This webpage showcases different prototypes that constitute the master project. They exist physically and digitally. Each prototype is composed in varying degrees by four mediums: touch, sound, light and space. They are the medium of art that index a particular class of aesthetic and their afferent techniques, at the same time they confront the specific requirements of an artist in search of meaning. The artwork is created with the desire to let its medium be reflected in its constituents and its potential. In this manner the mediums have a poetic power and become a vehicle of expression.
Each prototype will try to induce an altered state of perception. I would like to emphasise, how the sensations sought through the prototypes, for example, to generate flashes of light, redeem some of the lived sensations and experiences characterised by different figures that inspired it, such as the letter of Ulrike Meinhof, the stroboscope, the Dreamachine of Brion Gysin and the recording of Alan Watts, just to name few. The “flashes,” which Meinhof saw, inspired the LEDs’ flickering of Proto_0. The cell in which she was confined, the shape of the cube. Instead, when the voice of Alan Watts talked about “The myth of Ourself” the idea of Proto_1 toked shape.
Darkness helps us hear more clearly. Shutting out visual signals can help bring other senses into attention. By addressing multiple senses, designers support the diversity of the human condition. For this reason, most of the prototypes must be experienced under low light condition. To support this concept, Ronald K. Siegel stated that, darkness, solitude, and the silence of nights are the most common times for humans to use hallucinogens. Under these conditions, when there is little else to see or hear in the environment. In dark settings, users report attenuation of unpleasant reactions and heightening of pleasant effects. Furthermore, the idea to let the emitting light of some prototypes strike the retina of the eye and produce electrical excitation in the brain and nervous system, might mimic the effects produced by hallucinogenic alkaloids.
The multisensory design considered in this creative process amplifies the ability to receive information, explore the world and satisfy essential needs. The goal is to arouse interest in those cognitive artefacts whose use, aims above all to create a personal effect on the subject, such as an awareness, a learning or a mere reflection. Not being able to concretely measure the amplification of their invisible effects, in terms of experiential, emotional growth or knowledge of the subject. Each prototype is designed to create a space “striped” by distinct phenomena. Taking into account the relationships between the elements that populate it. Space here, becomes fundamentally relational, not far from the Japanese idea of ma, used a decade ago by Derrick de Kerckhove to describe the future of design in terms of “live and uninterrupted flow, full of interactions” that “connotes the complex network of relationships between people and objects.” Each designed artefact, with its different mediums, is used to merge the artefacts into a global space that can function as a memorable promise of experiences. That is, creating an awareness that goes beyond the simple reading and interpretation of codes (often only visual) to bring into play more dimensions of the individual. This manifestation of sensory experiences highlights the perceptive coherence, in which images, interaction and suggestions provoked by the environment are combined to create an original "sensation-al" experience. Every sensory process is at the origin of an aesthetic of its own, of that particular practice or of that specific “being in situation”.
Moreover, these characteristics allow the user to focus entirely on the activity in progress and also satisfying their fusion of perception with the environment. The perceptions to which we expose ourselves while we live the different prototypes are not only visual stimulations. Instead, they suggest that it is no longer possible to reconcile the perceptive abilities of the individual, limited to the five senses. We faced a different “sensoriality”. Considering that it mainly exploits these perceptive effects, it can be said that sensory design, defuses the visual approach as privileged access to the object and opens the door to unprecedented corporeality of which we can experience. Becoming also a manifestation of this interpretative cooperation of different stimuli.
Therefore, interpretative action implies cognitive activity. How this becomes central to the design, was specified by Donald Norman who recognises in design, three distinct dimensions linked to the many phases of perception. First of all, the visceral dimension that regards those evaluations or those appreciations as good/bad or safe/dangerous that we activate spontaneously when we are stimulated by colours, light effects, textures, shapes and others. While the behavioural dimension is instead linked to the gesture. The appearance doesn’t really matter. Logic does not matter, but how it is used does. Finally comes the reflective dimension, which is activated when it comes to messages, culture and the meaning of an object or its use. This is perhaps the most exciting and complex of the three dimensions because it directly involves not only the senses of the individual but his whole self, from culture to memories passing through desires: it is a potent factor for the genesis of experiences.