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Haptic Lab

Design Philosophy

Design with Intention

Designing with intention involves the careful consideration of cultural, historical, and environmental context in which our work will exist. Every project is first and foremost a research project. The Constellation Quilt Collection began as a dynamic study into how 16th Century astronomers like Tycho Brahe first understood star brightness or magnitude. Nonetheless, the embroidered stars on our quilts depict scientifically-accurate magnitudes via the H.A. Ray star notation system.

In the H.A. Rey star notation system 0 represents the brightest star magnitude and 5 is the faintest.

Our work studies astronomy, geology, and human history. We delve into the poetics of how humanity exists within a natural order, a beautiful and at times heartbreaking endeavor. Our Trinity Quilt marked the beginning of our current geological epoch, the Anthropocene, by referencing the world’s first nuclear weapon explosion - an event that the scientific community agrees is Day One. When designing a flying bird toy, we modeled the shape on the Passenger Pigeon - once the most numerous bird species on earth, it became extinct in the span of one human lifetime due to human caprice. 

Our Star Stuff-ies are inspired by Johann Bayer's Uranometria

Haptic Lab is the creator of “gentle trojan horses” – we create beautiful, functional objects that hold a deeply emotional connection to the natural world. Designs that sneak important stories into our everyday lives. 

Learn more about our impacts >

Why Quilts?

Quilts are tactile objects that absorb and accumulate our love. They are generational objects, heirlooms passed down within families as a way to keep our stories alive and familiar. The act of quilting is an act of love - a quilt is a talisman that protects and comforts when we're at our most vulnerable - in our sleep. The texture and warmth of a quilt conjures memories of home, and for some commemorate life's big moments: birth, marriage, and coming of age. 

Quilts are functional as bedding and as art, an unusual intersection for a household craft that has been predominantly seen as women's work. The value of a handmade quilt lies not just in the beauty of the piece, but in its sentimental value. These treasured keepsakes tell our stories, and a quilted map provides the scaffolding on which the story is held into focus: Haptic Lab quilts become a snapshot of a moment in time in a world that is rapidly changing.

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