Wintersemester 2018/2019, BA/MA Product Design eLab
HighTech x HighTouch
So-called 'smart' objects are invading many areas of our lives. The way these new technologies are integrated often follows the logic of their creator, but still rarely matches the expectations and routines of everyday users. The 'progress' implied by these novel products often pales in comparison with the strides humans have made in other areas of life – our rich, cultural achievements.
The project 'HighTech x HighTouch' investigates this phenomenon in the context of coffee preparation.
Different traditions, needs and solutions 'collide' in this exploration of automation concepts, merging high-tech capabilities with high-touch, sensually satisfying, human interactions. Could 'clever' machines enrich the centuries-old ritual of coffee preparation? Is sensual enjoyment compatible with technology? Can we establish or revive forms of interaction that use new technical possibilities in a really meaningful way - one which leads to real added value for the individual and/or society?
A group of BA and MA students with a background in product and interaction design developed new interaction concepts for coffee preparation, which they tested through prototyping, aiming to propose alternatives for how high-tech can be implemented, in ways that are more enjoyable, sensual and enriching for users.
These seven concepts serve as a catalyst to successfully demonstrate that we need and can demand more from high-tech in the future.