Student Work

  • Transdisciplinary Design (MFA)

    Stephanie Beattie


    Can a simple handshake be hacked to re-frame the conversations and negotiations we engage with every day? COME TOGETHER, as a series of designed gestures, advances the reach of design beyond services, transactions and technological interfaces to the space between individuals themselves. A multidisciplinary basis of research on handshakes indicates that handshakes 1) promote cooperation, 2) are a class of gesture and 3) may be themselves designed. Design-led research provided a framework in which to synthesize a range of research methods ranging from improvisation to subjective artistic expression and objective behavior analysis. Five handshakes were designed to address the contexts of gameplay, retail, healthcare, interpersonal conflict and intimacy. Through rigorous prototyping in real-world situations, the handshakes were revealed to be useful social facilitation tools that have the potential to fundamentally re-frame the interactions in which they are used.