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.

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