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Drop Kick Push Pull

Drop Kick Push Pull

Objects can have both an implicit and explicit gestural meaning. The differences in hand and finger positions, in maintaining a grip on an object, are defined by the performance of engaging the object’s shape. Changes in the shape, weight, and materiality of an object challenge the manner of human gesture, and the differences, whether large or small, define the corresponding behavior of the hand and body and relationship to its use. The physical significance of this is profound, and in the definition of aesthetic, the aggressiveness of an object’s physical geography can be directly related to its presence in daily activities versus specific rituals. In understanding the relatedness of the human body to movement and its variability in relationship to the size, shape, and pliable distortion of objects, this proposal is to define a range of interactive testing for levels of physical activity categorized as low (seated or resting movements), medium (stretching to light walking), and high (climbing, jumping, running).  By addressing issues of sedentary body positions in institutional settings, this research investigates the flexible resonance of silicone by embedding sensors that react to pressure and displacement in surfaces. The intent is to encourage the physical engagement of the surface within a specific zone or along a linear path of travel, and the results demonstrate an applicability of the sensor in measuring a variety of small and large movements associated with specific physical behaviors, developing objects that engage and encapsulate the body’s physical movement.

Primarily this research has tested for flexibility, resilience, strength, and durability in withstanding repetitive activities related to compressive and tensile displacements by questioning sensor typologies in soft surfaces and the plausibility of kinetic resonance within the surface for activation. Evaluating the performance criteria for embedded sensors, and testing their ability to receive information dependent on the thickness of material around their setting and its flexibility.  Equally, the research positions material inquires against larger spatial questions of physical adjustments in the body when encountering a range of varied surfaces, demonstrating methods for physically suggestive distortions in a surface based on displacement of a body along the surface pattern.  Consequently, future iterations of these research activities will demonstrate the viable consideration of enhanced surfaces to track and evaluate the energy expenditure achieved by modifications within the surface condition.


U. Sean Vance, Siyang Ziui Chen, and Rebecca Hasson

Ian Donaldson, Eric Minton, Tianhua Zhang, Noel Hernandez, Xuefei Yuan, Yunjae Lee


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