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  1. Presentation of process, final phase

    Presentation of process, final phase

    title: SYNAESTHES

    keywords: interaction design, responsive systems, user interfaces design, senses, synaesthesia, synaesthetic design, sonic architecture, memory, nostalgia, reminiscence, experience, experience design

    Synaesthes was designed within the frames of a 5-weeks' course on design for future spaces, introducing a series of methodologies for design fiction and critical design.

    In its form it is a fully functional prototype, and illustration of concept / proof of concept.

    Main theme
    Democratizing the process of archiving and accessing individual memories.

    Designing for extreme scenarios where e.g. each single individual has the same memory chip implanted, so that individual past experiences are no more accessible. Meanings and values are designed and controlled by an unknown so-called higher power, and the individual has no affect on and decision regarding his stored memories. Memories in this project are mainly understood as past experiences of various kind, and the project is seen as a practical attempt of showing an alternative of the process of evoking, accessing and archiving these type of memory data – in form of an experimental synaesthetic design solution and the concept of hacktivism.

    Problem:
    What if our memories are controlled, and homogenized on an individual basis. 

    Design challenge: 
    Discovering and making use of alternative ways of memory archive and access, so that memories are not to be decoded by the controlling power, but only the individual. 

    The project offers an alternative design sketch for an answer via the use of senses, and it aims for a synaesthetic design.

    INPUT
    key shaped switch made out of freshly made dough based on an individual essence mix

    drop count push buttons for essence mix [0-3 drops per essence]

    OUTPUT
    soundscape [translated from personal essence mix]

    sound file with unique ID saved onto hard drive



    Materials and technology:

    self-made wooden box
    laser cut and engraved wooden plates
    labelled pipette glasses
    aroma and essential oils
    test tubes w/ fillings
    wooden spoon
    dough mat
    3d printed cookie cutter
    3d printed mixing bowl
    small electronic components
    microcontrollers
    computer running MaxMSP
    active speakers
    cables


    Methodology:

    - Qualitative data gathering (e.g. collecting written memories, pastiche scenario, taste and smell sample tests, bodystorming, field recordings, mood board)

    - Research of theoretical background (e.g. synaesthetic design, senses and perception; the concepts of nostalgia, reminiscence and reminiscence therapy, atmospheres)

    - Practical research (material experiments, rapid prototyping, digital prototyping / physical computing, DIY fabrication)


    The project was selected for a demo presentation at the 11th Student Interaction Design Research conference (SIDeR 2015).

    A short paper publication [PDF] is to be found here.