Viscerealities

What does it mean to design machine presence when form factor and utility are secondary to mediated experience? If the perceived immediacy of digital technology is seen as a hinderance to meaningful interaction, how might we design tangible interactions that encourage long term, perpetual, engagement? A viscereality is a type of interaction designed to mediate interaction between human and the natural world through objects and dynamic system narratives. The goal of a viscereality is to pose relationships between humans and their environment through tangible interactions.

They provide a layer of biomorphic interface designed to engage the imagination through a felt connection with interactive systems. Input is tangible and output is physical, leveraging the instinctual awareness of the user in order to foster mindful interaction with the resources they control.

Letters and numerals are abandoned as primary signifiers for informatics and replaced with biomorphic actuation. Data is expressed through the emotive properties of objects, offering a perceptual experience outside the realm of numbers and letters. Ordinary gestures are appropriated and used as strategies for input. Pushing, pouring, and cutting become modes of communication, allowing their inherent qualities to support specific system narratives. These two vectors of input and output form the basis of my research into viscerealities.

I am interested in exploring the the possibility of deriving ideal forms of emotion through the direct manipulation of materials and their properties. Biomorphic actuation is a highly effective means of display, but what and how it communicates presents a significant challenge to the designer. Designed animism is a powerful idea, though, limited in its application. My research takes the notion of designed animism and applies it to everyday infrastructure in an effort to bring to life the very systems that technology has traditionally kept conveniently, and efficiently, out of sight. By experiencing the blatantly obvious through the lens of designed viscerealities, that which was previously meaningless is now be effortlessly imagined to be something other than what it really is.

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