Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chairs of Despondence and Dread

Despondence Form Emoticon, by Kallbrand (aka Tomas Ekström)

Emoticons – The emotional meaning of form, shape & music is a multimedia project of Kallbrand that explores design and emotion. The four basic emoticons -- rapture, dread, repose, and despondence -- are classified along the dimensions of valence (positive, negative) and intensity (high, low). Each of these emotions is associated with specific shapes, forms, music, colors, and... chairs.

This is the “despondence” object emoticon. The despondence emoticon chair is designed to have the properties found to evocate emotions pertaining to the low intensity/negative valence area of emotion. The despondence emoticon chair is designed to be 3D printed in a composite plastic resin which is then cured into one solid piece. This allows for very complex organic surfaces with fluid surface continuity in all directions whilst at the same time enabling a rough, crackled texture to be physically modeled right into the form. ... The overall shape becomes very visually unbalanced because of the lack of a unified direction in the parts and by their differences in thickness and weight. Since the seat is leaning forward, you are always about to slip off, which naturally makes sitting in the chair feel quite discomfortable. This imbalance symbolize an unsettled emotional state.

Psychologist Paul Ekman is known for his work on the facial expression of emotion [and also for his role as scientific consultant for the TV show Lie to Me]. His original finding was that there are six universal emotions: anger, fear, disgust, surprise, happiness, and sadness (Ekman & Friesen, 1969).

However, Ekman has not designed chairs to represent these emotions.


Ekman, P. & Friesen, W. V (1969). The repertoire of nonverbal behavior: Categories, origins, usage, and coding. Semiotica 1: 49–98.

Dread Form Emoticon, by Kallbrand

Read more about the Emoticons project in this PDF.

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At April 20, 2011 5:38 PM, Anonymous Emmy said...

Quite cool. The despondent, slumping chair is reminiscent of Tim Burton's characters - both human and object, it brings to mind the body language of someone who is in despair. Dread, a bit more difficult to pinpoint but again I think this has been captured in sci fi movies in the form of machines.

At May 26, 2011 10:45 AM, Blogger -blessed holy socks, the non-perishable-zealot said...

Know this: we only have a finite existence... 88ish years? Then, Heaven Above for eternity, girl, where we'll celebrate our resurrection at my BIG-ol, kick-ass, party-hardy Upstairs. Bring only you, Miss GorgeousBabe. God bless you.


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