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Experimental Design

Susannah Feiler

Susannah Feiler is a multi-disciplinary designer working across new media, smart materials and experience design. Originally from the Rocky Mountains of Boulder, Colorado; most of her work is concerned with translating the ineffable experience of being immersed in nature into functional objects and spatial interventions to be applied in the built environment. Susannah's process extrapolates on layers of research in the fields of sensory engagement, interpersonal encounters, place attachment and communal experience. Her cross disciplinary approach is characterized by the transformation of subjective sense perception into material investigations through the experiential qualities of color, detail and tactility.

Receiving a B.A. with a double major in Philosophy and Fine Arts, in addition to a B.F.A in Art and Technology, she administers a unique practice of combining the dynamic nature of emerging technology with the fundamental principles and conceptual framework of craftsmanship. She has worked as an Art Director and Motion Graphics Designer for Spotify, as well as ran a multi-disciplinary research group with INTEL's client computing group, where she was a key speaker at their international event.

Upcoming Exhibitions:

23–25.07. 2021; BEEP BEEP, Menier Gallery, SE1 1RU

How can the materiality of the built environment lend itself to the creation of day to day sensory encounters that are most commonly experienced in nature?

This project is the result of a year long investigation into communal experience, responsive materials and functional design. Through a process of extensive experimentation and prototyping, the final piece is displayed in the form of a table - hand built and embedded with custom light sensitive pigments. It was tested in the context of an outdoor dinner party (a picnic) and documented through the imprints cast across the surface. By utilizing reactive materials, the participants movements and experiences are recorded by the table as traces - lingering shadows to fade away within seconds.


How can embedding the built environment with agent materials enrich day-to-day sensory encounters?

This project serves as an example of of how design - meant for the home - can be reframed to enhance responsiveness, compliment pre-disposed modes of performance, and magnify communal experience. 


Epoxy Resin and custom mixed Photochromic Pigments. Powder coated steel


90cm x 150cm x 75cm
Found materials, natural pigments, bio plastics.
Found materials, natural pigments, bio plastics
Material tests

Can the aesthetic qualities of Epoxy Resin be recreated in an eco sensible alternative?

This section is the result of an extensive exploration into sustainable bio-materials. As a designer; the crysaline, translucent and sturdy characteristics of Epoxy were always alluring to me. However, the sustainable pitfalls of this material holds to be impossible to ignore. Through experimenting with many (many many) various combinations and recipes of bio plastics - I eventually found a strange combination which was both heat and water resistant, as well as visually similar to that of epoxy. 


Bio Plastics, Found Materials, Natural pigments


Various sizes
Digital Renders - Built on Cinema4D
Building a table - Process
Table Stills
Alternative versions.

The past year has instilled a very deep sense of gratitude for my community, and where I’m from. This project aims to materialize the emotional sensation of gratitude as a fluid, all encompassing moment of change. For me, this sensation is linked the emotion of humility - the sudden sensation of vastness I feel when I am in nature. Moments when I loose sense of myself, my ego, and experience an intense contact with the environment. 

My main focus is on heightened encounters, or moments in everyday life when one is suddenly alert to the world in an enhanced, empathetic way. I found that these - often ineffable - moments, can illicit momentary feelings of gratitude or influential senses of belonging. If we able to better recognize these moments, it is possible to better foster environmentally conscious sensibilities and discover meaning in the mundane.

While my initial research was focused on immersion within nature and the important relationship between self and landscape - I found that these moments of convergence can occur anywhere. Embedding the built environment with agent materials - such as the natural world embodies - has the potential to bring humans back to a more empathetic approach to our selves, our communities, and our surroundings. Through design, concern and care for the environment can be attained through recognizing beauty and depth in everyday encounters.