Design of the Week: Vacanti Man

, Design of the Week: Vacanti Man
A piece from the very strange Vacanti Man project by Rob Elford

This week’s selection is the horror-inducing Vacanti Man series by artist Rob Elford. 

Elford is a UK-based artist who we’ve actually featured a couple of times over the past few years, as his work is quite notable. 


But this time Elford has produced a disturbing series of 3D prints he’s calling “The Vacanti Man”.

, Design of the Week: Vacanti Man
Two pieces from Rob Elford’s Vacanti Man collection

Disturbing? Yes, once you take a look at the four items in the series. Elford explains:

The Vacanti Man explores an allegorical visual narrative of pixelated body horror inspired by the experiments of Charles Vacanti, who cultivated human limbs under a subject’s skin. It explores Freudian, quasi-religious projections of masculinity, which are represented by the reoccurring imagery of the eye and the hand. 

Yes, that’s disturbing. 

, Design of the Week: Vacanti Man
There are five unique pieces in Rob Elford’s 3D printed Vacanti Man collection

Elford explains that the hands were originally based on actual human hands that were scanned in. Then CAD software was used to decimate the hands to their polygonal appearance. But that act itself is also part of the works’ meaning: 


This decimation explores the reductionist nature of masculinized gender norms and current political trends of backwards facing social conservatism.

Personally, I would not likely be wearing these items, unless it’s for a Halloween event. But wearing them is not their purpose. Elford says: 

Each piece is designed as a one-off wearable sculpture. The pieces are intended to be seen as sculptural artworks rather than day-to-day fashion items.

The intent is to display them as artwork, where they will puzzle, shock and scare you. 

Can you purchase them? Indeed, Elford is interested in selling them as a complete collection and interested parties can contact him through his website below.

Via Rob Elford

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