Synesthesia is an atmospheric, soft interface with an infrastructural core that allows no physical bodies inside but rather consumes them virtually. It is a manifestation of bodily data relationships abstracted and projected back to an analog domain. It promotes a multiplicitous idea of what it means to be human, to have agency, and creates a collective space that shifts the narrative of an agreed syntax of form to a spatial construct of a performance of bodies.
This unconscious, accidental, and curious performance of selves actuate a structured “veil”, a skin that serves as a responsive infrastructure. The structure invites, the body is pulled in, and in blinking patterns, our organs of perception are dynamically projected back onto the skin as abstracted images to shortly after disappear. Body and scene enter a mutual agency, a constant state of becoming. Our bodies reside inside the installation both temporarily and indefinitely as data. Synesthesia is an organ itself, a choreographed collection of organs projected, layered and superimposed on top of each other in a meshing of selves.
Synesthesia provides a rational and emotional sense of what it means to live among machines that converse and raises awareness on the design potential behind responsive environments. Understanding their nuances opens possibilities for critiquing space interactivity and offers opportunities for both historical reflection and prospective thinking as a response to the expanding use of computers, machines and automated objects in our daily lives.
The installation is a traveling experience that engages a variety of people, communities, and places, thus initiating ways of rethinking and engaging with the very notion of Public. As an uncurated event, it instantiates a public and a symbolic space that assumes exchange. The installation ́s afterlife moves beyond its physicality and amplifies the narratives and cultural interactions triggered by it.
Synesthesia is a living organism producing dynamic, unexpected, and sensorial experiences, never static nor predetermined. The community is the maker of the installation that comes to life only through their participation. The authors will be documenting the installation ́s trip and the diverse interactions with each community. This process has impacts far beyond the installation itself.
Synesthesia is the pilot to a series of interactive installations by the Synesthetic Research and Design Lab directed by Severino Alfonso and Loukia Tsafoulia at the College of Architecture and the Built Environment, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. The Lab serves as a collaborative research and prototyping platform where interactive design and emergent mental health sciences meet, underlining the recursion between the individual and their environment. The installation is possible through the collaboration of experts and students across various disciplines at Thomas Jefferson University including architecture, textile, industrial, user experience and interaction design.
Synesthesia is an atmospheric, soft interface with an infrastructural core that allows no physical bodies inside but rather consumes them virtually.
"Eyes pierce the skin and provide a distorted glimpse of the inner workings of the mechanism."
"Our organs of perception are dynamically projected on the constructed veil as abstracted images to shortly after disappear.
Our bodies reside inside the installation both temporarily and indefinitely as data."
Each of these rings are connected to each other with zip ties to reinforce the overall stability. They hold in place the exterior membrane. The nylon skin incorporates 18 openings (eye-shape holes of 3” wide).
An Integration of different light and sound effects, activated through sensors by the visitors' presence, that compliment the physical materials.
Prototyping takes place on Thomas Jefferson University's East Falls campus and will be later delivered for direct mounting and installation in situ.