form Nº 279.
Embodiment in Design
How we perceive, interpret, and evaluate the world around us is guided by our cognition as well as our physical experiences. Providing new insights into design theory and practice, this is what the concept of embodiment is all about. In form 279, we look at the potential of embodiment for the design of products, interactions, and the human body.
In their introductory text, “Embodiment in Design – Faces in the Clouds”, Geke Ludden and Thomas van Rompay explain how our physicality guides our perception of products and is also the reason why products influence our behaviour.
In this context, we look at how the embodiment approach is not only helpful in designing smart products, but also in a therapeutic context, as Jonas Rehn explains in his article “Design for Body and Mind – Keep Your Head Up”. For, ideally, medical devices and environments should take away the fear of treatment rather than fuel them.
In his piece “Wahre Schönheit kommt von außen – True Beauty Comes from the Outside” Daniel Hornuff considers the implications of the body itself becoming the subject of design. He describes cosmetic surgery as the attempt to create a presentable outer body according to one’s own idea of beauty and to stop the natural process of “physical decay”.
In “Weibliche Intelligenz – Giving It Her Voice”, Jessica Krejci illustrates how products do not need a physical embodiment in order to shape the interaction between humans and their environment. She examines why current digital “language assistants” mainly have female voices, and the social consequences of this new type of communication.
In addition, we present publications on the upcoming Bauhaus anniversary, consider the role of sound design in animated films, look back at the graphic design and cultural trends in the 1960s and 1970s in our Archive section, and in an interview with Jan Wörner, the director general of the European Space Agency, we explore the material developments taking place in outer space.