Rachael Garrett


A Somaesthetic Approach to the Design of an Affective Haptic Device


The human sense of touch is uniquely intimate, powerful and sophisticated. Over the past decade, there has been an explosion of research into using our exquisite sense of touch in computing applications designed to influence and communicate emotions. The field of Affective Haptics strives to produce full fidelity, seamlessly integrated, intuitive emotion technologies that can be used to care for our health and wellness, create emotionally immersive user-experiences, build more human-like robots, and communicate with our loved ones across long distances.

There has also been a growing advocation for the use of somaesthetic practice in the research, design and development of body-related technologies. These enquiries, founded in theories of embodied experience, have often benefited from the power of touch to pursue their goals of somatic awareness, skill, and improvement. The aim of this project is to use developments in the field of somaesthetics as insights that can be applied to wider areas of body-related research and design. This project undertook a somaesthetic-inspired design approach to investigating emotional experience in everyday interactions.

Rachael Garrett