Pleasurable Troublemakers

Experience Design lecture 2012 | 9 students | 9CP

“I always wanted to do this and that!”. We all know this sentence. We plan personal goals we want to achieve. We want to read more books, showering only briefly and only cool, eat less meat, go to bed early and use the bike more frequently. Easier said than done. Often the opposite is the case. We watch TV until sunrise, shower for ages and use the car instead of the bike to go to the supermarket round the corner. The question is: “How can we build and adopt good habits, which support achieving our self-set goals?”.  One potential answer is: “Through Pleasurable Troublemakers”. Objects, which materialize good habits, but with a little twist.

In order to explore the underlying design rationales, aesthetics, opportunities and boundaries, we explored the design of Pleasurable Troublemakers for a period of one semester with 14 students. Here are some examples


DokuTrans by Tobias Ellinger

Do you remember the last letter you received? Was it a love note or an invoice? We suspect the latter and dealing with this type of mail – invoices, tax statements, and alike – is an arduous tasks. We need to do it, but if it is still two weeks until the deadline is due, we probably put the letter just on top of a mounting heap. The trouble starts later: just one day left to finish the tax declaration. We promise reform. Next time we will answer immediately. Maybe.

Tobias Ellinger suggests DokuTrans to reflect upon this. It is a pin board to put up all the letters and documents you need to answer. But DokuTrans is cruel. It continuously moves added documents upwards, out of sight out of mind. On one hand, this helps because it shows which letters are the oldest. On the other hand, it makes a mess of all the letters, which remain unanswered within a week.

maneCANpiss by Daniel Töös

The watering can maneCANpiss is about watering plants frequently. Like any other watering can, maneCANpiss is filled with water from the top and watering the flowers is done by a nozzle-spout. However, if maneCANpiss is filled with water, it starts to continuously lower its nozzle-spout until the water spills – at worst on important things lying at the window sill. The longer you forget to water your flowers, the more water will spill. However, to avoid spilling water you can do two things. The former is to lift up the nozzle-spout – safe with the knowledge that you cheated yourself – the latter is to water your flowers.


GreenStuffGlory by Constanze Schlüter

Eating healthy is not always easy. You come home after a long day, look into the fridge and even though having a salad would be better, you go for the sausages or a frozen pizza. It seems much easier and you don’t want to spend your rare spare time preparing your food. GreenStuffGlory by Constanze Schlüter gets rid of that barrier by turning the preparation of a healthy snack into a pleasurable activity.

GreenStuffGlory is a set containing some small kitchen equipment and a book in which you find pictures of vegetable sculptures, together with a QR-Code that leads you to a video. The videos show how you can build the sculpture and freshen up the process with some rock music. Instead of being bored by endlessly cutting cucumbers and washing salad, you create small eatable works of art and have a good time while doing so.