Designers are not doctors, but as designers of the material world, of systems and social encounters, they can enhance mental wellbeing. Emotions and touch have previously been considered too vague and subjective as research topics, but the situation has changed. Physical and social touch can be considered as tools for designers; interfaces between the mind of the individual and the external world. Perceiving a human being as an entity of inseparable body and mind also provides new positions for designers in the field of human wellbeing. Touch has a strong connection to primitive emotions of fear, anxiety and pleasure, but ‘positive’ social touch seems to play a profound role in mental wellbeing. This project takes pleasure as a foundation for mental wellbeing. It observes and analyses the interaction between body and mind, physical and social touch, both as a medium and as a tool in design.
© Design Academy Eindhoven, Photo by Lisa Klappe