Presented at the 1st Dutch Touch meeting
On the 3rd of July, I participated in the 1st meeting on the study of social and affective touch in the Netherlands. The main goal of the meeting was to explore possibilities and interests of Dutch scientists, tech people and artists who are involved in this topic to collaborate and regularly come together. We could then share ideas, insights, equipment etc. It was very inspiring to meet people from different disciplines who share a similar interest. For instance, in their art project E.E.G. KISS, artists Karen Lancel and Herman Maat of TU Delft use ultra-portable EEG headsets to measure the brain activity of romantic partners while they are kissing, hugging and touching each other. I presented some of my recent findings on the soothing effects of soft materials, especially for insecurely attached individuals. My sister (and soon-to-be industrial engineer specialized in Design for Interaction), Viola Tjew-A-Sin, was also invited to the meeting. Her graduation project is about mediated social touch, specifically the aspect of warmth, and how it may be used to increase empathy and connectedness between people with alexithymia and their loved ones.