#Workshops (Adults)
Sat.20 / 15:00 - 18:30
4th Floor

One possibility in the post digital and post human age is the recreation of human physical experience with the integrity of digital and materiality. Digital tools such as affective computing are capable of sensing and analysing human emotional cues. Materials such as soft robotics are capable of producing aesthetic serendipities. A combination of the two might offer the potential of recreating the physical contact of emotional experiences that traditionally exclusive to human such as touch and hug. This workshop invites participants to explore this potential together.

However emotional experience is highly dependent on personal experience, social & cultural context, and the emotional relations could not be designed by designers but only formed with sustained interaction between the individuals and the artefacts. That is why in the workshop, we will share our memories, interaction patterns and use these to ‘design’ a personal touch/hug machine, and try them out to see if they make us produce the same oxytocin in us than human touches!

Materials will be provided. Participants are encouraged to bring an object or an image of the object that reminds them of the comfort feeling brought by touch or hug.


Number of participants: 6-15

Free admission, please note limited spaces available.

To reserve a place, please email including the following details:

  • Name of workshop you wish to attend
  • Name/Surname
  • Contact number
  • Number of participants


Caroline Yan Zheng (CN)

Caroline Yan Zheng is designer and researcher in fashion, wearable-technology and experience design, with a focus on the emotional experience. Trained in ESMOD Paris in fashion design and making, she also holds an MA in Fashion Future from London College of Fashion. Currently she conducts her doctoral research at the Royal College of Art, London in Information Experience Design and Fashion.

Caroline has shown her work internationally and has delivered workshops on emotion and soft robotics at Victoria and Albert Museum, London, State Festival Berlin, Design Research Society Conference, Brighton. She has also led student projects at the Royal College of Art UK and hosts cross-disciplinary seminars on the topic of “Sentimental Machines”.

In her practice-led PhD research, she examines human-machine relationships in the emotional space, by making robotic artefacts endowed with emotional intelligence, that is- responsive and adaptive to human emotional cues. The research works on the process of mediation and values the agency of technology, materiality and human to the same degree; especially it gives a place for the richness of human subjectivity in its ambiguity. This results in cross-modal outcomes, and performative, embodied interactions – specifically hybrid objects and experiences, relational artefacts and performative installations using smart materials and textiles.