Constructing Discomfort

As a designer and design researcher I observe and research human behaviour in daily life on a physical, mental and virtual level. Looking for hidden patterns and moments where we take things for granted in order to design concepts that raise questions and trigger action. I believe that once a while you need ‘constructed discomfort’, to become aware of unconscious patterns, routines and passivity.

In my work I use the body as the starting point. I ask myself how we use our body, how we take care of it or don’t take care of it. I’m fascinated about the relation between our body (as a physical presence) and the things around us in all kind of situations. The body is connected to the mind. Not taking care of the body has consequences on physicality but also mentality. It would be healthy to keep the body in movement, but this is not obvious anymore. Current lifestyle is sedentary. We do most things sitting, or in one certain position. The body is immobile and we are mentally ‘hyper mobile’ by technology at the same time. Behaviour is often automatic and difficult to change, especially when we have to do physical effort that is exhausting! I raise questions about (automatic) behaviour within the existing conventions, and make this unconscious behaviour visible in connection to the body and mind.

I think there is a need for using more of our physical and mental capabilities and intelligence in solving the problems of today and tomorrow. Something that I try to achieve through confrontation, awareness and motivation by designing with elements of discomfort. Discomfort moves people. This is why I don’t think we need more comfort products. Comfort products enhance our immobility of body and mind. We need the opposite: constructive discomfort. This is what my aim is in my work: to stimulate others to move and to act.