Portfolio Whisper Stones
Whisper Stones - Interactive Installation - 2009
Whisper Stones is a design experiment and part of my graduate thesis, Empathetic Play. Whereas Paper Balloons is an entirely virtual, high-tech exploration of 'Empathetic Play', Whisper Stones is a completely tangible, very low-tech exploration of the same idea.
The original idea for the installation was inspired by Carl Jung's writing on dream symbolism and people's universal attraction to certain objects as metaphors (stones representing people, strength, comfort, etc). After a couple of design tests, it quickly became apparent that the same idea behind Paper Balloons could be explored through the Whisper Stones.
The interactive installation was set up in public parks around Pasadena in late 2009. A large stone sat on top of a plinth. Users were instructed to lift the stone and hide a whisper beneath it, capturing the whisper for another user to release. Once another user picked the stone back up, the previous whisper would be played back once and released forever.