enforced empathy

Prototype enforced empathy tool

Experimental Design project at the Royal College of Art. Collaboration with Jack O'Leary McNeice, Maya Pindeus, and Eun Kyoung Shin.

Given the vague brief of 'A Bed of Nails', Enforced Empathy explored sensorial experiences and a means of communication through pain.

Enforced Empathy is a wireless device connected to a ‘pain sensor’ (using electrodermal activity to gauge stress) which allows for somebody’s mental pain to be conveyed to another person in terms of physical pain. Human languages are very limiting when trying to convey magnitudes - for example the word ‘big’ could mean different things to different people; we looked to develop a new physical language of emotions in order to calibrate different people’s perception of pain for a more direct form of communication.

Measuring and transferring my pain

Through ideation and prototyping, it was discovered that different arrangements of nails produced different sensations, many of which were not necessarily painful. We started thinking about how we could cause pain; what this could be used for; what situations are there were people do not experience pain but where pain could produce a valuable ‘learning experience.’

Initial explorations of nails as sensorial objects

Exploring human languages like braille and morse as means of communication

Creating a physical language of emotion