What allows us to kinesthetically empathize with motions of non-anthropomorphic objects?

  • Kensho Miyoshi PhD Candidate, School of Design Research, Royal College of Art, London, UK


The physical movements of designed objects not only have utilitarian purposes but also make us experience the diverse kinetic sensations. Such an imaginative projection of one’s own embodied sensation to observed movements is called “kinesthetic empathy”. Despite the majority of its research focused on observation of human movements, little is known about how kinesthetic empathy works with the movements of everyday, non-anthropomorphic objects. Through my close observations, I propose a new concept of “kinesthetic elements” that help us understand the kinesthetic potential of object motions beyond somatic dissimilarity.