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7-Design Design Inspiration

The Living Breathing Wall (Part I and Part II)

Farahi explores the relationship between users and their environment, and specifically designed this project to evoke a sense of empathy. Technology, though often practical and helpful, tends not to interact with us in a empathic, or compassionate way. By creating a wall that responds to human touch, Farahi enables users to form a “relationship” with the wall. Rather than being used as a tool to contain, the wall’s purpose is to communicate. In particular I’m compelled by the ways in which Farahi strives to change the interaction between the animate and inanimate, in way that isn’t immediately “practical” but attempts to change the conversation around material goods and also structures.

Caress of the Gaze

Farahi looks at the ways in which she can transform the gaze, something internal, and fleeting, into a physical manifestation. The “gaze” is an interaction that is often underestimated; It isn’t always detected and its impact (on the one being gazed at) isn’t always discussed. In this particular project she has created a way to physically transform a piece of clothing (or perhaps a second “skin”) that comes alive/ reacts to being looked at. The way in which Farahi is able to transform the “skin” of a user to react to others is empowering: it cements the emotions produced from the user in way that gives them permanence. This is particularly interesting to me because this project explore the ways in which women experience emotions, and the power dynamic surrounding the experience. By cementing the emotions in a physical way, Farahi is attempting to break through the power dynamic in place.

Urban Armor #6: Cinnabrooch

McDermott has created a brooch that is in theory practical, but approaches the design problem from an angle of the absurd. The problem the Cinnnabrooch tackles is the smell involved with perspiring as a result of nervousness. As the user begins to sweat, the brooch detect the perspiration and spins to dispense a “cinnamon roll” scented odor into the air to mask the smell. Though this is the stated “problem” the design is tackling, at the core of this project McDermott attempts to explore the relationship between machines and nonsense where “the boundaries between reality and fiction begin to slip”. Because of the nonsensical nature of the design, this project sparks questions about what is important to us as humans, and how we can distill those ideas into something humorous that poke fun at our priorities.

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