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Empathy with Things

Strategies for sustainable interactions

We often discard products early. The most common reason is the expiration of their psychological lifecycle. Maybe there is a newer version on the market or the user’s preference changed. Therefore sustainable strategies should be developed that strengthen the relationship between subject and object. Within this thesis the three strategies autonomy, dependence, and storytelling were applied to anti-stress artifacts.

By assigning human aspects they generate emotional resonance within the user. Combined with tangible interactions this enhances longterm usage.

Presston – Dependency

In a longterm perspective, the object Presston needs just as much care as he gives to the user. He needs to be refilled regularly and his skin needs to be maintained. Object and user are dependent on each other.

Agneta – Autonomy

Agneta is an object that suggests the existence of a free will. Instead of reacting in an expected way, it behaves unpredictably. Unlike other liquids, it‘s filling melts when touched gently and hardens when

handled roughly.

Haarald – Storytelling

The object Haarald invites the user to touch and interact with it in many different ways. In doing so the
hair slowly grows. The longer the user interacts with the object the longer the hair gets. Instead of only

giving short term feedback it develops over time.

 Cologne, 2018

Bachelor Thesis

Köln International School of Design

exhibited at:

KISDparcours 2018

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