Improving body image through novel new tool

A team of artists and scientists – including PhD students from the University of Plymouth – has won a competition to develop a tool that positively and creatively influences a person’s perception of their own body.

Known as RE/ME, the tool was based on a technology designed by CogNovo PhD student Diego Maranan, and subsequently developed by a team including Agi Haines from the School of Art, Design and Architecture; Jack Fletcher from the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics; and independent composer, Sean Clarke. 

RE/ME uses carefully designed patterns of touch and sound to positively influence the perception of a person’s own body by making them ‘feel more whole’. However, the technology can also be used to create imaginative perceptions of one’s physical size and shape. 

Beating competition from 25 other submissions, RE/ME was selected as the best idea at Art, Science & Technology Collaborations in Europe – a symposium on how the arts can be a catalyst for innovations that seek to address today’s challenges – and the development team will now take up a residency at DART 17, a test laboratory in San Francisco, USA.

The team collected its 10,000 Euro prize at the BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, and now plans to test and refine their produce idea further to have the highest impact possible.

Diego Maranan said: 

“The next step at Dart 17 will be to explore user interactions with RE/ME and test the neurofeedback model we are developing. We’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity to go there, and our ultimate goal is to ensure that the product is having a significant impact on those who wish to have a more positive and creative relationship with their body.”