EI: Final Project Theme and Guidelines

Theme for Your Final Project: Proxemics

Research, discuss and use different aspects of the notion of proxemics as a starting point for your final project. You can interpret the theme in a very free way, it is mainly provided as a way for you to get some ideas flowing.

Proxemics is a term coined by Edward T. Hall in his article A System for the Notation of Proxemic Behavior (1963) to describe how people unconsciously structure the space around them. He provides a systematic way to describe eight different dimensions of social interactions. This notation system can be used to compare interaction events.

In a later book, The Hidden Dimension, Hall describes the interpersonal distances of man:

  1. Intimate distance (1–46 cm)
  2. Personal distance (46–122 cm)
  3. Social distance (1.2–3.7 m)
  4. Public distance (more than 3.7 m)

Personal Space in Finland

You might have noticed the importance of personal space for Finnish people at your nearest bus stop.

Finnish people waiting for the bus. Image from https://imgur.com/gallery/GfPJ7
Another example from Tampere. Image from http://finnishness.blogs.tamk.fi/2017/09/18/general-opinion-of-finnish-people/

But at the same time those same people might have no reservations about getting naked and sitting in a tiny sauna right next to each other.

All cultures have their own ideas of acceptable proxemic behavior in different situations. Discuss these different behaviors in your own cultures and some possible problems you might have faced relating to this. These anecdotes could provide interesting ideas for your project.

Other Guidelines for the Final Project

  • A possible outcome of the course could be: interactive installation, experimental user interface, new musical instrument/controller, simple game, or anything else that somehow uses embodied interaction in a creative way
  • Feel free to use any technology (hardware and software) that is best suited for your project. We will go through some possible options.
  • Present your project idea and current status on Friday 12/01/2018
  • Present your final project on Friday 19/01/2018

Articles and More Information About Proxemics