Feedback from Tobias for thesis proposal:

What do I want out of it?

What will be meaningful to my audience?

Where do I stand as a practitioner, practice diagram, up to what point do I agree with other practitioners?

Thesis should focus on new knowledge, analyzing contemporary practices: ex.Tinder and its equivalents as a new technology with a whole load of new social implications and norms and the cultural changes it might bring provides lots of freedom for exploration and provocation.

-Good design has a tradeoff. DiSalvo – it forces us into a conflict which we have to resolve – ideas that don’t sit comfortably together or a difficult choice over what is a better option. – This can be applied to this project with conflict being wearables and technology in love and relationships, something very intimate to living creatures.


How will gestures change in the next era where mobile applications are no longer used to find companionship

1.    Can you make strangers fall in love through gestures?

  • 1967, the psychologist Arthur Aron succeeded in making two strangers fall in love in his laboratory

2.   Can gesticulation be used in helping the blind meet lovers?

  • Is gesture telling more truth than visual cues about how someone feels about another?
  • Dating and meeting others has become such a visual task that it has excluded the visually impaired.

3.   In order to achieve the above: Can gestures be codified? Should it be codified?

Parts of essay:

The negative responses to app dating and why we should embrace the change instead.Some even refer to it as the Sixth Extinction.

  • Can gestures bring back emotional intimacy

Different apps & reasons they exist, stats: Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, Happn, app for the blind

Mobile app gestures (ref curious rituals, Modern Romance)

Nonverbal communication (lots of reference notes, Anatomy of love)

  • Kinesics (Birdwhistell) and attempt to codify gesture/expression, past analysis of gestures and
  • Martin Dragan – “sensate focus is one type of touch exercise that’s used, as well as some other body/touch desensitisation techniques”


  •  There are genetic based, visual based, voice, geographical based dating apps but nothing based on gestures.
  • Inequality in dating, un-inclusiveness in dating apps/mobile gestures? Interface for the blind
  • Common gestures in love and what they mean (codified)

How gestures changed by technology and why we will not be dating on apps in the next 10 years.

Current list of bibliography

History of courtship:

  • From Front Porch to Back Seat: A History of the Date – Beth Bailey
  • History of courtship –
  • Thomas Umstattd Jr. – The 4000 Year History of Courtship

Modern courtship:

  • Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari
  • BBC Radio4: Late Night Woman’s Hour: Dating in the Digital Age
  • Sherry Turkle – Alone Together
  • Tech Talk: Love and Sex – July 17, 2017 panel discussion
  • Rosenfeld-Searching for a Mate: The Rise of the Internet as a Social Intermediary (PDF)


  • Curious Rituals – Nicolas Nova
  • (film) A World of Gestures: Culture & Nonverbal Communication
  • Gestures – Vilém Flusser
  • (film) Body Language: Non-Verbal Communication 1 & 2
  • Katia Vega – beauty technology: how blinking is a gesture transmitting your emotional feeling (ex. if you get bored, you start blinking more slowly) sensors on diff muscles, skin as interface

  • Anatomy of love – Helen Fisher

  • Birdwhistell, R L 1970 Kinesics and ContextUniversity of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, PA
  • Birdwhistell – Background to Kinesics (PDF)
  • CREDO reference to Kinesics
  • by Mark L Knapp; Judith A Hall; Terrence G Horgan
  • Goffman, E 1963 Behavior in Public PlacesFree Press. Glencoe, NY
  • Kendon, A 1995 Andrea De Jorio—The first ethnographer of gesture? Visual Anthropology 7: 371-90.
  • Gender and Communication: Male-Female Differences in Language and Nonverbal Behavior – directed by Jon Silver, fl. 2000-2013; produced by Dane Archer, 1946-(Berkeley, CABerkeley Media2001)

Mobile App & Gestures:

  • (notes in Evernote)
  • (notes in Evernote)
  • Apple’s app apocalypse pokes fun at how dependent we are on apps
  • (evernote)
  • definitive guide on gestures, created by Craig Villamor, Dan Willis, and Luke Wroblewski

Projects & References

  • Andres Jaque – Intimate Strangers
  • R. Luke Debois- A more perfect union
  • Her
  • RCA IDE project: WIM – Jacob Boast, Jun Kamei, Kate McCambridge
  • RCA 2017 degree show project: MIM-your personal partner in physiotherapy – Aaron Koshy
  • RCA IDE project: Ripple-enhancing the silent language of seduction
  • RCA 2017 degree show project: Scroll – Nat Martin
  • “Tinderella” photo project – Kirra Cheers “In a modern world where time is such a precious commodity – online dating has become the norm. “
  • Mandy Len Catron’s Modern Love essay – To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This -that explores whether intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by having them ask each other a specific series of personal questions

“The idea is that mutual vulnerability fosters closeness. To quote the study’s authors, “One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure.” Allowing oneself to be vulnerable with another person can be exceedingly difficult, so this exercise forces the issue.

  • More than 20 years ago, the psychologist Arthur Aron succeeded in making two strangers fall in love in his laboratory with 36 questions
  • Tangible Media Lab MIT – tangible interface away from screens


  • Martin Dragan – Sexologist