User Experience Researcher


We designed a human experience of a product that is getting mouldy.


Design a way to materialise the qualities of mould


Anushka Motiani, Hong Zhou, Roshni Suri and Harry Solomons


AEIOU, Love and Breakup letters


13.10 – 27.10.2022


The created map mind map based on our research on mould helped us decide what features of the mould to use in our experience

Screenshot from our mind map in Miro about mould

Afterwards, we complemented our initial research with our love and breakup letters. Each of us wrote one for mould from which we abstracted the features of mould that stood out to us which were community, network and resilience.

Group’s love and breakup letters to mould. Photo credit: Harry Solomons

My teammates have come up with an idea for an experience that will engage almost all of the audience by them playing the role of mould and “eating”/ tearing an object that represents an organic body.

Because the fungi are spread water bubble pistols are selected in order to replicate that feature of the mould – when a bubble lands on the participant they become the mould.

We conducted several tests – first with trying to knit hands which was quite limiting because each person had about 6-8 people around them which is far too less hands for them to be able to connect with most of them. We hoped with that to see how the mould spreads and connects with reach others.

Then we thought that the experience might be very quick because of the fact that a person can see when a bubble lands on them. Instead with the aim to make it more realistic, we decided to ask the participants to close their eyes in order to show the build-up of the bubbles (mould) on them. Once the participant feels the bubbles by that time a few bubbles should have landed on them and then they are meant to start behaving like mould. However, we ran into a couple of issues: most of the body was covered and some participants did not sense the bubbles at all even they landed on naked areas.

So then we moved to participants to tear the material that we put on above them. What we needed to think of was what material would work best for the organic body that had to be relatively stable to hold in quite a big space and allow for our water bubbles to spread freely. 

We thought that string would work best because it is relatively easy to tear even with hands. We did run a test with hands but it proved to be not reasonable as it could bring down the whole setup and ruin the experience, hence, we decided to use scissors to continue the experience. 

Setting up the metaphorical organic body to be torn in the experience
Setting up the metaphorical organic body for the week’s presentation


In hindsight, with the feedback, we have received, I think that we had our metaphors and idea of the behaviour of the mould wrong. Our idea felt a bit abstracted from contexts from the real world.

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