Design Fiction Exercise

In 1986, this anti-smoking commercial was released detailing how in the future, humans would have new features and adaptations that allowed them to be “Natural Born Smoker”.


Features include a larger nose to filter smoke, self-cleaning lungs, extra eyelids to protect from smoke, and a natural resistance to heart disease and lung cancer.

Based on this idea, and related to my individual project goal of creating a public health campaign around guns, I thought it would be interesting to explore how in the future, human could be adapted to live in a world with guns.

“Natural Born Shooters” 

What if we were adapted to best utilize guns? How would our bodies physically change to accomodate the gun, rather than designing objects to fit our existing physical form?

Features might include: extremely strong and dexterous thumb and pointer fingers, extra padding on the palm to make a tight grip more comfortable, extra muscles in the hand for a sufficient grip, larger eyes, enhanced eye sight, and perhaps the ability to “zoom in” to increase target accuracy, extra padding in the hip area to increase comfort when the gun is holstered

“Natural Born Victims”

How might physical features change to allow for better chances of survival in a gun-centric society?

Features might include: Larger eyes and ears to better anticipate surrounding dangers, a protective layer around the torso as a sort of ‘built in’ bullet proof vest, enhanced reflexes to dodge oncoming bullets

How would these adaptations exist? Would there be some people adapted to be natural born shooters or some adapted to be natural born victims? Would there be groups that did not have either adaptation and how would this effect interactions with those who did? What if both adaptations existed in the same society, creating a sort of duel race interplay?

Other considerations include the cultural implications of these adaptations. A follow up “Natural Born Smoker” video considers how children in such a society would be raised, learning in school how to hold a cigarette and best inhale smoke. Perhaps in such a society, children would learn how to hold guns in kindergarten and shoot in second grade? How would guns change or adapt along with the people who use them?

Finally, in relation to my individual project goals, I need to consider whether a visualization of these potential adaptations would be effective in bringing attention to the possible consequences of an increasingly gun-centric society.