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Social Design: Student Projects

KUANG-YI KU

TIGER PENIS PROJECT

Many cultures have their own systems of alternative medicine, whose effectiveness cannot always be proven according to contemporary scientific analysis. They are usually regarded as mere cultural myths, such as the use of the tiger penis to increase virility in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). At the same time, the huge demand for wild animals in TCM poses a threat to endangered species. Nevertheless, TCM may offer other benefits beyond mainstream western medicine. Is there a way to resolve the conflict between health, culture, and environmental conservation through a new interpretation of traditional Chinese medicine?

Bringing non-western perspectives to speculative design scenarios, this project proposes the use of emerging biotechnologies to create artificial animal parts for Chinese medicine. Combining western and Chinese medicine and technologies, this new hybrid medicine prevents the further destruction of both animals and traditional cultures, and provides more possibilities for the coexistence of human society and the natural environment.

TIGER PENIS PROJECT