Images 001


PSg IMG index

PSg—001: Valerie destroying the gelatin seat by hand. Details of green boba balls and multi-colored crackers.

PSg—002: Pleasure-systems gelatin seat.

PSg—003: Smashing the last of the Pleasure-systems gelatin seat.

PSg—004: Lauriane approaching the gelatin seat.

Chapter (11)
~ Pleasure-systems gelatin seat

Pleasure-systems gelatin seat is about reconnecting to the body, and remembering how to play.


In his book Moralizing Technology, the Belgian philosopher Peter-Paul Verbeek analyzes the three ways that objects or environments (he calls them technologies) can change or steer human behavior.

1: technologies can force people to behave in certain ways, as when a speed bump leaves car drivers hardly any choice regarding their speed.
2: technologies can try to persuade users into specific actions. Like when the EconoMeter installed in a car gives feedback about the energy efficiency of a driver’s driving style.
3: technologies can seduce users into a form of behavior, as when elements of road design (such as curves and markings) make it more attractive to drive at a given speed.

Pleasure-systems gelatin seat uses seduction to form user behavior through sensory stimulation. With the goal of sparking a physical reaction, the seat is caste into the form referential to the anatomical striations on a human back, inviting a continuous touch. It’s filled with brightly colored foods, to create visual/tactile curiosity and delight. The mound is big enough to straddle like a saddle. Surface texture super-smooth and glistening. Cold and slippery when touched; jiggley when prodded. Set up like an invitation, the chair uses tactile signals to ask users to play with it.
#mealtime farms the body for social pleasure.

What’s appealing is watching people interact with a design object by crouching, squatting, approaching, sniffing, poking around. They don’t appear to be using a rote pre-existing script to interact with it (it doesn’t look perfectly chair-shaped and it’s an unconventional material) so they become more lively in their body postures, animated in their facial expressions, exploratory in their gestures.