As springtime approaches, so does the Future of Love.
At our design fiction workshops, strangers pair up to invent their way out of love troubles. They engage Object Solutions’ mode of critical play, and their imagined futures are as funny as they are fearsome.
These are a few of their creations, including precoital pinpricks, quality time enforcement, and the foul stench of breakups.
“Invest in Love”
Challenge: Reducing travel time and expense
Laboratorians: Dane & Joe
A website that connects long-distance lovers with companies for corporate sponsorship. People in long-distance relationships create a profile with promised actions for each level of investment. These actions focus on advertisement for these companies. For example, if the company donates plane tickets, the traveler will carry a suitcase with high-quality LED ads promoting the product.
“Ask me how _____ is sponsoring my love life.”
Context: Physical Intimacy
Challenge: Avoiding disease and pregnancy
Laboratorians: Julia & Bennett
The Sting Ring is worn on the finger. When considering engaging in copulation with a potential romantic partner, alleviate anxiety with the Sting Ring’s rapid STD test. The reading will change color to reveal partners’ STD status: Green For Clean, Red No Bed.
Bonus: Hidden compartment contains Plan B.
See More Below:
Challenge: Tracking relationship progress
Laboratorians: Hannah & Elisha
A fingertip clamp that tracks happiness hormones to offer an objective measure of how you felt the date went. The Commit-O-Meter downloads data to an app with notches that indicate whether you should continue pursuing a relationship with the person. It will give you a recommendation of Yes, No or Maybe to go on another date. It’s understood that both partners will use the app to mutually agree on continuing the relationship. If either person gets a post-date No, they can feel confident in discontinuing with the person because for whatever reason dating them them doesn’t make them happy.
“Sniff out the drama”
Challenge: Dividing mutual contacts
Laboratorians: Leah & Joe
Problem: A couple in your group of friends just went through a messy break up and all you want is to make sure they don’t run into each other when out on the town.
Solution: The Drama Hound comes in a ring and a wristband and is calibrated to the couple’s GPS location. The device emits a pleasant smell when the broken up are far apart. But if they come dangerously close (customizable: one mile, one block, etc.) the device emits a nauseous odor that not only alerts you, but makes a good excuse for leaving your current location.
Challenge: Navigating schedule conflicts
Laboratorians: Marshall & Bryan
Having a hard time making time for your lover? Love Locks are cheap, disposable fingerlocks designed to disintegrate after a predetermined period of time. Buy a pack of half-hour locks, or if you’re desperate, five-hour locks. These paper fingerlocks force partners to acknowledge the difficult truth at the heart of every “schedule” problem: You can always have quality time if you have no other option.