Christiane Holzheid

How can I stimulate / activate / play with someone’s senses

In RESEARCH QUESTIONS on September 23, 2008 at 8:14 pm

For the past view month I was tinkering with the idea ‘how a third object can change family conversation, body language, gestures, and spatial relationship’ and turning its interface into some kind of provocation / rebel.

‘Provocation / Play / Interaction’
We made “the third object” which was acting as a rebel inside but its skin was all nice and soft. Also it had bad behavior our family members wanted to hug it – in order to control it again. We thought they would get mad at the object for taking over their telly, but instead they got mad at each other.  Was it because the object’s good looking and soft skin or do we in general rather get mad at each other instead of objects…. Would the whole scenario have changed if the ‘rebel object’ would have looked ‘horrible’ and ‘unfriendly’ from the outside, but then would you still want to engage with it. It would loose its appeal, wouldn’t it? How can the skin of an object change our behavior, trick us, and most importantly provoke everything but a picture-book situation? Playing around with this concepts and these questions I ended up with this main focus ‘HOW CAN AN OBJECT CONNECT OR DISCONNECT TO THINGS OR PEOPLE?’
I created the ‘two people interactive phone’. It looked like a phone and partly acted like one, but its constrain was that two people had to operate it together in order to make it work…

For now I am starting to look at a lot of things that a controversial and play with peoples mind, are literal, and have a twist to it, playful, engaging, interactive, and strange.

I am giving myself little assignments. I have no idea right now where this will take me, but I just need to go for it and out of my experiments maybe I’ll find the answer and something else will come up that I have not thought about. Maybe looking at my “related work” and my “inspiration” might help.

My assignments 1:

Find 5 everyday objects

– alienate their skin but leave their original interface (very abstract, out of its content and with different materials)
– alienate their interface but leave their original skin (change its personality)

during this period I will research materials and their behaviors.


– the object need to be

1. playful

2. allow interaction

3. tricky / mischievous / little frustrating

AND somehow the objects need to have a story

Once I have this I’ll take the two most successfully once and build them out / test them / put them in different places / locations / environments

5 Interactions…

… that communicate a story with crazy, different materials, but at the same time allow people to create their own stories or add to it.

“ambiguity creates imagination – the less influence there is the more imagination will be” Phil Van Allen

– every idea needs to be different – every story needs to tell something else and a different behavior

– try to stimulate – touch / hearing / sight / smell / taste

~ maybe it asks you to play and make things possible that you normally can’t

~ travel in time

~ wake up lost memories

~ associate smells with a history


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