Yonakani: Young ah Seong, Takuji Narumi & Tomohiro Akagawa


The term “Thermotaxis” signifies a movement of a living organism in response to heat stimulation. A thermal spot has power to encourage people to gather together like open fires in winter or water places in summer. The work “Thermotaxis” characterizes the open space as invisible thermal spots by providing people with thermal information. Our work aims to create a new spatial structure for communication not by architectural approach but by using information technology. To change the spatial structures of our living spaces, we usually take an architectural approach. However, once such structures have been constructed, re-configuring them incurs substantial costs and times. Reserving flexibility in changing spatial design is essential for the effective use of spaces. In this work, the space is characterized as being cool or warm as an invisible virtual thermal field. By manipulating thermal information, we can easily change implicit partitioning of the space without reconstructing physical materials, such as walls or partitions. Visitors who put on the earmuffs experience the difference in temperatures while they walk in the just empty open space. By tracking the locations of each visitor and manipulating the temperature of earmuffs wirelessly based on those locations, Thermotaxis reconstructs the space as being cool or warm as invisible thermal field. Thermal sensation is connected to pleasure-pain feeling more than other types of sensations. After starting the Thermotaxis experience, visitors diverge in various directions to find thermal spots. Then, they will slowly gather with people who have a similar thermal preference. Visitors’ location and behavior due to the temperature increase opportunities to communicate, even between strangers. Therefore we can create invisible “virtual landmark” where people gather spontaneously.

yonakani consist of Young ah Seong (born in Busan, Korea), Takuji Narumi (born 1983 in Fukuoka, Japan) and Tomohiro Akagawa (born 1981 in Nagano, Japan) is a group of artists, based in Tokyo. Since their foundation in 2008, yonakani have developed their theoretical and practical quests for new media and technology in expressions. Their recent projects are primarily focused on the use of media technologies to transform spaces and the interactions of people within those spaces.