Project Graham: The Ugly Face of Road Safety

Meet Graham, the hideous creature who according to his creators has the perfect body to survive a car crash. Project Graham: The Ugly Face of Road Safety

You may think he looks pretty terrifying, but you should be envious as Graham’s skull has been engineered to absorb impact, much like a hard hat is designed to protect the head from injury due to falling objects, impact with other objects, debris, rain, and electric shock.

“Graham Is the Physical Embodiment of an Inconceivable Idea and Apparently Has a Uniquely Australian Charm Forming Part of the TAC Toward Zero Campaign.”

Australias Transport Accident Commission and agency Clemenger BBDO Melbourne created Graham, an interactive sculpture with bodily features that could be present in humans if they had been designed to survive today’s high-impact road collisions.

Built for survival, Graham has a head shaped like a boulder, a neck that melts into his torso, an inflatable chest like a wrinkled battering ram that acts like airbags and feet snarled like tree roots.

The commission collaborated with a leading trauma surgeon, a crash investigation expert, and artist Patricia Piccinini, Monash University Accident Research Centre crash investigation expert Dr David Logan and Royal Melbourne Hospital trauma surgeon Christian Kenfield to create the sculpture.

The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) said Graham was designed to highlight human vulnerability to collisions and  reduce deaths and injuries on the road.

He was made using silicone, glass fiber, resin and human hair and is the only man on Earth capable of walking away from a fatal car crash.

“I really listened and internalized the science of it and then I approached it in a creative way, on an emotional level,” Ms Piccinini told the ABC.

Strong hoof-like legs allow adapted to allow Graham to jump out of dangerous situations much like a mountain goat.

Project Graham stands out from traditional TAC car safety campaigns because it’s a more light-touch approach when compared with the gruesome crash scenarios many have come to expect from the driving-PSA genre.

“The truth is that cars have evolved a lot faster than we have. Our bodies are just not equipped to handle the forces in common crash scenarios,” a researcher said in a video from Australia’s Transport Accident Commission.

Stronger ribs give Graham better protection in a crash

“While He’s a Mutant, He’s a Distinctly Australian One, with His Laconic Pose and No-nonsense Stare,” an Anchor Said in a 7 News Report.

Having no neck makes Grahams head more resilient to injury in a crash

“What He Lacks in Looks, He Makes up for in Evolutionary Prowess.”

“Graham” leaves Darwin in the dust.”

He may look superhuman, but he is simply a little more evolved than us to withstand the forces of crashes.

Joe Calafiore, TAC chief executive officer said that people “can survive running at full pace into a wall but when you’re talking about collisions involving vehicles, the speeds are faster, the forces are greater and the chances of survival are much slimmer”.

“Cars have evolved a lot faster than humans and Graham helps us understand why we need to improve every aspect of our roads system to protect ourselves from our own mistakes.”

You can meet the unforgettable face of Australian road safety in person at the State Library of Victoria and online. The installation will be on show at the State Library of Victoria until August 8, before going on a roadshow.


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