Exquisite Corpses

Inspired by the Surrealist technique known as exquisite corpse, we investigated a novel method for exploring low-level interaction and its design qualities. We define low-level interaction to be manipulations of objects and systems by people that are below the level of tasks or routines. In other words, the most basic of interactions such as holding might serve a task like drinking from a cup.

By gathering a video collection of short clips of input actions and output reactions, we created a tool that allows quick video sketching of interactions. Building on the tradition of sketching, designers can mix and match different actions randomly, and quickly see the results. We put together a handful of video exquisite corpses with common everyday objects to explore the technique. The results were often surprising and created new ways of considering what the outcome of a specific input could be, while being supported by the structured form of the technique.