Tree Box: Designing embedded and embodied interaction for contemplative experiences in nature-rich environments

Sonia Matos, Daniel Sousa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

We present Tree Box, an interactive artefact designed to connect users to nature-rich environments through contemplation. The object draws on recent debates that juxtapose the benefits of meditation and mindfulness practices with exposure to nature-rich environments. Combining both with embedded and embodied interaction, we hope to add to the growing importance of designing for human well-being and planetary health. Technically, Tree Box uses Bluetooth wireless technology to locate spots for contemplation in natural surroundings. The prototype also uses a vibrating motor and an accelerometer sensor to invite users to stop in each location. By drawing on the literature that informed our prototype, we consider how design research and practice might help promote mental health alongside preserving green spaces and biodiversity hotspots. Theoretically, Tree Box draws on key literature covering "digital mindfulness", environmental sustainability, and the relationship between nature, culture, and the mind from the standpoint of critical theory.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Design Research Society Conference (DRS2022)
EditorsDan Lockton, Sarah Lenzi, Paul Hekkert, Arlene Oak, Juan Sabada, Peter Lloyd
PublisherDesign Research Society
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781912294572
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of DRS2022 Bilbao
PublisherDesign Research Society
ISSN (Electronic)2398-3132

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • tools for interaction design
  • nature, culture, and mind
  • sustainability
  • well-being
  • mindfulness
  • meditation


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