- Devices That Alter Perception 2010 Book: Obtained relevant information and insights
- A Tour of the Senses Book: Obtained relevant information and insights
- See Yourself Sensing Book (Partially)
- Tokyo Cyberpunk Book
- Sensory Pathways for the Plastic Mind Book
I would say I’m still on time with my readings, just got to keep going. I’m also making observations and writing notes down as I go.
Updates on Concept
Currently my concept is:
Conditioning from everyday activities creates new instinct for adaptation – Through speculative design, I intend to playfully explore sensory augmentation interactive devices, wearables, and prosthesis that inspire new adaptations to potential future scenarios stem from current-day routines.
Building upon this, I want to build a set alongside my devices, a room of a future Singaporean young adult that houses the devices they use daily. The idea is to bring visitors into my vision of the future of sensory augmentation, kind of like looking at a slice of what future youngsters will live like, and how our current actions affected their lives and the technology they depend on (one big example is climate change).
I envision the installation to be a room that contains local elements. Some typical ones are chou chou pillows, standing fan, tear off calendar, and many other humble, general items.
But all these come with some twists: the calendar may be a projection, the chou chou could have sensors in them, the room is filled with gadgets and futuristic objects, and neon coloured lights casted on the interior.
All these are just a thought for now, I know that cyberpunk is quite an overused genre and to be honest, that’s not really how the future is headed (at least, not the aesthetics of the above image). So I will fine tune it to be more realistic to our current timeline.
Why cyberpunk: There are rarely depiction of Cyberpunk aesthetics in Singapore context, usually it’s Japan, Hong Kong, Korea. I want to explore that in our local context, taking cues from local references like HDB, chowchow, Merlion, food, objects, etc. Cyberpunk aesthetics are often linked to cyborgs, post-humanism, robots of the future, and it entails the type of devices my concept bring about.
There are more to think about for this idea, cos I definitely need to design the set so it looks convincing. But as of now it is like this.
Summary of this new part and why I think it adds value to my project:
I want to use this room to immerse my viewers in this new world I’m building (futuristic, somewhat cyberpunk, relatable to us), with the new devices I’m making that can convince them that they exist for a good reason. In this way, I’m still going with my “cabinet of curiosities” idea, except that it is in a themed room.
Update on Ideas I want to explore (in terms of devices):
- Non-invasiveness: All my devices must be non-invasive. This is because its easier to present them, and I don’t get into trouble. Plus I’m also not comfortable with making invasive devices
- Vibrawatch: The watch that vibrates to tell time
- Personal space bubble that tells their user of their surroundings using tactile responses
- Weather detection: Based on an old wives’ tale on how they can predict rainy weather when they feel pain in their knees due to arthritis, a device that is attached on users’ joints that responds to weather changes based on API data
- Money sensing: A device that translate bank transactions into a sensory organ
- Self-Anchoring Device: as my concept is about anchors, I think there can be a device that let its user create their own anchors
- Seeing your eye with your other eye: Not related to my concept actually, but just curious what if I build a device that connects one eye to another eye using a tube and mirrors. What will we see lol
- Gas Detection: Our nose can’t detect certain gases. A device that uses certain feedbacks to tell us of dangerous gas proportions especially relevant if the future is all pollution
- Home-Body Integration: We are always fantasising robots doing chores for us, what if we have devices that integrate us into the house where we manage our home from?
- Anchor Alarm: An alarm that teaches us to anchor to waking up. Related to circadian rhythm, perhaps fixing it to be more modern than primitive (the idea is that circadian rhythm sometimes limits our lifestyle, can we create a new artificial circadian rhythm?)
- Health Diagonsis: An organ that detects degrading health
Review of Devices That Alter Perception 2010:
Book has good amount of relevant concepts that I can reference and take inspiration from. However, as these concepts are from 10 years ago, I wonder if there are any newer sense-altering concepts done nowadays. I am worried that this have been done too many times before that it becomes “old” and uninteresting. Still, these are very good information for me and I am thankful that this book exists. (also great that the book endorses low-fi prototypes that work)
Some interesting artists and their concepts that I’m drawing reference from:
Ong Kian Peng: Objects For Our Sick Planet:
- Flood helmet: Contextualise the future of floodings due to sea level rising. Water level changes base on GPS location. Also adds weight → pressure on the wearer’s face.
Susanna Hertrich, Gesche Joost: Automatic Anchoring Armour
- Bio feedback and mental conditioning.
