Soft Exteriors investigates the concept of touch deprivation, specifically in the wake of Covid19. Oxytocin, commonly known as the “love hormone,” is the chemical explanation for the warm, happy feelings induced by touch. In the absence of this chemical, a neurological phenomenon occurs. This is known as “Skin Hunger.” How can this “Skin Hunger” be replenished? Can human embrace be replicated in a way to fulfill our biological desire for human connection
Here, I explored the ways of using machine knitting to replicate a human embrace by creating soft, protruding forms that wrap around the body like a hug. However, the appendages also unwrap from around the body to illustrate the vulnerability that is felt once that comforting touch, or person, is gone. As opposed to ideas of otherness and isolation, this work expresses the concern for connectivity.