TACTILITY & SOUND RESEARCH / 2012

Crafting Human Perception is the result of a 3 months research process. During the production of the piece a number of experiments have been conducted to effectively design an interactive interface capable of stimulating intimate multi-sensory experiences.

The research aimed to investigate the haptic and sonic qualities of designed textile manipulations, in order to differentiate those surfaces in sensory classes. Materials and techniques taken into consideration have been: elastic textiles and rubbers, metal threads embroidered on the surface, stuffed textiles and bead stuffed textiles, smocking techniques. Cycles of observation of participants’ behaviour allowed to identify the most interesting textures, and in a parallel process, to improve the design of the electronic prototype.

Users were asked to test the immersive qualities of various prototypes, to report their level of concentration on the three senses involved (touch, sound and vision) and to comment on the immersive qualities of the experience. Critical observation of these interactions have influenced the development of the device: based on the use of a custom-made preamplifier attached to a piezo sensors, the research explored glove-based devices, finger sensor extensions and hidden sensors.

In the initial tests the visual element seemed to shadow completely the tactile perception of the surface, bringing to the separation of the visual field from the audio-tactile feel. The selective stimulation allowed visitors to concentrate on sensory exploration, with a reported sharpening of immersive haptic perception.

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