hygge, n. a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or wellbeing (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)
Hygge can mean different things to different people. My interpretation of hygge is a more social take. To me, hygge is sharing special memories with the people you love in a space that is safe, comfortable, and welcoming. Generally, hygge is technology free, but sometimes the digital world can be the bridge across borders and timezones and offer a space that can be cheaply customized to your own hygge needs.
This program allows users to customize their own space and fill it with memories of their choosing in the form of photos or videos. The space itself is a pillow fort that emphasizes a casual coziness and allows the user to feel a little more at home. Users can choose what their furniture look like and where to place them.
This space can then be shared with others and used as a channel of communication where all users can slow down and appreciate the minimalistic space in order to spend quality time together.
To me, this incorporates the two most important aspects of hygge:
The space itself is designed to feel warm and familiar. The log cabin setting gives a sense of a wintry night where you need to huddle by the fire and the pillow fort is an enclosed space that encourages the feeling of closeness. The lighting is dim and the white noise in the background does not make the space feel empty and fills the room.
Even for the most introverted, this program enables users to choose who they want to share their space with and when. Even though there are objects in the space that may provide as talking points, the users don’t have to feel obligated to use them as such and may opt for some casual conversation instead. This way, it remains an intimate setting for all.
My initial sketches were incredibly in the vein of stereotypical commercialized hygge. They were also geared to solo experiences rather than an experience that can be shared.
After some feedback, I wanted to incorporate more of the social aspect and focused on collaboration and party games. I wanted to go for something that involved more interaction with others instead of isolated hygge experiences.
Interestingly enough, I was drawn to one of my initial ideas of a pillow fort from TODO this article. After some more feedback, I wanted to combine the collaboration aspect with the pillow fort building. Due to technical limitations, the final idea was a solo experience of building the fort that resulted in a space that could be shared.
I tried to think of different ways that the user could interact with the different objects such as it appearing from under your hand or pushing it along with gestures.
A really interesting idea I got from talking to others was extending the customization beyond drawings and customizing the furniture itself.
In the end, I spent a lot of my time attempting to create assets and finding appropriate assets and setting the scene up. This was a hug time sink and I wish I spent less time on this. I planned to implement different gestures other than the ones I was currently using. I had to use a library of pre-made gestures as a result.
I would like to add the ability to add more than one of each piece of furniture, being able to decorate or paint the furniture, and to implement a photo uploader. This was actually a fun project to work on although my arms are quite tired from testing it.