‘Design in knots’ means the stuff that makes an audience feel uncomfortable. The knotted rope encourage visitors to untie it. This feeling of desire can induce the occurrence of compulsive behaviour. This project explores feelings associated with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a mental disorder in which a person feels the need to perform certain routines repeatedly and have a sense of order in daily life. Specifically, social anxiety is a major factor leading to obsessive-compulsive disorder. To better understand this mental issue, the focus should be placed not only on treatments, but also on developing empathy in relation to the problem. ‘Design in knots’ proposes a design framework that affords similar feelings as the OCD group, breaking down barriers that inhibit an understanding of OCD. In this project, as the triggers of OCD, chairs represent different kinds of social anxiety. By experiencing them, audiences can better understand OCD and reflect on the various social anxieties they are facing in their life.

DESIGN IN KNOTS

Hao Wang is a Chinese industrial and graphic designer whose work focuses on criticality and empathy. Hao studied product design at Beijing Institute of Technology and industrial design at Central Saint Martins. ‘Design in knots’ means the stuff that makes an audience feel uncomfortable. The knotted rope encourage visitors to untie it. This feeling of desire can induce the occurrence of compulsive behaviour. This project explores feelings associated with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a mental disorder in which a person feels the need to perform certain routines repeatedly and have a sense of order in daily life. Specifically, social anxiety is a major factor leading to obsessive-compulsive disorder. To better understand this mental issue, the focus should be placed not only on treatments, but also on developing empathy in relation to the problem. ‘Design in knots’ proposes a design framework that affords similar feelings as the OCD group, breaking down barriers that inhibit an understanding of OCD. In this project, as the triggers of OCD, chairs represent different kinds of social anxiety. By experiencing them, audiences can better understand OCD and reflect on the various social anxieties they are facing in their life.

DESIGN IN KNOTS

This project explores feelings associated with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a mental disorder in which a person feels the need to perform certain routines repeatedly and have an unintelligible sense of order in daily life. Specifically, social anxiety is a major factor leading to obsessive-compulsive disorder. To better understand this mental issue, the focus should be placed not only on treatments, but also on developing empathy in relation to the problem. This inquiry seeks to develop a propositional design framework that affords similar feelings as the OCD group. It aims to break down barriers in order to promote a better understanding of OCD.

DESIGN IN KNOTS

The table is like an organizer, organizing five chairs together. These five chairs represent five kinds of social anxiety: One chair seems out of place, the four sides of the table correspond to four chairs, and the fifth chair seems to break a sense of order for the entire set of furniture. Breaking the sense of order is also an expression that can trigger OCD symptoms.

DESIGN IN KNOTS

This chair represents social anxiety out of reality. This social anxiety also reflects the increased social and psychological burden faced by patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Through this chair, the audience can experience the feelings of the patients with OCD. The chair without platform will stimulate the audience's obsessive-compulsive disorder tendencies.

DESIGN IN KNOTS

This chair attempts to create a sense of crisis, which is a common cause of social anxiety in contemporary society. This type of social anxiety leads to the aggravation of obsessive-compulsive disorder. The plate on the edge of the table seems to tell us that a crisis can happen at any time.

DESIGN IN KNOTS

This chair should get close to the table to facilitate people’s use, but being out of place, it prevents people from using the table and the chair at the same time. When the original norms are broken, people cannot accept the new norms and it causes OCD to manifest itself.

DESIGN IN KNOTS

The knife on the chair determines the user to sit down carefully. During the whole usage process, it is necessary to be vigilant to avoid getting hurt by the knife. This mental pressure causes nervousness, and the tendency of OCD is stimulated.

DESIGN IN KNOTS

The chair has a baffle in front of it, which makes it difficult for the user to see the food on the table. The user needs to find it by feeling around. This kind of fear and speculation about unknown things is also a main symptom of OCD.

DESIGN IN KNOTS

This clock is full of numbers, making it difficult for people to read the time on it. The numbers are unreadable and they need to be read carefully in order to be distinguished. Through the clock, people can experience a characteristic of obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is a higher sensitivity towards numbers.

DESIGN IN KNOTS

The characteristic of this set of tableware is that the normal rules of use have changed. When the rules are changed, it takes time for people to adapt to the new rules.

DESIGN IN KNOTS

The wine glass is only half-made, which makes it easy to spill the wine when using it. This makes the user feel anxious and uneasy.

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