Cyber-designer Nikita Replyanski creates prostheses that more resemble art objects
Meet Nikita Replyanski, a cyber-designer: he creates prostheses and neural interfaces that look more like art objects. And he is sure that everything that is being developed for people with disabilities will change our life very soon.
Cyber-designer Nikita Replyanski knows how to make sure that the line between healthy people and those whose physical abilities are limited is erased. He is sure that the prosthesis does not have to be like a lost part of the body - this is a completely new interface from which you can also create a work of art. And he predicts that very soon telepathy, telekinesis and even teleportation of consciousness will no longer be just fiction objects and will become commonplace everyday.
The birth of a cyber-artist: from computer games to artificial limbs
Since childhood, Nikita Replyanski was fond of science fiction and cyberpunk, and at the age of 18 he began working in the international market of computer games: he worked as both a 3D artist and a manager, and was engaged in producing concept art. A few years later, he became the designer of the first functional (and very beautiful) prostheses in Russia for children and adults, which are produced by the Motorica company. How did this happen?
Работа Никиты Реплянского

Nikita Replyanski
"Artificial body parts or augmentations (physical and mental ability improvements) are literally the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about science fiction and cyberpunk. For me, this is the natural environment in which I exist as long as I live. However, a personal incident was what caused the real actions. At 22, I was diagnosed with a cancer in the 4th stage, which I was lucky to have cured, and now I am here. This is the biggest inspiration in my life. I saw how doctors perform miracles 24/7 and felt the power and potential of a scientific worldview on me. Now I perceive my new second life as a product of technology, science and transhumanism. The prosthetics industry has become an ideal opportunity to effectively unleash my skills and worldview. I met Ilya Chekh and Vasily Khlebnikov, and after some time, Motorica, a company developing high-tech rehabilitation tools, appeared."
From the very beginning, Motorica sought to shift focus from having a disability. After the first publications of the project appeared in the media and blogs, dozens of future clients began to write to the young company. The guys realized that they were going in the right direction. So the concept of bright prosthetic gadgets for children and adults was born.
Today, Motoriсa is a Skolkovo resident. The company employs about 59 people, and they create bionic (robotic) and traction (mechanical) prostheses. They also change attitudes towards people with disabilities and create a comfortable environment for their rehabilitation. The company has created and is currently developing the Cybathletics project, a competition of cyborgs and their development teams, which forms a new understanding of the modern human physicality.
From prostheses to fashion
In the spring of 2017, Nikita Replyanski along with Motorica showed two conceptual prostheses for adults during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia. As a result, visitors of the show surrounded the models and asked to try on the prostheses. They did not understand that the models actually had no hands, perceiving the prosthesis only as the most unusual accessory.

Nikita Replyanski
"I was surprised - roughly speaking, healthy people at some point started to want to be like people with disabilities. So we achieved what we wanted. Then I realized that I treated the development wrong. It seemed to me that this is an industrial-design product, but in fact this was not all to it. It was necessary to immediately consider it also from the point of view of the fashion industry. Because - whether it be a prosthesis, a neural interface or a corset - all this a person wears. Here a completely different context of subject perception manifests itself, and you need to work with it, to see how your development visually reflects the image of a person. For example, I can choose a new pair of sneakers for a whole week, because what matters to me is how it looks. And here the person wears the same prosthesis every day, so the design should suit them as much as possible and fit into any environment in which they will be.

Our models are shot in music videos, go to the stage, write in blogs, live an interesting life and show a new way for the guys in the same situation. And we are working on product improvements and creating new forms of self-expression."

модель Наталья Кезикова с протезом Моторики

Nikita Replyanski
"I don't like to talk about my activity as a "social project"- when people say that they are engaged in social activities, then often, even if they are doing pure garbage, they are still applauded to. It is a trap. Prostheses are the most complicated, practically custom product, full of non-trivial engineering, design and production tasks. A prosthesis is a completely new alternative part of the body that needs to be learned to control and use. So, there's an everlasting amount of work.

I take our customers as seriously as possible. I do specific tasks, and not just some kind of ephemeral "help to people." Yes, it is about the sensitive subject of physical differences and limitations. When a person does not have arms or legs, this is often a tragedy. However, what to do with this further is up to us.
My philosophy is to turn weakness into strength. Globally this is already happening. People with disabilities have become the primary users of the cyber technology market, which will change the whole world and, ultimately, the idea of Homo Sapiens. Because everything that is being created so far only for them will change your life very soon. For example, as soon as prostheses become sensitive, you will gain sensitivity in the virtual space, and the digital world will become as real as the physical one. It's not about "them" - it's all about "us."

Nikita does not want to stop only on prosthetics. In his works, he studies how the technology and the human body can be connected. There can be infinitely many options of such connections. And he also prepares collaborations with fashion brands.
I watch the fusion of living and inanimate matter, the human body and technology - this is a canvas for me as a contemporary artist. In my works, I study the identity of a person, their physicality, mental abilities and roles in society. How a person changes their form, how they reinterpret their I.
The fourth industrial revolution and the continuous development of technologies, their availability, which we could not have dreamed of ten years ago, poses questions for us to answer with personal experience. Where does my body end? What can my basic capabilities be? Can artificial body parts be an alternative to original organic ones? No one can confidently say exactly how technology will develop, but one thing is clear for sure – the humans will change the idea of themselves as a species.