Spirit Animal: Goat

After a stressful period of underemployment, artist and designer Thomas Thwaites found the source of all his problems. He was human.

What do you do when you don’t want to be human? Become an animal. In the case of this UK-based designer, he decided to become a goat.


Thomas Thwaites, from “GoatMan: How I Took a Holiday from Being Human” (2016) (all photographs by Tim Bowditch, courtesy Princeton Architectural Press) Retrieved from hyperallergic.com

According to Hyperallergic, “In GoatMan: How I Took a Holiday from Being Human (Princeton Architectural Press), Thwaites chronicles this transformation, a hilarious mashup of performance art, experimental engineering, and psychological self-study. “Even the queen worries. To be human is to worry,” Thwaites muses in the book. ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to live totally in the moment, with no worries about what you’ve done, what you’re doing, or what you should do? To step away […] from your very self itself? Wouldn’t it be nice to be an animal just for a bit?'”

I’m sure we’ve all felt like this at some point in our lives. While goats wouldn’t have been my first choice, it definitely holds an interesting aesthetic.


The impressive design was made possible by a research grant from the Wellcome Trust. However, design is not where Thwaites’ obsession ended. He went so far as to visit a shaman who told him that goats were his spirit animals. He consulted an expert at a goat sanctuary to discuss whether or not goats worry! According to Hyperallergic, “He talks to animal behaviorists, neuroscientists, and prosthetists, who help him “make an exoskeleton that would undo five million years of human evolution and adapt [his] bipedal anatomy to that of a quadruped.” To quiet his chattering human mind, he uses hallucinogens and transcranial magnetic stimulation, which temporarily suppresses the areas of his brain responsible for speech. To eat like a goat, he designs a prosthetic stomach that “digests” grass.”

That’s dedication.

For more pictures and information about this fascinating project, just head HERE.

Loves offbeat music and on-beat art. Composer, whisky-lover and horror enthusiast.

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