The Dog Experiment
We went to meet three dogs and in couples we had to walk these dogs, without leading them in a certain direction, but rather letting the dog go through the space in its own direction and at its own pace. From these observations, we had to walk the same route, but this time with another kind of dog. We got a sort tool existing out of a board on wheels, which germans call a ‘Hunde’. We had to find a way to be able to move on it by sitting, kneeing or lying on it. We also tied a rope around the so called ‘Hunde’, so the other person was able to guide with this ‘leash’. We had to try and re-enact the dogs behaviour and experience the space the way the dog did.
The Final Work
“Based on your experience, build a physical model that represents/evokes the urban space as it is experienced by a dog. For your model, use the description you made of the route covered by the dog and your own experience of that same route while sensing and moving like a dog. Your model should not respect Euclidean geometry. It might include elements to evoke the olfactive, acoustic, gustatory and visual perception of the dog.”
Dogs see everything through more exciting and playful eyes, so I created a board game, similar to the goose game. The board is painted green and blue, since these are the colours dogs perceive space in. The track consists of spaces, some of them are special events or encounters. For example a tree. If you threw a five, you picked up the smell of another dog and advance all the way down the track, until you reach the dog. The model focusses mainly on the smell.
This model shows the surrounding from the perspective of a dog. He is only focused on the lower part of the world and is really focused on smells. The smells are the little icons on the ground. The ground and the surroundings can move seperatly to show that a dog can visit one place a lot of times and every time find a new intersting smell.
Trying to imitate a dog’s point of view by changing to a dog’s eye level and following it’s behaviour made us more sensitive tor our lower surroundings and more aware of the big role, that smells and other dogs can play. I made a model of the park I visited side by side with a dog when being a dog. The model shows how a dog experiences the expedition, how entering a park feels like shelter, how marked territories are recognised and what is comprehended as interesting or unimportant.
This models visualizes a dog’s smell. By using only black materials, sense of distance and scale disappear. The interests/interesting smells of/for the dog are shown as white spots. By making a circular model, the fact that a dog’s smell isn’t limited to one direction, but senses in all directions gets emphasized.
For this assignment I tried to build a device I could wear to help me feel the environment from the perspective of the dog I was joining in the sensory exploration.