Touch. The World at your Fingertips

04.07 – 28.10.2012

The mudac and the Musée de la main [Museum of the Hand] join forces to present a unique exhibition spanning both sites. This tribute to the sense of touch immerses the visitor in the many forms of our sensory, and sometimes sensual, relationship with the world.

The sense of touch may be pleasant, unsettling, repulsive, magical, annoying, instructive or painful, but it is always intimate. It is used during every moment of our daily lives, and is essential even to experience “virtual reality”. Through this interactive and tactile exhibition the public will discover the virtuoso techniques of the hand-made and the ingenious design of ergonomic tools; they will experience the sensuality of haptic design and understand the importance of touch in technological interfaces.

The exhibition is an invitation to explore unexpected sensory experiences, where the divisions between the senses are sometimes blurred. For example, real plants react to touch through sound in Akousmaflore, the musical garden by the French duo Scenocosme, while the installation Lonely in the Crowd by Jan Huggenberg reacts to the presence of visitors by developing a swarm of characters, colours and patterns depending on how they interact.

Touch is based around four themes introduced by a touch laboratory:
Hand and machine: craftsmanship and industry
Hand and sensuality: haptic design
Form, function and aesthetic: design and ergonomics
Body as interface: technology and interactivity

Touch, the first joint venture between the mudac and the Museum of the Hand, combines the complementary expertise and perspective of both institutions: science, medicine and technology for the Musée de la main, and design, graphics, fashion and contemporary art for the mudac. Their geographical proximity makes a joint exhibition a practical proposition.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of lectures by experts in fields such as neurology, psychology and design. A number of workshops will also take place for children and adults, including some in association with the Swiss federation for the blind and partially sighted. A free brochure accompanies the exhibition, the Touch Book, and the visual communication about the show is itself tactile and odoriferous.

The project has also benefited from other partnerships, particularly with Swiss universities: Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD), University of Art and Design Lausanne (ECAL) and the École technique – École des métiers de Lausanne (ETML).

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