Designing Beyond Hot and Cold - Exploring Full-Body Heat Experiences in Sauna

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Abstract

The design of thermal experiences, often only associated with hot and cold sensations, encompasses a much wider range of qualities that can evoke emotional and sensory effects on users extending beyond this basic binary nature. Through a phenomenological study of a traditional Finnish sauna, we delve into how individuals perceive and express full-body heat sensations using both verbal and non-verbal methods and infer dimensions and parameters of heat that can inform future thermal experience design. Findings from participants' expressions lead to formulating experiential dimensions such as the dynamic nature of heat, the aesthetics of discomfort, considerations of texture and heaviness, interoception, and personal memories that expand our understanding what heat as a design material consists of and the various possibilities it may hold. Furthermore, we propose three thermal parameters of motion, timbre, and distribution which can contribute to designing more intricate heat experiences and pave the way for further research in temperature interfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTEI 2024 - Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction
PublisherACM
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)979-8-4007-0402-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2024
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventACM International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction - Cork, Ireland
Duration: 11 Feb 202414 Feb 2024
Conference number: 18

Conference

ConferenceACM International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction
Abbreviated titleTEI
Country/TerritoryIreland
CityCork
Period11/02/202414/02/2024

Keywords

  • embodiment
  • heat
  • sauna
  • tacit knowledge
  • thermal experiences

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