Will Humans of the Future be Limbless Drones?

And other thought experiments from three imaginative artists

Fanny Luor

EEvolution may not change human bodies very much in the next century, but you never know what new technology we’ll create that will change the way we look, move, and interact with each other. As part of our monthly magazine, Future Human, we allowed several illustrators each week to run wild with their vision of what humanity will be like far into the future. Find previous installments of the project here, here, and here.

Along with their illustrations, each artist wrote about their imagined future. Their ideas are wild, bold, and radically different from one another: mix and match body parts, avatar masks, and drone bodies.

What kind of human do you want to be?

Richie Pope

From Dallas, TX

In a future where automation is both ubiquitous and seamless, societies are communal. Jobs are based on hobbies, leisure is worshipped, and the concept of a gender-fluid village raising a child is reimagined into a concept known as “groupcare.”

After an early 21st century decimation of most naturally occurring plant and animal life, society is rebuilt with lab-grown inorganic and organic matter. Information and advertising are nowhere to be seen in nature as people are their own avatars, relaying information as they think it and reflecting information back through their clothing. “Nu-nature” as it’s called, is treated with worldwide respect and care.

Visual information is the main mode of communication and everything else is secondary. As a revolt of previous generations’ classist, sexist, and racist standards of beauty, future punks cut off all their hair and wear ever-changing avatars over their faces, blending in with the information overload of future capitalism.

Johanna Walderdorff

Based in Berlin

In the future, humans will have no need for extremities. Our bodies will be reduced to limbless drones that are able to think, see, hear, and eat. We’ll only wear helmets and glasses and these will come in all sorts of styles and fashions, from elegant to sporty to leopard prints.

The only work we’ll do anymore is thinking. We only think and imagine things, no need to produce anything anymore (except for the drones and helmets).

Our hobbies will be everything we do at the moment, only we will not use our bodies: sports, socializing, sex. Augmented reality will not be called augmented reality in 100 years, it will be called reality.

Fanny Luor

Based in San Francisco, CA

In the future, humans will be able to mix and match body parts. Individual expression will range from idealistic to the apocalyptic, really no different than today.

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