This exploratory Research-through-Design thesis investigates a design for self-regulation using kinetic, textile-based feedback to mediate participants’ felt experience of stress-release. Through a somatic approach to designing for self-regulation, my thesis presents insights on how to mediate rich communicative qualities from physical movement into embodied aesthetics to cultivate and deepen a user’s kinaesthetic understanding with their emotions and body cues. The human capacity for kinaesthetic empathy, is a great resource that is underutilized. The ability to sense and train kinaesthetic cues can support greater somatic awareness for self-regulation. Not only are they rich in a meaning-evoking way, they can incite for aesthetic, meaningful experiences that can transform our physical state. This is particularly useful in situations where stress-release is needed. This thesis engaged three iterative design projects that included four design studies and the development of 19 material prototypes, 3 on-table functional tactile prototypes, and 2 upper-body soft wearable design prototypes.
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Thesis advisor: Schiphorst, Thecla
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