Future humans grown in artificial wombs could replace the embrace of a parent with Heavy Duty Love, a machine created by sci-fi designer Lucy McRae for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021.
The cushioned machine completely surrounds its occupant in a supportive embrace, helping them to become more comfortable with contact and intimacy.
Los Angeles-based McRae imagines it could compensate for a lack of human contact in early life, which could become a reality in the near future. Scientists believe that artificial wombs will be developed within the next decade.
The machine can be used by two people at a time. They stand themselves within a frame of cushions, position their legs and arms within the straps, then the machine operators slide a section of the machine to place a final layer of cushions into place in front of them.
The cushions are made from tarpaulin, carpet underlay and industrial velcro.
"I made this machine because I am curious about the human consequences of bypassing the womb and that first hug of a 'mother'," McRae explained.