Design Project 2

September 18, 2014


The human body is a complex organism that exists in an increasingly complex environment. The environment in which the human body exists is understood in the relationship between space and time. The human body and the immediate environment are, for better or worse, engaged in a symbiotic relationship that unfolds within this space-time continuum.

We often take constructed elements in our environment as a given. We grow up with them, we live with and in them, and rarely do we take the time to question their existence; rarely do we question their relationships to our being; rarely do we inquire into our daily routines and rituals, and the constructed environment that mediates our habits.

In this project, you will work in groups of two to inquire into an everyday or routine performance — an act of consumption. On the tangible level, we will be dealing explicitly with the act of consuming food or drink. On the material level this seems quite straightforward. We eat and drink throughout each day of our lives.

However, even the experience of eating lunch, for example, is hardly straight forward. On a bodily level we experience the event through sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. But it doesn’t stop there. There are also social rituals, environmental context, and all of our prior experience that influences our behavior and perception of what seems like a simple event. Even if we restrict ourselves to an inquiry of sense alone, it would be difficult to understand the impact of one sense in isolation — the contribution is compound and unfolding over time.

Through this project, we strive to understand the intricacies of our bodily interactions with the immediate environment and question how this understanding challenges the way in which we view our bodies/environment and inform/transform/mediate the way we interact with others?

The ultimate challenge of this project is to analyze or inquire into a consumption event and then to use this insight to design a mediation device for the given activity.

Link to full project brief as .pdf file – *requires credentials to view