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A Pedagogy for Noticing –Soma Literacy and the Designer

by Stephen Neely

Published onNov 06, 2019
A Pedagogy for Noticing –Soma Literacy and the Designer


The design fields strive for rich interactions fostered by ever deeper technologies yet continue to work without an overt conversation regarding the experiencing vessel, the sentient body. This body is evermore present in technological interactions, yet poorly understood when assumed only as one artifact among many. Before a true understanding of rich interactions can be realized, a turning of attention to the visceral variables of experience must first be achieved. The experiencing body, the body-in-motion, can be understood as the fundamental constant in all experience. It is through this bodily turn that an expanded palette of variables may be revealed to the design fields. Analyses and interventions through such a tactile and personal lens refocuses the conversation concerning interaction and experience. This paper describes a new course of study in Soma Literacy piloted at Carnegie Mellon School of Design and provides an introduction to Soma Literacy, a new framing and set of priorities applicable to designing for engagement of the felt-sense, providing both a timely provocation, and a much-needed practical aid to designers and educators.

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