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Would you wear your tears like people wear their earrings?

We live in a society in which being strong, untouchable and showing emotions is considered weak. We can only question if taking pride in our feelings can be a quiet but powerful approach to express strength and resilience.

Get your tissues ready, it’s time to break another taboo.

Designer Ivan Kunjasic and Dr. Teresa Frisan have collaborated on the project Equilibrium featured in this virtual edition of Dutch Design Week. The project consists of smart wearables that can be applied to the cheeks and, when a person cries, a biochemical process is triggered to transform tears into art: the lysozome proteins contained in tears turn into colourful, crystallised structures that evolve and mutate through time. Equilibrium represents the evolution of the symbiosis of humanity, technology and emotions, along with being an important message to a conservative society which is still struggling to accept display of feelings and vulnerability.

There is a visible shift in values occurring in society: as Dr. Annie Tanasugarn explains in her research; for decades displaying strong feelings was perceived as being weak, incompetent, flawed and generally associated with a feeling of shame.

The empowerment that comes with challenging what is perceived as socially acceptable, is showcased by Equilibrium in its own unique way. It shows how expressing your own emotions can be something aesthetic and symbolizes the fusion of humanity and technological advances.

Through the research the Future Thinkers conducted for Dutch Design Week 2020, we have analysed how fixed societal boundaries are being challenged in a multitude of ways, providing people with the opportunity to break free from the labels that society assigned to change-makers.

Equilibrium is a clear example of how out trend Un-Tabooing Empowerment expresses itself in society: the focus is the shift of values, meaning that empowerment, autonomy and challenging boundaries are becoming necessary qualities for the changing society of 2020.

The trend Un-Tabooing Empowerment shows that there is a need for opportunities similar to Equilibrium. Especially in today’s world where we are more disconnected than ever, it can be hard to read how someone is feeling through a screen. This design makes it both more accessible to talk about your emotions, as it makes it a beautiful experience that empowers you and everyone around you to open up and celebrate all aspects of life, even the sad ones.

Do you want to know more about Equilibrium, click here.

Do you want to know more about the trend Un-Tabooing Empowerment? Then read our trend book for the Dutch Design Week 2020 here.

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