What makes you feel close to someone and how can we create that over the internet? In this research project I explored facial expression as a form of non – verbal communication, play, control, and the transcendence of closeness within the limitations and possibilities of the internet. You may view the work here-> Close Up (The site only works in chrome).
Researchers state that 93% of communication is non-verbal. We heavily rely on our innate ability to read facial expressions and body language. Facial recognition is often an emotional experience for the brain. One of my favorite writers on neuroscience Antonio Damasio explains how our brains feel emotion, “An emotion consists of a very well orchestrated set of alterations in the body. Its purpose is to make life more survivable by taking care of a danger or taking advantage of an opportunity.”
As humans we know each other through speech and gesture, time spent with each other, shared histories and geographies. But how can we really know another person? It’s hard with someone we know well… much less someone who is not at all like us, who is a stranger, whose worldview may be totally different from our own.
I received formal training from Anna Deavere Smith to embody the other through inhabiting language, character, story, movement, voice, and breath for re-appropriation and representation of others. We explored with our conversation, our intelligence, our whole bodies, and creative spirit to discover how to embody and feel with the other.
Deepened empathic design sensibility. Invited back as a special guest teacher and mentor.
HBO did a short series on her methodology as detailed here.
One of my favorite aspects of storytelling is the magic.
Here are some storyboards I created during the early stages of my thesis project at ITP NYU. They depict the story of NYC food waste-where food waste goes; why the current infrastructure isn’t good enough; an alternative; and where the alternative could be implemented. My intention was to educate concerned citizens by making the story relatable and to get people to feel something about the food waste management problem that NYC faces. The storyboards eventually became the impetus for an educational website on alternative NYC food waste management methods.
Earlier sketches (long scroll paralax)
While studying Da Vinci’s interpretation of lights, optics, and ways of seeing I created a garden for people with alzheimer’s disease. This conceptual garden is intended to inspire positive social engagement , brain stimulation, and artistic expression. I specifically designed the garden for people with alzheimer’s and dementia to serve as a form of art therapy and it is also designed to capture their strengths.