Proxemics

Project by Pablo Porta, Tasneem Al-Omari, Laura Hidalgo, and Samreen Azam under Profs. Uwe Gellert and Carmen Luippold

Proxemics DocumentationProxemics – it’s the study of human use of space and the effects that population density has on behaviour, communication, and social interaction.Proxemics is one among several subcategories in the study of nonverbal communication, including haptics, kinesic, vocalics, and chronemics.Edward T Hall, the cultural anthropologist who coined the term in 1963, defined proxemics as “the interrelated observations and theories of man’s use of space as a specialized elaboration of culture.”Hall emphasized the impact of proxemic behavior (the use of space) on interper- sonal communication. According to the study of proxemics is valuable in evaluating the way people interact with others in daily life and proxemics remains a hidden component of interpersonal communication that is uncovered through observation and strongly influenced by culture.He also described the interpersonal distances of a person (the relative distances between people) in four zones: intimate space, personal space, social space, and public space.

We created three wearable tools to communicate the ambiguity in proxemics.The activation and deactivation of these tools depict the elasticity of personal space with three encounters;

Far away from the madding crowd: Isolation,
Eye for an eye: Gesture,
Back off bitch: Action.

Far away from the madding crowd

We all have our days when we feel like a celeberity in our own world. The attention of our surroundings gets too much for us to absorb. We might have been heart broken, stressed out about our credits or may just be having a bad day. It is then when one needs to crawl in to their own personal bubble in public places that may not mean harm to anyone but one actually offers themselves in a vulunarable condition being isolated.

In 1874 Thomas Hardy defines a tale of such characters of life and relationships in his novel called “Far away from the madding crowd” Inspired by the given name we created an obvious wearable tool as form of a head gear to space out your five senses when in need of personal space.

Eye for an eye

No matter what part of the world you go you are tend to find people who stare at you. Whether you want it or not. There are eyes on you. Whether you are in the subway, waiting for your bus or just taking a walk back home etcThe best way to encounter this is to stare back. Hence we created a hidden wearable tool in your attire to send a silent message across when in need.One who has been stared by another person returns the offending action to the originator with a gesture back.

The principle is drived from Hammurabi’s code “Eye for an eye.” The exact Latin to English translation of this phrase is actually “the law of retaliation.” The root principle of this law is to provide equitable retribution.

Back off bitch

The personal space own mechanism:distance of an arm lengh that unconsiously we all have around us when we are amongst strangers or people we are not fond off. Sometimes we do step uninvited in someones mechanism and likewise someone steps in to our’s. You have to be louder with your actions in order to ask them to back off.

In 1991 Guns N’ Roses came up with their hard rock track “Back Off Bitch.” Dancing on the tunes of their music we give you a throw back and present you a wearable personal space signature defence mechanism. At times we believe its needed to act out loud.


Go back to Pablo, Tasneem, Laura, or Samreen‘s profiles or navigate through their projects or the projects of this class:

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