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Meet Graham, a 'human' designed to survive a car crash

By Janissa Delzo, Special to CNN
Updated 1827 GMT (0227 HKT) July 25, 2016

Meet Graham: A 'human' that can survive car crashes 01:00


To up your chances of surviving a car accident, it would help if your ultra-thick ribcage were 1/3


Story highlights
Graham is an interactive, life-size sculpture
It's designed to reveal how vulnerable our
bodies are during car accidents


(CNN) To up your chances of surviving a car accident, it would help if your ultra-thick ribcage were
lined with sacs that served as natural airbags and if your face were attened, your skull much larger,
your skin thicker and your knees able to move in all directions.
There's only one "human" in the world who possesses all these unnatural characteristics and more.
Meet Graham.
He's an interactive, life-size sculpture with a grotesque human look who's part of a road safety
campaign for the Transport Accident Commission of Victoria, Australia. Melbourne artist Patricia
Piccinini constructed him primarily from silicone and human hair.
"This is an artwork, and it needs to connect with the audience on an emotional level while still
communicating some very serious ideas," Piccinini said. "The idea is to stimulate conversation and
questions rather than tell people what to think or feel."
Graham is designed to serve as a reminder of how vulnerable our bodies are in high-speed, highimpact motor vehicle crashes.

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"It's really about understanding the physics behind road crashes, and (Piccinini) did a fantastic job of
interpreting that and creating something that is really able to be digested by anyone from what is
some quite complex physics," said David Logan, a crash investigation expert at the Monash
University Accident Research Centre in Melbourne.
Logan and Christian Keneld, a trauma surgeon at Royal Melbourne Hospital, advised Piccinini
about how the body responds in a crash and discussed the possible ways to enhance the human
body to make it more resistant to impacts.
Some of Graham's features include a attened face to absorb the energy of an impact and a larger
skull with more cerebrospinal uid and ligaments to better protect his brain.
Graham is even able to avoid injury while on foot: He has hoof-like legs with added joints and knees
that bend in all directions to quickly move out of the way of oncoming trac.
All of Graham's unique features can be explored at Meetgraham.com.au, a 360-degree interactive
The idea of Graham started about a year ago and was brought to life by Piccinini in six months. The
cost was $200,000 Australian (about U.S. $149,000).

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road death rate

Joe Calaore, CEO of the Transport Accident Commission, is condent in the investment. The
sculpture cost about a 10th of a traditional campaign, and Graham has sparked an international
"Graham is going to outlive us all," Calaore said.




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is going to outlive us all," Calaore said.

Graham is on display at the State Library of Victoria until early August, and then he will be going on
a road show throughout the state. As for now, there are no plans for him to travel internationally.

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