The inspiration for Glow came from an observation that for most of us, the relationship between our brain and body is a private one. However, it affects our place in the world (our friendships, our work, our family).
Quantified self and ubiquitous computing are externalizing this relationship, allowing for personal reflection. However, successful interventions have only begun to scratch the surface. Historically, more thorough reflections on self, such as Nicholas Felton’s Annual Reports, have required deep commitment by a unique few. I asked myself to what extent has Greenfield’s vision been reached? “Everywhere is information processing embedded in the objects and surfaces of everyday life.” (Adam Greenfield Everywhere: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing).
I looked to historical examples of objects used to externalize stress such as Baoding balls, the worry stone, and Komboloi beeds. I then prototyped a variety of textural objects as a material study to find which were most enticing. At the same time audited the various representations of health used in digital products (from the fitbit flower to the Nike+ mini me).
From this research, I designed Glow, an everyday-use object that channels stress away from the body and reflects it back to the user in a delightful way.