External Critiques / by MK luff

Notes From External Faculty Critiques March 18th - March 22nd


  • Start with a linear pre-recording in my testing and then figure out the different branches the conversation could take. Several different branches to make it feel natural and comfortable, but always winding up somewhere near the ending. - Start it with the idea of more of a guided meditation?

  • Start by designing the different points of interface

    • How do people sit?

    • What prompts them to talk?

    • What prompts the different levels of talking? (how to make them comfortable and then guide them)

  • Sensing pauses in the conversation to utilizes as different branches of the voice recognition

  • Movies to consider as references - Her, Talk to Her (surrealist dream sequence man going into vagina - literally going back to the womb, comfort, etc.)

  • Use two and make it more like a proper chair (with a sitting space between them)

  • Way to encourage how people sit on it (flopping vs. sitting)

  • Adding sensor elements for how people are sitting - use external camera

  • Get as much info as possible to direct branches of conversation (what way are they looking> how are they sitting? Pose estimation?)

  • Maybe doesn’t need a secondary sculpture if the chair is talking - if it talks to you to ask you to sit, it would continue you to talk to you.

  • Voice assistant systems - google, alexa, Azure API’s- how to interface with them?

  • Really write out the branches of the voice interaction

  • Artist reference - http://amorphicrobotworks.org/biomorphic-wall-gallery - Chico

  • Adding addition physical responses from the chair

    • Hacking a commercial massage chair - take the parts out of it to create a more physical expressive potential

  • Deflation might be too subtle

  • Invoking empathy


  • Change temperature the longer you sit on it hot to cold

  • Heat sensitive fabrics

  • Do the voices change?

    • Different voices in different chairs - doing multiple chairs

    • The voice changes throughout the interaction - goes from a softer more feminine voice to a more aggressive masculine voice

  • Crawling into a womb (v positive reaction to this idea)

    • Like therapy, counseling, religious guidance, private intimate moment. Something we search for but maybe don’t want everyone to know about

  • Laying down you can almost wrap your arms around the nipple - like breastfeeding - or infantilizing? Bringing us back to childhood?

  • Create chambers but with 4 distinct boobs (1 per chamber)

  • Don’t all have to be large - create tons of small ones around it, larger ones with less interaction but that could lead up to the larger interaction

  • Compleat sculptor for bulk foam rubber that’s malleable and flexible


  • Lots of small ones around with speakers expressing concern

  • Walls of chamber breathing

    • The ways breasts change over a lifetime - through pregnancy, etc.

  • Matthew Barney - artist about reproductive system

  • Crawl into something and then it inflates

  • Ant Farm collective - 60’s/70’s collective about utopian spaces “Ant Farm”

  • Soft sculpture leads to feeling of ownership by viewer

  • http://institutefornewfeeling.com/projects

  • What is around it in the world?

    • Prints on the wall

    • Video

    • Performative aspects

  • Guided meditation, performative guidance with the smaller sculptures leading to main interaction

  • Breast pump instructional video

  • Institutional videos about breasts and how you touch them (checking for lumps, etc.)

  • Doctors waiting room with videos before you get to interact

  • World building around the primary interaction as a way to guide people on how to interact with the primary installation (boob chamber)


  • Keeping it very utilitarian

  • Hydraulic chambers for inflating and deflating - so many begin to inflate that it hard to sit

  • Voice only?

  • Maybe the tone of the voice changes from female to male , very aggressive and assertive

  • Changing the content of the speech the longer the conversation goes on

  • Runway.io - for machine learning (slack channel)

  • P5 - M5L machine learning for p5Js

  • Dancer flow

  • Customer service AI system

  • Working with a real voice

General Thoughts Post Critique

Overall the feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive and I found that very encouraging for pushing this project forward. People responded positively to the idea of focusing on a singular installation that was enclosed vs. multiple chairs that people could sit on spread throughout a room. This would make the interaction far more intimate as people would be in an enclosed space and hopefully more comfortable sitting for longer periods of time. I also got a lot of feedback on additional interactions for the chair including hacking a massage chair to put inside of it and using fabrics that could generate heat. I think the next few weeks will be really focused on researching some of these potential interactions.

I think the most important next step is going to be diagramming out the interaction and the potential paths it could follow. While I want people to wind up with a similar outcome each time I think the path they take to get there could vary based upon how the people are interacting. Similarly diagramming out secondary interactions that could happen outside the chair chamber that would help guide people through the entire installation, and make them more comfortable interacting with everything.

Will Rahilly - February 19, 2019

Even though my thoughts around my thesis project were extremely jumbled this critique was helpful. I showed Will the sighing boob bean bag chair I was working on as part of my interactive installations class. For the most part people’s initial thoughts around the chair go to ideas of being welcomed, comforted, and ideas of motherhood. I was worried that something like this might wind up being overtly sexual, but talking to Will and other classmates i’ve seen how it more makes people think about being cared for by a mother, or how children are reliant upon their mothers.

Will and I talked about ways to incorporate my other concept about language and the manipulation of language into this project. Including setting the boob chairs up with a speaker you could talk into above the chair set up so when you reclined in the chair you would be able to easily speak in to it. As you relaxed back on the chair it would perhaps prompt you to say something. Whatever you said into the speaker would then be manipulated and output throughout other parts of the room. If there were multiple chair setups then this could create a cacophony of sound around the room with all sorts of altered stories and thoughts being played back.