Squeaky/Pain: Articulating the Felt Experience of Pain for Somaesthetic Interactions

Authors: Arife Dila Demir, Kristi Kuusk, Nithikul Nimkulrat

peer-reviewed journal article, 2022

This pictorial illustrates the methodological tools for articulating the felt experience of chronic pain used for designing somaesthetic interactions. To do this, it presents the design process of a case study named Squeaky/Pain, a soma extension aiming to augment somaesthetic awareness of the pain involved in the appreciation of both pleasant and disturbing feelings and sensations. The soma extension is an interactive wearable that facilitates a sound-motion interaction to mimic the wearer’s pain experience, from agony to relief. The case study focuses on a less explored aspect of somaesthetic interactions which is the mediation of disturbing experiences for sensory awareness. Through the soma extension that mediates disturbing experiences, the study aims to improve people’s somatic knowledge and their lives as a result. The design process of Squeaky/Pain requires detailed accounts of lived bodily experiences to create somaesthetic interactions. To access a detailed articulation of felt experiences, various tools are employed to articulate the first- and second-person pain experience for design use. These are different types of body maps, video analysis, material and form explorations, journals, in-depth interviews and self-interviews. The ideation and the testing phases have proven that such tools complement one another to access the versatile aspects of felt experiences. In this pictorial, we demonstrate ways in which visual, verbal and written tools can be applied to reveal implicit bodily experiences to inform somaesthetic interaction design.

(download full text)

Suggested Citation: Demir, A. D., Kuusk, K. and Nimkulrat, N. (2022). Squeaky/Pain: Articulating the Felt Experience of Pain for Somaesthetic Interactions. Temes de Disseny 38, 162-178. https://doi.org/10.46467/TdD38.2022.162-178