- Similar to anchoring technique used in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
- Taps repeatedly in the same spot on the forearm to trigger positive emotions when feeling stressed
- Anchoring, therapy, Instant therapy to cultivate sense of calm in anxious situations
- Critique point, and also emotional pacemaker
Susanna Hertrich: Synthetic Empathy: Somaesthetic Body Actuation As A Means of Emotional Evocation
- Novel means of emotional evocation: somaesthetic body actuation
- Design to help us understand societal issues from critical point of view
- Connect emotional reactions of bad news but actuated by computers and machine
- novel ways of bodily actuation, low-tech prototyping as exploration for new ways of interaction
- Uses sensory substitution as an add-on concept to more conceptual part of their work
- Using low-tech prototypes to explore new ways of interaction
Devices That Alter…. A Potted Inquiry by Danielle Wilde (bolded because super relevant imo)
- Artificial organs to improve our senses
- Art to bring cyborg aesthetics and transhuman concerns into everyday life
- Step away from extreme artists like Stelarc or Orlan, we see how our lives have already integrated cyborg aspects like people wearing cochlear implants or prosthetics. EEG mind controlled games also exists today.
- Perception altering devices are more present in arts than in tech or irl
- Lygia Clark: Sensorial Hoods (1967)
- Walter Pichler: TV-Helmet (1967)
- Haus-Rucker-Co: Environmental Transformers (1967, 1968)
- Wild, entertaining, stimulating, provocative proposals aimed at prompting us to reflect on the future we would like to live in.
- If we gain a body part, our neural map expands accordingly
- If you can have wings, you would develop a winged brain. Our bodies change our brains. It is infinitely mouldable
- But: Does our neural network map expand when we wear temporary devices that alter perception? How much wear or use is required to shift what our brain consider to be norm?
- “Why” is a question people always ask when confronted with wearable devices that alter our perception
- So why do we continue along this pathway of creating devices that alter perception? What drives the artists and designers, engineers, and tinkerers? What use can the device possibly be?
- Do we want something thats going to be “neat” for only 15 mins, or something that will permanently enrich our lives?
- Are propositional devices enough to raise provocative questions?
- Do we need to make the objects and experiences being proposed?
- Good design doesn’t just look beautiful, it acts differently and makes people who use it act differently. How can we then discern what makes a DAP well designed?
- Know the constraints within which you are designing
- Be empathic – think seriously about the way you feel and the way that people around you might feel and use it as inspiration
- Challenge precedence, break through the way things have been done
- Prototype your idea, try it, put it out there, test it
- What constitutes usefulness in the context of DAPS?
- Is design for debate, in relation to DAPs, effective, and thereby useful?
- What defines a DAP?
- How do we evaluate such devices?
- How can we bring rigorous methodologies to their development, evaluation, and distribution (whether the final embodiments are prototypes products or scenarios?
- How can designers, artists, theorists, makers, engineers, technologists cross-fertilize in meaningful ways and thereby enrich their enquiry and ultimately the DAPs they are developing?
Tomoko Hayashi and Carson Reynolds – Empathy Mirrors
- Using experiences as a mirror for emotions.
- Twin cue
Alvaro Cassinelli – Earlids and Entacoustic Performance
- Earlids as if it is like our eyelids
- The body and its sensory organs always modulate the external sound field in one way or another
- Unconscious processing of the environment in the body → becomes apparent to the user
- User relearns the new artificial auditory sensory-motor contingencies
- Interesting: How do our bodies react to different stimulis
Review of A Tour of the Senses:
A Tour of the Senses is kind of like a textbook that explains different aspects of senses broken down into 3 main chapters: stimuli, sensation, perception. It breaks down all the different senses in different categories (Electromagnetic, Chemical, and Mechanical) in a clear and informative manner. The types of senses covered are:
- Vision (Sight)
- Olfactory (Smell)
- Gustatory (Taste)
- Auditory (Hearing)
- Somatosensory (Touch, Temperature, Pressure, Pain)
- Proprioception (Space, position, location)
- Vestibular (Balance)
- Nociception (Pain)
The book explains what each of the senses are, and how they work. Then, how we perceive through the use of these senses. The book also give various examples of how we use those senses; as well as animal examples like how snakes use the Pit Organ to sense in Infrared.
The book also mentions interesting points like the cochlear implant, transduction between stimuli and sensation, and how perception is different based on culture and education. This helped me to understand our senses better, which gave me more confidence in exploring those senses in my concept.