Aleks Marjanovic

Interdisciplinary Architect

The Cabinet of Curious Touchables

An Interactive ‘cabinet of curiosities’ to entertain the haptic senses

What role in our lives does the sense of touch have today?

A group of students at the KISD were asked to answer this question in the form of an exhibition for the art fair in Cologne, and at first we we’re stumped- it’s a vague concept that is difficult to address in any medium other than the physical. So instead of giving a clear answer written answer, we set out to collect and build a number of oddities that related to touch, and put them together in our very own cabinet of curious touchables.

Touch is how we ‘play’ with the world.

It wasn't so much about the things themselves, but rather how great the interactions with the visitors were! Popping, squeezing, hammering, swiping- the audience loved being able to ‘man-handle’ the exhibit since it offered them a way to explore the sense that is most often forsaken when things get serious. The sense of wonder and enjoyment that can be found in touching things is unsurpassable!

Touch helps us explore and understand our physical/virtual surroundings.

Although that may not be so obvious to us always, we learn through touching our surroundings. Smooth vs. Rough, cold vs. hot and strong vs. light pressure are just a few of the dichotomies that bring us closer to our physical reality. Could this be the possible way our digital interfaces might also go to communicate with us? I believe so!