3
Neo-robophilia, media item 4

Future Scenario

#1 Childcare crisis

Humanoid nannies will raise children in 2050 cause of the global childcare crisis and a rising number of companion robots.

#2 Disposable mother(bot)

Because humanoids don't have dignity as humans, they are eventually broken and abandoned like other gadgets. The new generation has to be apart from their primary caregiver.

#3 Childhood loss to fetish

After detachment, children who couldn't get over the grief start to find a replacement for their mother figure, such as machinery, which can be explained as transitional objects. They got habituated to the temporal comforts and attained a fetish for machines.

#4 Transition of love and sex

Humans will be painful if robots leave them, but robots won't be sad even if humans leave them. The relationship between coded machines led humans into a codependent relationship, in which humans 'satisfy' machines, even giving up their desire. By doing so, humans can finally feel they are worthy and needed by their lovers(robots).

In human projection, machine 'satisfaction' is maintenance, keeping them in good condition and improving performance. Uncovering body parts and an elaborate maintenance process are seen as an intimate touch. Also, the fear of their early loss contributes to this human projection of machine 'satisfaction.'