The Haas Brothers

Nov 5, 2014 4:43PM
In their new design monograph from Damiani, the Haas Brothers write, "In the world of things that look like animals, there is a formal and emotional spectrum that runs from toy to taxidermy—one end being very generic and favoring attributes such as cuteness and the other end being very specific and favoring superficial realism. What strikes us as interesting when comparing these two is that between a stuffed animal which is extremely simplified and a stuffed animal that looks nearly lifelike, it is likely than any human who encounters the two will feel more affection for the generic version of the animal. The psychological mechanism behind this, which we equate to the concept of the "uncanny valley" in humanoid robotics, is instinctual and automatic. Our goal with our beasts, particularly because our use of real fur keeps us in constant flirtation with the valley, has been to understand and manipulate this emotional response. By simplifying some forms and enhancing others, adding humor, and playing with gesture, we have found that it is possible to imbue an inanimate object with not only a feeling of sentience, but with a distinct personality." Featured image, of "Ed Bel-fur" and "Bok Hudson" (both 2014), is reproduced from The Haas Brothers.
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