HAPTIC INTERFACE 2012

The following are my two installations for the

HAPTIC INTERFACE 2012 exhibition,

Koo Ming Kown Gallery, Baptist University of Hong Kong, 21 November – 16 December.

1. HAPTIC AUTISTRY

Opening night 21 November 2012 – photos by Sophia Zhang

Day view 22 November 2012 – photos by YIP Chi Lap [

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Hong Kong

(CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

]

External view – photos by Dawn-joy Leong

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2. HAPTIC HUGSHRUG – prototype

Explanation:
Many with Autism Spectrum Condition suffer from sensory anomalies and are averse to human touch. However, just like everyone else, we crave the sensation of warm embrace. Studies have revealed that deep pressure haptic stimulation, especially that which enwraps, relaxes and calms panic and sensory alarm that are common features in Autism and other sensory-cognitive idiosyncratic conditions (ADHD, PTSD etc). 

Temple Grandin, world famous autism advocate and animal behaviorist, developed the renowned “Squeeze Machine,” for the above purpose. In this machine, the user is able to regulate the intensity of pressure by activating a lever. 

My “Haptic Hug-Shrug” is a response to Grandin’s “Squeeze Machine,” but was created to deliberately eschew technology, and address sensory-sympathetic need at its basic, primal level. Made from wool top, using crochet technique, the Hug-Shrug can be ‘worn’ or used as a blanket, and even gentle sensory mat to lie on. It’s weight provides the sensation of deep pressure, while the softness and warmth of fine Merino wool serves as supportive comfort to the wearer, who will regulate the intensity of the ‘hug’ by pulling at the edges.

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