Hug-drawing machine

Interaction design

In Hug-drawing performance, I performed as a hug-drawing
machine, who creates a digital drawing embodying softness. 

Hug-drawing machine project, Performance, London, 2020

PROJECT TYPE  Performance / Interactive design (Wearable)
Mar 2020
: Arduino Nano 33 BLE, Conductive fabric, threads
Software : Processing (Java)

By hugging the hug-drawing machine, the participants
created abstract drawings representing the sense of touch.
Hug-drawing experimented with the potential of touch interactions,
which require more haptic nuance in human-machine relationships.

In this project, I performed as a hug-drawing humanoid. I wore clothing
with customized soft sensors that a humanoid might wear, displaying
a softness and warmth while speculating about the potential of
a huggable machine embodying vulnerability.

The hug-drawing humanoid attempts to visualise your feelings, including
hesitation, curiosity, excitement, and even discomfort by translating
the sense of touch to an abstract drawing. The participants naturally
focus on both tactility and visuality via Hug-drawing interaction.
I want to remind us of the meaning of contact, which embodies
multiple feelings escaping standardised definitions. I also want to
explore the potential role of the soft machine in communicating
complicated, subtle feelings remotely.

Hug-drawing machine performance, London, 2020

What is the meaning of touc in contemporary life?
Since Covid-19 elevated, we have more relied on machines
like smartphone and lab top to communicate with each other. However,
those devices require only standardized and normalized ways of touching.
Through Hug-drawing machine performance, I want to ask a question.
Do we get enough touch from our daily interaction?
I want to explore the potential role of the soft machine to communicate
complicated, subtle feeling remotely.

Touch is a sense of communication.
It is receptive, expressive, can communicate empathy.
It can bring distant objects and people into proximity. […]

‘The Senses of Touch: Haptics, Affects and Technologies’
by Mark Paterson(2007)

In laboratory experiments, Harry and Margaret Harlow found
that monkeys raised in cages and physically isolated— even though
they could see, hear and smell their simian fellows— developed
a range of morose, withdrawn, self-destructive and otherwise
abnormal characteristics. In humans the same is observed for
children raised without physical affection where they are clearly in
great pain. The neuropsychologist James W. Prescott has performed
a startling cross-cultural statistical analysis of 400 preindustrial societies
and found that cultures that lavish physical affection on infants tend to
be disinclined to violence. [...] Where physical affection is encouraged,
theft, organized religion and invidious displays of wealth are inconspicuous.

The From Cosmos (1980) by Carl Sagan

Realtime threshold test in order to develop a grid sensor responding
to the loction of finger and pressure 

This threshold test was implemented to find moderate pressure value.  
The colour and stroke of the brush respond to pressure and speed.
I wanted to Hugdrawing to embody your feelings including
hesitation, curiosity, excitement, even discomfort

If you want to see more hugdraws, click below hugdraw