Hosting social touch in public space of merging realities

Karen Lancel*, Hermen Maat, Frances Brazier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Is human hosting essential to social touch in the public space of merging realities? This paper explores the role of hosting in art and design for mediating social touch in public space, social robotics, virtual reality and tele-matic environments. The question of whether human hosting is essential to social touch was the focus of three experiments held during performance of artistic orchestrations designed for social touch in public space for which the effects of different hosting designs have been analyzed. These internationally presented orchestrations, Saving Face (2012) and Master Touch (2013), purposefully disrupt and re-orchestrate multi-sensory connections in unfamiliar and unpredictable ways, to evoke shared reflection and shared sense making in public space, mediated by a host. Saving Face was orchestrated internationally in museums, urban public spaces and theatres, including; 56th Venice Biennale 2015; Connecting Cities Network Ber-lin/Dessau 2013; 3th TASIE Art-Science exhibition, Science & Technology Museum Beijing 2013; Beijing Culture & Art Center BCAC 2015-2016. Master Touch was orchestrated at Rijksmuseum Amsterdam 2013. This paper extends the multi-sensory interaction model for social touch described in (Lancel et al. 2019e) to explicitly include the role of a host. The question this paper addresses is whether the host needs to be human. This paper calls for future design of disrupted social touch in merging realities to consider hosting processes of shared sense making. Such design should facilitate new forms of reciprocal embodied interaction, that support descriptive self-disclosure, dialogue and shared reflection on experience of social touch in merging realities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInteractivity, Game Creation, Design, Learning, and Innovation - 8th EAI International Conference, ArtsIT 2019, and 4th EAI International Conference, DLI 2019, Proceedings
EditorsAnthony Brooks, Eva Irene Brooks
PublisherSpringer Open
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9783030532932
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event8th EAI International Conference on ArtsIT, Interactivity and Game Creation, ArtsIT 2019, and the 4th EAI International Conference on Design, Learning, and Innovation, DLI 2019 - Aalborg, Denmark
Duration: 6 Nov 20198 Nov 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, LNICST
Volume328 LNICST
ISSN (Print)1867-8211


Conference8th EAI International Conference on ArtsIT, Interactivity and Game Creation, ArtsIT 2019, and the 4th EAI International Conference on Design, Learning, and Innovation, DLI 2019

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Design of disruption
  • Digital performance art orchestration
  • Engagement
  • Hosting
  • Immersive
  • Merging realities
  • Public space
  • Shared experience of social touch
  • Social & multi-sensory model for interaction
  • Social context


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