linked. – a relatedness experience for boys

Laschke, M., Hassenzahl, M., and Mehnert, K. (2010). linked. – a relatedness experience for boys. In Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Extending Boundaries, pages 839-844.

Social exchange, intimacy and relatedness are a basic human need. Not surprisingly, there is a number of means to mediate relatedness over a distance, such as the telephone, Skype or Facebook. However, each of these imposes a particular way of communication, constrained by the employed technology rather than deliberately shaped by the designer. In line with an experience-driven approach to technology design, we suggest linked. as a communication device for teenage boys. An ethnography-inspired study revealed that teenage boys tend to "squabble" to express and fulfill their need for relatedness and physicality. linked. draws upon this. It is a modular pillow-like device, enabling boys to squabble over a distance, thereby providing a means to experience relatedness in a novel, emotional, but socially appropriate way.

See: linked. What the hell are these boys doing?