Applying Gestalt Laws through Somatic Sensibility

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Claudia Núñez-Pacheco


Attending to the need to integrate somatic sensibilities into design education, this paper provides a walkthrough of a workshop activity devoted to introducing Gestalt laws through the cultivation of somatic sensibility. Instead of following a solely visually-oriented path to learning Gestalt laws, students were asked to use their senses and materials as vehicles to represent their felt, inner experience through their designs. By applying the proposed steps, it was observed that certain patterns of responses reporting on movement, intensity, and dissipation of awareness were associated with specific Gestalt laws. This article reports on the first approximations of this approach, suggesting future paths for design educators, such as the integration of both constraints and whole-body interactions with materials as students increase their somatic sensibility.

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How to Cite
Núñez-Pacheco, C. (2022). Applying Gestalt Laws through Somatic Sensibility. Diseña, (20), Article.6. (Original work published January 31, 2022)
Original articles
Author Biography

Claudia Núñez-Pacheco, KTH Royal Institute of Technology; Digital Futures

Designer, Universidad de Valparaíso. Master in Interaction Design and Electronic Arts, University of Sydney. Ph.D. in Interaction Design, University of Sydney. Interaction designer and artist, she is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Division of Media Technology and Interaction Design at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Through her research, she investigates how bodily ways of knowing can be used as crafting materials for design research and practice. In her research journey, she has engaged in a multidisciplinary exploration that merges Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and design methods with tools from experiential psychology, including the Focusing Technique. Her research interests include focusing and micro-phenomenology applied to interaction design, first-person design research methodologies, soma design, aesthetics of interaction, and new media art. Some of her most recent publications include ‘Focusing for Interaction Design: An Introspective Somatic Method’ (with L. Loke, in ACM Conference on Human Factors and Computer Systems 2022); ‘Dialoguing with Tangible Traces: A Method to Elicit Autoethnographic Narratives’ (in ACM International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction 2022); and ‘Getting Into Someone Else’s Soul: Communicating Embodied Experience’ (with L. Loke; Journal of Digital Creativity, Vol. 31, Issue 4).


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