Slavi Kaloferov

UX OF HUMAN SENSES – WEEK 1


Brief

Conceive, make and wear a design that extends human senses beyond the body

Teammates

Tanya Singh, Yanxu (Line) Chen and Devin Wang 

Timeframe

03.10 – 13.10.2022

Development

For our project, we were assigned Exteroception as human sense and we were also assigned Postman’s Park as a location for us to carry out research and be inspired by the place.

We started by researching our assigned sense and place. 

Simply put exteroception is external stimuli that can create senses like touch, hearing, sight, smell and taste.

We look at the map location of Postman’s park and read about its background of it: We got fascinated with the story of the park which used to be a burial ground to respect the ones who sacrificed themselves heroically for others.

On our visit to the place, we tried to immerse ourselves in the palace and pay attention to what stimulated our senses there. The site does stand out a lot with its stories of heroic deaths and relative peace and quiet despite being surrounded by busy London.

The water fountain in the Postman’s park
Sound from the fountain
Experiencing the place
Detail from the tomb
Detail from the tomb
Tombstones
Heroic story as material

Because we tried to become like children for the research: touching the different surfaces and objects on the ground, and listening to the created sound from that, wind in the trees and water fountains, for us, the senses of hearing and touch were the most used there to connect us with the place. We also collected some stones and plants hoping to use them for the prototype.

We discussed our experiences at the park and came to a realisation that even though we all experienced uniquely, we all had one similar theme in mind – tranquillity. We analysed our research findings by looking for stimuli on the senses and synthesized our findings into the following keywords: textures, gothic, and peace.

Summarised research of senses at Postman’s park. Credit: Yanxu Chen

With the keywords, we ideated and explored our concepts in sketches of what our design could take shape.

Two things that stood out to us from the ideation and were important are:

Having your own social space and peace.

Sketch: Initial idea brainstorming
Sketch: Considering more details of the wearable tomb. Credit: Yanxu Chen
Sketch: Wearable tomb prototype details, materials, interactions and inspirations. Credit: Yanxu Chen

Emphasis on the senses of touch and sound is why we thought to incorporate the materials we gathered in one piece as well as other materials to stimulate one’s senses.

With some sense of direction, we started developing a small-sized-three-dimentional proof of concept prototype which helped us to see what we need to be aware of on a bigger scale.

Creating a proof of concept 3D model of a wearable tomb concept
Three-dimensional small size proof of concept prototype of the wearable tomb

Overall, during the ideation process, even though we thought of different ideas we did not have an agreement on which one should we pursue, rather we tried to mix them all, which was not a good plan.

Having something that can be experienced by others would help much more in terms of getting feedback for improving our prototype and its direction and message.