First, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your work?
I am Zeynep Sen, high energy, curiosity driven optimist, who is intrigued by people, objects and environments along the interaction between. I moved to Toronto in 2008 from Istanbul to attend OCAD University for industrial design, though, it would be more appropriate to call it experience design. Oh, I just graduated! I am passionate about art and design and my work encompasses various media as I really enjoy experimenting and exploring new territories.
What was the initial impetus for the Second Skin project?
I was taking a course called Interactive Furniture at the Danish Design School when we got approached by a company called Live Art Installations. They were participating in the Metropolis Festival and wanted us to design interactive objects to be used during their 100 Dancers Act. The brief gave us all the creative freedom we desired and we saw it as an excellent opportunity to learn, experiment with new materials, technologies and learn a whole new language, so a bunch of us took it!
Our initial impetus (I had to Google what this meant!) were the ribbon used in rhythmic gymnastics and ‘The Walker ‘ that we saw during a school trip to Science Center Berlin (Otto Bock). We perceived them to be both effortless and beautiful. The rest was long days and nights of experimenting with new materials, testing prototypes, user scenarios and tweaking things according to the feedback we were receiving.
It was a really steep learning curve but a very fun, rewarding one. Needless to say we were all very proud to see people using Second Skin. (A video shot during the festival can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/32042438 )
Looking at the range of your art and design projects, how do you see your work developing in the future?
As a person with many interests I see many possibilities for my future work. I look up to Olafur Eliasson and I see myself doing big scale installations that manipulates spaces and objects for extraordinary experiences. I also see myself designing systems that changes people’s experiences for the better. My graduation project was about recreating the experience of gathering around the fire. My research indicated a decline in face to face socializing and an increase in feeling social isolation along with some issues regarding the booming condominium market. So I designed new social dining experience specifically for a condominium space that aims to encourage people to socialize face to face, while using food as an excuse to get together. I see my work to expand in both territories but it will always find it’s roots in making a difference in someone’s life through experience design.