design as exploratory tool
researching bodily perception
Design as Exploratory Tool is an experimental mode of practice. It is a discovery-oriented and open-ended work. It intends to lead to a more conscious perception as a result of bodily understanding of the environment.
I designed four tools to supplement my body. These tools extend my sensory perception of the environment. By using them I want to consciously perceive a certain process in nature.
Perception is an active process, I make me a conscious observer.
The Fertilizer lets me pollinate plants by transfering pollen between them. I‘m forced to imitate natural actions by physically coming into action. By being in this particular sitation and environment I‘m able to relate on a different level.
The Acoustic Transmitter transports sounds to my ear. It allows a directional perception of single sounds. To perceive them I have to align my body towards the sound, therby I simultaneously focus my mind on this particular sound.
In a time of plenty multi sensory stimuli it is necessary to be able to focus one‘s perception.
The Telemarker makes it possible for me to mark branches of a tree, moving in the wind. I can then track these movements and reduce their complex three dimensional movements to more simple two dimensional ones.
This helps me understand how a tree is built and how it is affected by the wind.
The Breathing Apparatus lets me experience the direct dependency between me and algae, representative of nature surrounding me. By breathing I convert Oxygen to Carbon Dioxide, plants do it the other way round during Photosynthesis. The apparatus is attached to my breathing and the algae in a closed system.
I need to foster the relation between me and the alge (nature) in order to sustain a working system and thus be provided with enough Oxygen to breathe.
I created low tech and low cost tools from everyday objects and materials. The idea behind it is the direct implementation of an idea without being influenced by a judging creation process. I skipped the process of elaboration of the object‘s form. I focused on creating the objects for the sake of their function and their effect on me.
In the process of creating the tools different ideas were carried out. In the fllowing I show some early prototypes.
First by making the tools, then by using them, I put myself in a situation in which I could make perceptions on a physical level. These perceptions were personal discoveries.
These are the documentations of the tools in their particular situation.
The research was exhibited on the annual Bachelor‘s exhibition. All the tools were staged and in different ways, including movements with electromechanics, sounds, projection and bubbling Carbon Dioxide of a chemical reaction. By adding movement and by allowing interaction, the exhibition display attracted many spectators.
exhibition model 1:20
To be best prepared for the exhibition I built a model of the room in which I exhibited. Me and my fellow students could then arrange positions and make decisons far ahead.
photo by Julien Hoffmann
The tools were staged by using electromechanical components and a Arduino microcontroller. A servo added movement, a DIY magnetic stirrer with integrated LED lightening stirred the algae, a wireless speaker produced sounds seemingly coming out of the headphones of the Acoustic Transmitter. The algea was connected to a system of yeast which produced Carbon Dioxide.
The tools were explained on a backprojection display.