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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The ‘XTRNL’ was selected for the exhibition ‘Body Control: Jewellery and fashion at the boundaries of the human body’, by Museum Arnhem.

Product design by Hannah van den Elzen
Model Nikki Giessen
Exhibition photos by Eva Broekema

XTRNL (2019)


What if we can increase our brain capacity in the future? Meet the XTRNL: the conceptual 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 gadget starts a conversation about the dystopic future we might face if transhumanistic developements cause the creation of a modified elite.