Customer: School project.
My role: Interaction Designer.
Materials: Arduino (software), Arduino single-board, metal and wood workshop.   
Duration: 4 weeks.
Pels is a discursive design project that tries to awake and implement fellings in you. Most designs are convenient and try to make things better and easer for you as a user. Things or interactions  that are well designed are supposed to leave you with positive feeling. Not this time. This project had in mind to leave users with felling of guilt, being uncomfortable and even pain. 

The fur industry is significant in Europe.
There are huge factories where animals spend their entire lives.
The standard of life for an animal in the fur industry is much higher than in food industry, however killing an animal just for their fur is unnecessary and cruel when we have developed synthetic fur that is just as good and soft as real fur.
Just in Denmark every year over 17 million animals are killed just for theirs fur .
One fur coat costs lives of 18 Foxes or 27 Raccoons, or 55 minks, or 100 chinchillas.
Every year 100 milion animals are killed for their fur,
and that is not counting 1 billion rabbits that also get killed.
Often animals are so stressed out that they bite their own paws and tails off.
In other countries like China some of animals are skinned alive.

In Europe most of fur animals are killed by being electrocuted 3 seconds with 220V 0,5amps.
Some of them need to repeat the procedure.
This is one of the most humanitarian ways of killing animals we use.

Point of installation was to let user experience stress, anticipation of unknown and pain that animals are exposed to.

This electrodes I've made look very similar to those used on animals 

How it works
This is an interactive installation with informative tech about how animals are killed, how fur industry operates in Europe and way electrodes works.  
After that you can pick up the electrodes and place your palms on top of them and experience a small electric shock. Electricy in installation is minimal and you wouldn't notice it if not the fact that it switch on and off hundred times a second, that makes you muscles vibrate and "shock". What you feel is actually just your muscles tens and relax rapidly. 
To make electrodes I used fly zapper, Arduino, and some other electronic komponents.
While I was making the project I realised that the fact that you can zapp your friend with it can be an issue. This behaviour crate an experience that I didn't designed and would  leave user with a smile on a face.  
The fact that installation include electricity shock put a smile on as many people as it made uncomfortable. 

During this project I've learned some basics of how algorithms work and how to code in Arduino.

Another very important lesson I took from it was never assume something is going to work. If I had user tested it before exhibition I would know that experience can be miss understood.
And i still could prevent it. 

You may also like

Back to Top