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16 DECEMBER 2014

Breathing Friend: stress relief ball by Czech industrial design student

Diploma Work created by industrial design student Kateřina Pražáková at the Czech Technical University, Prague in 2014.

"Tento malý přítel je určen jako dárek pro ženy trpící stresem. Může se pro nás stát blízkým tak jako hračka v dětství či pouze nástrojem, který nás nenásilnou formou dokáže uklidnit. Povrch si každý může vytvořit sám podle svých sympatií a tím se stává osobnější. Při uchopení tohoto křehkého dýchajícího stvoření můžeme příjemně relaxovat a na chvíli zapomenout na chaos kolem nás. Díky svojí velikosti jej můžeme mít stále u sebe."

And as translated from Czech to English using Google Translate: "This little friend is designated as gift for women suffering from stress. It may become for us so close like a toy in childhood or just tool that nonviolent us form can soothe. Surface everyone can create by himself their sympathy and becomes personal. In this gripping brittle breathing creature we can relax and moment, forget the chaos around us."

(Kateřina Pražáková, 2014)

[The project set out to address the problem of everyday stress through creating a stress relief ball called Breathing Friend. In doing so various materials were considered because of their significance for the target user group. The project has an anthropomorphistic aspect through its use of subtle vibration and physical warmth.]

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TAGS

2014animal resemblancesanthropomorphismanxietyArduinobioelectronics • Breathing Friend (project) • calming effect • chestnut • Czech Republic • Czech Technical University in Prague • design process • embryo • emotional involvementergonomic designhaptic interface • hemisphere • industrial design • Katerina Prazakova • lifelikemechanical animal • mechanical creature • Miroslav Macik • motherhoodnatural materials • neurohumoral response • palm • pebble • polyurethane foam • product design • psychological distress • psychological perception • purring • selection of materials • siliconesimulation • soothing • stress • stress ball • stress relief • student projectsubstratestoytraumavisceral • wadding • wellbeingwool

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
29 NOVEMBER 2012

Psychical Distance: characters and situations in drama are unreal

"One of the best known examples is to be found in our attitude towards the events and characters of the drama; they appeal to us like persons and incidents of normal experience, except that that side of their appeal, which would usually affect us in a directly personal manner, is held in abeyance. This difference, so well known as to be almost trivial, is generally explained by reference to the knowledge that the characters and situations are 'unreal,' imaginary. In this sense Witasek, oeprating with Meinong's theory of Annahem, has described the emotions involved in witnessing a drama as Scheingefuhle, a term which has so frequently been misunderstood in discussions of his theories. But, as a matter of fact, the 'assumption' upon which the imaginative emotional reaction is based is not necessarily the condition, but often the consequence, of distance; that is to say, the converse of the reason usually stated would then be true: viz. That distance, by changing our relation to the characters, renders them seemingly fictitious, not that the fictitiousness of the characters alters our feelings toward them. It is, of course, to be granted that the actual and admitted unreality of the dramatic action reinforces the effect of Distance. But surely the proverbial unsophisticated yokel whose chivalrous interference in the play on behalf of the hapless heroine can only be prevented by impressing upon him that 'they are only pretending,' is not the ideal type of theatrical audience. The proof of the seeming paradox that it is Distance which primarily gives to dramatic action the appearance of unreliability and not vice versa, is the observation that the same filtration of our sentiments and the same seeming 'unreality' of actual men and things occur, when at times, by a sudden change of inward perspective, we are overcome by the feeling that 'all the world's a stage.'"

(Edward Bullough, 1912)

Edward Bullough (1912). "Psychical Distance" British Journal of Psychology, Vol. 5, pp. 87–117 (excerpt cited by Julie Van Camp, 22 November 2006).

Fig.1 Patricia Piccinini/Drome Pty Ltd. (2010) [http://leecasey.carbonmade.com/projects/2594595#9]

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TAGS

1912aesthetics • Alexius Meinong • all the worlds a stage • Annahem • appeal • appearance of unreliability • audiencebelievabilitybreaking the fourth wallchanging our relationcharactersdirect experience • distance • distanced viewpointdrama • dramatic action • dramatic space • Edward Bullough • emotionemotional immersionemotional involvementempathyfeelings • fictitious • fictitiousnessheld in abeyanceimaginary • imaginative emotional reaction • normal experience • only pretending • our sentiments • pathospersonalpropinquitypsychical distancepsychological closeness • psychological proximity • Scheingefuhle • Stephan Witasek • suspension of disbelief • theatrical audience • unreal • unreal characters • unreal situations • unreality • verisimilitude • witnessing • yoke

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 OCTOBER 2009

Charmed: A Case Study of Interactive Jewellery

Hazel White's "work investigates how interactive jewellery can be integrated into our lives. Whilst most studies into wearable technology have focussed on how the technology can be miniaturised, the Charmed project looks into what exactly it is that users want from this technology – from storytelling to transportation devices to whatever else they may think of – and how it can be incorporated into users' everyday wardrobes in a way that allows an emotional involvement of the sort we might associate with 'ordinary' jewellery.

In order to address the question, Hazel has developed a series of 'charm' jewellery incorporating bracelets, necklaces, pins, or even keyrings. The charms were then given to a variety of different participants – from technophobes to technophiles, and from jewellery wearers to non–wearers – along with a pack that allowed them to log their responses. The participants themselves were allowed to choose the type of jewellery they received and how it would be worn, leading to a greater engagement with the pack and the project.

Through interviews with the applicants, Hazel was able to demonstrate that a user centred approach – working closely with the people who would wear the jewellery and responding and adapting according to their observations, values and needs – can lead to suggestions for interactive jewellery which can be experienced on multiple levels: from cultural, social and personal resonances to the narrative carried by the object and the physical interaction with the jewellery."

(AHRC, UK)

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TAGS

AHRCbraceletcalm technologycase study • Charmed • creative practicedecorative artsdesigndevice • Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art • emotional involvementenquiryexperimentationfashionform • Hazel White • industrial designinteraction • interactive jewellery • jewellery • keyring • narrative • necklace • objectproduct designresearch • technophile • technophobe • theory buildingUKUniversity of Dundeeusability • user centred approach • user-centredwearable technologies

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 MARCH 2005

Mutant Bodies: Bio-ethical Issues

"'We Are Family' brings a fresh, personal perspective to some of the most difficult bio–ethical issues of our time. Her work explores the changing relationship between what is considered natural and what is artificial, what is 'normal' and 'mutant'. Her works embody our dreams of perfect children and disease–free life, yet always articulate the value of difference and uncertainty. The 'family' portraits are created using a variety of media including videos and sculpture."

(Australian Arts Festival Japan, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, 2003)

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