Julien Hoffmann

Moss haptics

For my first project I want to analyse the haptics of my natural surroundings.

Like certainly a lot of people living in a bigger city, I feel quite detached from nature. Most of the things we touch and feel are man or even machine made (computers, smartphones, books).

I want to find ways to visualize the feeling of touching. For that purpose I took a stone covered in moss that I found in the park next to university and tried to document my haptic perceptions. But how do you visualise such an abstract and complex feeling?

After gathering a maximum of ideas on how to visualise certain aspects of touch, such as softness, roughness, temperature and wetness, I figured out there is no way to give a subjective visualisation that would work for everybody. So I decided to build a personal framework using symbols, colours, thickness and transparency to express the feelings mentioned above. My goal was to find a framework that would allow me to overlap all feelings and visualise them at once, which turned out to be the hardest part.

First, I used transparency to translate the feeling of wetness.


Symbols helped visualising roughness.


I then added thickness to express softness.


For the temperature I decided to go with a classic heat map.


The combination of all these factors looks as follows:


This project is completely experimental and far from objective or definitive, which is why I would love to hear your thoughts about it. Thanks!




1 Comment

  1. Excellent start, Julien! I think you created a very good playground for yourself! Your first explorations are very promising and I love how you tame your experiments by framing them in a certain structure.

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