An Eye gazing installation for non-verbal communication

Scope: 3 weeks
Categories: Concept Ideation, Speculative Design, Experience Design, Prototyping, Product Design Role: Solo project. Conducted desk research, prototyping, video taking and editing
Tools:  Adobe Premiere Pro Performers: Kevin Cook and Phuong Anh Nguyen


How might we create a daily ritual and communicate better non-verbally?



Couples have different conflicts and communication problems in daily life. However, languages sometimes can’t really help us build better relationships.


There are so many ways to connect and build stronger connections between couples. How might we create a daily ritual and communicate better non-verbally?


Eye gazing is a form of nonverbal communication and is thought to have a large influence on social behavior. The act is defined as a meaningful and important sign of communication.


U&I is an installation designed for people to practice eye gazing with each other that can be used both in the home and in public. With sensor and LED lights, it counts down when people start their two-minute eye gazing practice, and then through the intense practice, people can actually communicate better.


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Solution in detail

Eye gazing is a great way to enhance emotional attachment between people, even practicing it with strangers could build a connection in two minutes. The benefits of eye gazing are becoming well-documented. Even science is showing it to be therapeutic. While it’s confronting, eye gazing helps boost our confidence, improves self-esteem and develops self-awareness.

U&I is app-free and tech-free, which means users can eye gaze anytime at home with the partner. It creates a small closed circular space with LED lights inside that allows people gazing without disruption both at home and in public. The light with the sensor inside will start countdown two minutes when users approach. It’s a great opportunity to become present and experience the true essence of another.


Features & Functionality

  • Supports a daily ritual

  • Creates a semi-private space

  • LED lights with a sensor embedded 

  • Timer with four-minute countdown

  • Round molded black acrylic


Why Eye gazing is good?

  • Bringing people into harmony both physically and emotionally

  • Balancing, feeling less polarized

  • Easier to resolve conflicts afterwards

  • Enhancing  ability to connect nonverbally


Campaign: OkCupid x U&I


The book I read called <Designer Relationships> by Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson talked about how to build stronger connection in intimacy and communicate better, and they pointed at eye-gazing which is an excellent way to achieve. With the initial idea, I looked into research. There are some groups and studios encourage people to do eye gazing meditation with strangers. With these data, I designed U&I for home and public use. I also think U&I can collaborate with OkCupid holding some special dating events which benefit for connection building.

The event would help:

  • Building connection between strangers

  • Emotional enhancement of friends or couples.

  • Better communication without words


Next Steps

  • Design an experience around U&I that connect people via non- verbal situation

  • Recreate the dating events with the design that helps everyone better develop their relationship

  • Redesign the meditation experience with U&I and build a business model