The Exaltation of a Sense: Haptic Art

The “future is haptic” is what we have been hearing from technologists and visionary theorists. Yet, haptic is not a technological feature, but a biological function. Haptic is almost an unknown term outside the research discourses and engineering labs. When asked, the majority of people ignore the relation between haptic and touch. What is unknown is that haptic refers to our multifarious sense of touch, formed by the cutaneous, proprioceptive, kinesthetic, and vestibular sensory systems. Therefore, the scope of haptic is far more comprehensive than what we are generally taken to perceive.

Proposing to rediscover the haptic sense through crossroads of art and design mediated by emergent technologies, this research explores the possibilities within our reach to create and experience the haptic, substantiated by a deeper understanding of its essence.

Introducing the term Aisthantic to characterize a felt experience through touch, etymologically derived from the Greek aisthanthike, meaning ‘felt.’ Formulating the inductive Theory of Aisthantic Experience proposing to formalize the analysis of quality of felt experiences. Using assessable phenomenological descriptive methods of psychology adapted to aisthantic experiences.

Keywords: sense of touch, sensorial perception, tangible systems, reactive surfaces, shape-shifting materials, organic user interfaces, palpable events, haptic art, aisthantic experiences.

Year 2016
Type Thesis
Institution Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto (FEUP)
Degree PhD
Supervisor(s) Prof. Dr. Miguel Velhote Correia
Language English
Field Digital Media