Recreating the experience of togetherness in physical separation

University essay from Konstfack/Experience Design

Author: Neha Sayed; [2009]

Keywords: ;

Abstract:

We as individuals are constantly interacting with our surrounding environment. These interactions bring us and the environment to life. It is an intra-action (Karen Barad) where we are constantly becoming to life by intra-acting with and as part of the surrounding environment. Here surrounding environment is all the materiality and the socio-cultural norms which we live in. We experience the world through these interactions. Hence the experience becomes temporal arising through the materiality and changes depending upon our past experiences, future expectations and emotions attached to them.

This thesis is about the experience of togetherness, as it is experienced by two long time friends ina pre-arranged meeting. Two friends arrange such meetings to spend time together where sharing is an important aspect. The meeting is an interaction where togetherness is built over a short period of time. These two friends perform a practice apart from the sharing e.g. drinking a coffee. This practice and the materiality involved in it enrich the experience and facilitate being together by performing the practice together.

Meetings like these are not always possible. Physical distance between the two friends makes it difficult to meet. Mobile telecommunication and the increasing popularity of social- network sites which allow chatting has bridged this gap considerably. Their popularity indicates the need of a communication which can offer similar experience as being together. This experience is not similar to the experience had in a meeting.

This research is a process of designing a concept for a communication device. The process involves a methodology which combines field observations and developing a theory to understand and analyse the experience, which then can be used in an empathic way to design a product concept. The research in the end proposes guidelines to design interaction between two individuals. The designconcept is an iteration of a possible accessory to a mobile phone which facilitates a similar experience of togetherness. It is presented in the form of a short-film.

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