In an effort to help reinforce just how devastating the impacts of a car crash can be, the Transport Accident Commission of Victoria, Australia, hired artist Patricia Piccinini to create Graham.
Graham represents what a human being would need to resemble in order to survive and maintain optimum functionality after a car crash. In Piccinini’s words, she strove to design more than “just a museum piece.”
After seeing the final result, Graham is equally haunting and unforgettable.
The majority of Graham’s “features” are focused on managing the incredible amount of energy created by a crash. So here’s a closer look.
First, he has thicker and tougher skin to protect against flying glass and road rash.
His brain is protected from collision and the whiplash effect with additional cerebrospinal fluid and ligaments that essentially keep the brain braced for impact. He also has a thicker, helmet-like skull with built-in crumple zones that help slow down the momentum of his head.
Graham’s face has been flattened and infused with fatty tissue to help absorb the energy of an impact.
Although Graham was given a lot, he lost his neck, with the head fused directly to the body.
Moving down, his torso and vital organs are protected by airbag-like cavities around reinforced ribs, which have migrated upwards to reach his face and create a more barrel-like chest.
Graham’s legs have evolved for bracing up against a seat. They also include a knee joint capable of bending in every direction and extra tendons to help guard against broken bones.
Finally, stronger, hoof-like legs with added joints allow Graham to either move quickly or spring upward when floor pans buckle.
The industrial sector is constantly addressing safety issues – both during the production process and in assessing their finished products. One look at Graham helps reinforce their importance.