Daniel Parnitzke


Today’s society is flooded with stimuli. We are permanently online and reachable. We are afraid of making decisions because whatever we choose to do bears the possibility that we might miss out on something else. We feel our time shrinking down and slipping through our fingers. We are permanently under pressure. We strive for nothing more but leisure, but make it harder to reach everyday.

What we miss out on is tranquility, concentration and focused work, but most of all we unlearn to live in the present: To experience the present moment, to worship our live which is taking place right now.


Broad topic: idleness in today’s society

Question: How can I be present in the moment?

Specific task: I want to build an object that makes the user focus on the present moment. 


time schedule:

01.06. – 15.06. doing, trying, experimenting, shapefinding, molding

15.06. – 28.06. making

28.06. – 09.07. preparing for display, build table etc.


hold on

idea sketch hold on

You can do nothing with this object exept of holding it. Its shape is meant for a pleasing touch and encourages the holder to do nothing else but experience the act of holding and touching the object. The aim is to reconnect the holder to himself and to the moment.

environmental feedback

idea sketch environmental change

The person is connected to the environment. The environment reacts visually and acoustically on all of the person’s movements and the person’s state of mind. As the mind slows down, the environment slows down. This again emphasizes the present moment.

changing shape

idea sketch changing object

The object changes its shape the longer you hold it and concentrate on it. The longer you have it in your hands the more pleasant the shape becomes. By focussing only on this one object the mind slows down and the user explores some kind of idleness.


combination of the ideas:

I imagine the combination of those three ideas as an object with corners and irregularyties. The object itself changes slowly over time, losing its edges and corners to become an evenly shaped, pleasing cube (or sphere).


After some really helpful comments I realize that before I concentrate on the technical implementation I have to focus on the shape of my object. Before I was always thinking about some kind of digital or mechanical object.

I am thinking now about an object that changes its shape analogous. The user has to shape the object by hand, by touching it, by eroding the edges and corners of the object. Thereby he shapes it in an unique way howsoever he wants.

The material is very important. This is my main focus now.



I made molds of soil, vermiculite, perlite and couscous.

To investigate into the shape I bought clay and shaping gaze, I made some quick sketched shapes out of foam.




fluffball shape1 shape2




  1. 1 – Hold on: No object or material is “neutral”, they all bear associations and meaning to us. Holding a smooth stone which is “as old as the hills” and has been shaped by endless streams of water in a cold river might give me different sensation than a piece of olive wood or a block of plastic. How could you apply those connotations? What other characteristic might such a shape have except for being sensually pleasant?
    2 – Environmental feedback: The topic of bio feedback is rich and we might want to allow us a little research there.
    3 – changing shape: I love this idea! Give me some examples!
    Process 2: Why did you pick a cube as a basic shape? So the shape is – among other things – a three dimensional data graphic?

  2. “I am thinking now about an object that changes its shape analogous. The user has to shape the object by hand, by touching it, by eroding the edges and corners of the object. Thereby he shapes it in an unique way howsoever he wants.”

    I prefer the analoge way to Change the shape too. I thought about bringing in the temperature, cause the longer you touch something, the warmer it gets naturally by taking on your Body temperature.
    First thought: color-changing by temperature? this is only temporarily, maybe something that lasts? do you want it to last or should the user everytime using it achive another color all over again?
    I am wondering now weather an object can fully adopt to your Body temperature. It could be the Goal to work with the object until it reaches the same temperature as you.
    That could be a motivation and an ending factor for People that dont know how to Focus and how long (like you staring onto that candle ;))
    a “natual” material that always feels good to hold for me is clay, you can create any shape and you can shape it without knowledge or restrictions.
    You can Keep the shape and burn it or destroy it again.
    But also something more stabile would be interesting, like Wood.
    maybe you find a material that can be shaped by time by your Hands (like Stones get washed round by the sea over a loooong time, but not too long, so the user has a Feedback)
    i imagine this “skulpture” sitting on my shelve and reminding me of doing nothing from time to time or maybe it pushes me further to explore a new Hobby that also gives me this flow.

    1. I really appreciate the comments, thank you.
      Yes maybe there has to be some goal to achieve like reaching a certain temperature. But maybe also the “destruction” of the original shape can be the achievement, it could also be an ending point when the object is totaly gone maybe.

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