Portable Person

Studio Works (USA)

Galata Greek Primary School


Portable Person is a vision of a future mobile, life-supported earth inhabitant outfitted with a technologically inspired extension of the body. Envisioned in 1973, these extensions responded to common human needs, the environment of the city and emergent and latent technologies. Conceived of at Studio Works in New York… by Robert Mangurian and Jeffery Hannigan, Portable Person has proved prophetic in many of the devices and inventions that s/he wears… If Portable Person… relies on wearables, or external paraphernalia, the portable person of today would, and does to some extent, make use of implants, genetic modifications, and more integrated tactics. But as designers, we will continue to have open to us the choices of how integrated these technologies become merged with our biological beings — in other words, to what extent do we truly become the cyborg.” –RM, MAR


Portable Person is a life-sized, X-ray collage of a figure wearing an array of technological prostheses that include cameras, antennas, microphones, fuel cells, food packs, brain sensors, information indicators, and medical sensors, among others. S/he also appears to wear a phone system, ten years before the first commercial cell phone became available. Portable Person was partly inspired by the first portable cassette recorders and was first revealed at the 1973 exhibition Portable World in New York.