Hannah van den Elzen (she/her, 1999) is a speculative designer based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Fascinated by the longly existing nature/nurture debate, she uses mixed media to question modern standards and motivates her public to re-define systematic norms.

Hannah van den Elzen her works lure and confront, and it is up to the viewer to search for the hidden message.

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XTRNL (2019)   

What if we can increase our brain capacity in the future? Meet the XTRNL: the jewel which is able to extend your neocortex (the part of your brain which controls your ratio).

While being presented as a status symbol, there is one downside: the adjustments within your neocortex, affect your limbic system (the part of your brain which controls your emotions). Hereby a clear dilemma is stated: what if ‘intelligence’ becomes the norm and empathic qualities loose its value? 

The XTRNL starts a conversation about the dystopic future we might face if transhumanistic developements cause the creation of a modified elite.

The (V)ROMANCE is a immersive experience which is meant to stimulate your romantic neurotransmitters. The (V)ROMANCE interacts with the one and only body part where ‘love’ finds itself: your heart.

With the help of this speculative design, van den Elzen wants to start a dialogue about the current way Gen Z’s consume romantic love and how modern trends might evolve further in a (dystopic) future scenario.

Are you ready to meet your disembodied ‘soulmate’?

Your computer knows how you feel, what you like and what keeps you busy. The carefully created so-called algorithms curate your online persona. This digital identity of yours is used for advertising purposes. What if we can hack this algorithm and remain anonymous?

The short film ‘Feeding the online monster’ metaphorically shows how you can hack AI algorithms, by feeding it with false information. Feed the online monster with a persona which isn’t yours, and protect your privacy. 

MIXED MEDIA (2017 - ongoing)

A variety of collages by Hannah van den Elzen.