This week, I participated in some research at Intimacy Lab in London, where a space is being created for people to explore and discover their desires.
I sat down with an anthropologist who led me through questions and cues related to intimacy (“What sensations do you like? How do you like to be touched?”)** and afterwards, I was asked to design a product, that may be interpreted by a product designer and 3D printed. Though the model for this isn’t concrete yet, it’s a really interesting idea in that they want to create a space to articulate intimacy needs and facilitate bespoke manufacturing so that people can design the objects that will help them fulfill their desires.
Intimacy, in this context was slightly biased towards sexuality. Though the conversation wasn’t overtly sexual, many of the cues led me down a ‘sensual’ path. That said, even within the context of sexual intimacy my interpretation permeates beyond the physical. To me, intimacy is a metaphysical connection that is enabled by physical interactions or spaces. With that in mind, it’s easy to see how much our physical habits and our body language govern the way we connect with others.
I learned through over the course of the conversation that I’m interested in sensations that are unexpected but intentional. My output was a reflection of that, and was invented in an effort to encourage different, unusual interactions between people that might break-through their conceptual comfort zones. To help people access the unexpected, I designed a product called Intertwine. Intertwine is a multi-textured cord that can be clipped into a multitude of shapes. The idea is that the two (or more) users are all required to be physically connected to part of the shape in some way as they engage with one another (words or otherwise.) The limit to the shapes, or how you intertwine with the shapes, is your imagination.