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Updated: May 11

The purpose of this project is to explore the possibility of using analog object motion to convey system status or data. Enhancing the user interaction experience with more intuitive feedback.

I'm studying product design at Weißensee Academy of Art Berlin. This project is my MA Thesis.


Inspiration and Theory

We're currently living in an age of information overload, and have you ever stopped to think about how we actually get our information in our daily lives?

Most of the time, we get our information from electronic devices around us or screens, and we stare at our phones for at least a few hours every day. These devices and the information they provide constantly grab our attention and occupy our lives. So besides this method, is there any other way for us to acquire information ?

When we take a walk in the afternoon, we feel the warmth of the sun shining on us. We sense the speed of the wind as dandelion seeds float upwards. When we step on moss, we obtain information about the humidity in the air.

Although this information is basic, we sense it from nature. We are surprised at how quickly our bodies adapt to this way of sensing information. It is so familiar and comforting.

So, In today's world of electronic device overload, is it possible for us to combine two methods together? What insights can we get for designing interfaces from nature?

There is an interesting example in plants where when we touch mimosa leaves, it will suddenly close , and we interpret this behavior as the emotion of shyness. This example fullfill several necessary elements of interaction design. Touch is input, the motion can be seen as feedback, and our perception of this feedback comes from an emotional level of information, shyness.

These seemingly insignificant little plants can actually evoke emotional projections from us. Why is it that a simple action can immediately generate such rich perception in us?

This situation is actually based on a theory called kinesthetic empathy, which refers to our ability to experience empathy by observing the movements of other humans. For example, when we watch a ballet dancer leap, even if we do not make the same movements, we still feel our body become lighter.

in recent years, Miyoshi has proposed the concept of kinesthetic empathy with non-anthropomorphic objects. He says that we can also experience empathy through the movements of non-anthropomorphic objects, as long as these objects' dynamics can evoke our previous experiences related to motion. These experiences may come from our own bodies or from our observation of other living beings.