Light refracts
for slight contact
with a mighty impact.

Connecting with others is no longer a phenomenon that takes place only in the physical world; technological progression has offered the ability to connect with others in the virtual realm. Particularly amongst the younger demographic, connecting online is becoming increasingly dangerous, distorting and displacing the values integral to making and maintaining authentic human relationships.
This study illuminates the necessity of face-to-face interaction between both acquainted and unacquainted parties for cultivating skills essential to the fostering of connections, including empathy, compassion, cooperation, care, and self-reflection. The approach, however, does not follow the trajectory of technological progression. Instead, a proposal is offered that is void of devices and screens, revisiting the situations in which face-to-face interactions may take place and amplifying the opportunities for these interactions to occur.
It is proposed that provision of a space in which interaction, communication and cooperation is encouraged amongst the occupants can help the practice of interpersonal skills through repetition. Further, this development and refinement of skills can be translated into relationships outside of the space. The design outcome hopes to contribute to the vision of a more cooperative, altruistic, compassionate, and attentive society.
Additionally, the design proposal exemplifies the capacity for product design to be used as a tool that can enquire into, inspire, and initiate positive social change, challenging the values of marketability and commerciality that are commonly perceived as priority outcomes within the discipline.

Slight (desk units) provides a method for communicating with unacquainted persons by direct, incidental and accidental means, and thus increasing the opportunities for strangers to have face-to-face conversation. While conventional communication methods follow a predictable process, where an intentional sender communicates with an intentional receiver, Slight’s communication process is unreliable, giving rise to opportunities for interactions when intentions to do so may have been absent.
The space Slight resides in coactively supports productive work to be carried out and provides the facilities to do so. Communicating with light functions as a gentle and unobtrusive form of nudging the other, and while recipients have the choice to respond, the nudge can be declined as quietly as it is sent. Slight belongs in an environment housing creative work, promoting engagement with others so that the creative process can flourish. Engagement with others, which can be a source of fear and anxiety, can be a peaceful process in the space of Slight for both the sender and the receiver.
Slight re-imagines the physical workspace, but also alters the mental state of the users prior to entering the space and while they are there. Users are invited to accept and be open to the possibility of interacting with other users. Slight reformulates the perception and role of public workspaces, countering the values of control, seclusion and productivity upheld by fixed workspaces with hints of spontaneity, openness and opportunities to engage with people. The object stimulates activity, in the sense that it is a mobile, reconfigurable product itself and also the activity that transpires between its users.
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