Tim Devine

For The Curious Listener

Invite strangers to listen along with your music or podcast on public transport with a playful brightly coloured, ear shaped additional headphone jack.

For The Curious Listener aims to break the environmental disconnectedness of headphones. Is simply the possibility of entering the aural-scape of another person enough to shift the inherent disconnection MP3 players exude? It is intended to invite strangers to enter into your private sound world: it is both an experience for you and the person listening to it. By using the form of an ear the user can be playful, leaving it in nooks and crevices that show no sign that they are the source of the audio. It is a playful exploration of the altered perception MP3 players afford. Furthermore it affords or fulfils a fantasy element whereby no longer do you look at a person wearing headphones and wonder, ‘What are they listening to?’ you can plug in and listen in.

Device Shifting – shift the behaviour of how a human relates to a device by either occupying it, lowering its level of required or possible engagement or transforming its input or output with a mass produceable accessory.


This research takes a critical design approach as defined by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby{Anthony Dunne, 2005, Hertzian Tales – Electronic Products, Aesthetic Experience, and Critical Design} to explore our evolving interrelationships and interdependencies with devices. Critical design uses speculative design proposals to challenge narrow assumptions, preconceptions and givens about the role products play in everyday life. Accepting that our interrelationships and interdependencies will only intensify as we become more connected to each other and to cyberspace through devices, we will require a more intimate and humanly experience of connection.

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