The Make-up Machine
Prototype for a fictional service at RCA Design Interactions, 2009–2010.
The Make-up machine combines a stationary robot with a performance celebrating the ritual of applying make-up.
It was conceived as a theatrical device rather than one of practicality. While taking cues from slapstick humour, the film alludes to both ritual and mechanisation. The machine replicates three stages of make-up application. 1. foundation, 2. blusher 3. lipstick.
A human subject is seated on a specially placed position in front of the device, wearing a robe. Directed by an aerodynamic mask, a layer of foundation is transferred onto the subject’s face by computer-controlled fans. Afterwards, robotic arms automatically move into position at the subject’s cheeks where a set of rotating brushes applies red blusher. The arms move away, and a stamp-like protruding shaft is propelled from the device, placing a shaped coat of lipstick.
The project was shown at the Royal College of Art in February 2010 and the Barbican Art Gallery in April 2010.