Am I Attractive

Collaboration with Susana Soares

 New strategies against malaria

Am I Attractive? was developed by medical designer, Susana Soares under the Why Me? Project in collaboration with Pestival and Professor James Logan at Rothamsted Research Lab in 2009.

According to Soares, the experiment ‘illustrates how certain body chemicals could attract or repel mosquitoes. The malaria parasite is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes bites.’ Visitors were able to test to see if their unique aroma was attractive to mosquitoes or not. ‘Those that are not attractive are very useful to develop new strategies against malaria.’

Why are some people more attractive than others?

‘The research suggests that differential attractiveness is due to compounds in unattractive individuals that switch off attraction either by acting as repellents or by masking the attractant components of human odour.’ Susana Soares

Crucial work

It is both a popular and intriguing experiment as well as a very important piece of work exploring more efficient and reliable ways to reduce cases of malaria infection. Read more about the project here

"The piece, could be as well used as a lab tool, is part of a strategy to use design as a collaborative and mediated tool"

Susana Soares | Pestival 2009