Women's Day - Promotion

Touch Project - Dmytro Nikiforchuk

Sensual fun for older people? Is it a set that opens a dialogue about the perception of one's own attractiveness?

When I dialed Dmytro's number , I only knew that he had done an interesting diploma project at the Institute of Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Krakow and that I would really like to hear the whole story behind it.

It is quite an unusual situation to be able to freely talk to a young stranger about andropause, menopause and the sexuality of older people. After over 40 minutes of phone conversation, I knew that we both felt a kind of mission to break down the thick walls of taboo that hide uncomfortable, non-Instagram topics.

The Touch set includes objects thanks to which a couple in which one or both parties struggling with the lack of acceptance of their own bodies will be able to rediscover their corporeality and closeness.

Dmytro decided to include the entire process in the form of fun with a partner, thanks to which users do not feel burdened with the burden of "repairing relationships" or "rediscovering their sexuality".

The individual components of the set do not clearly suggest what they can be used for. This is made easier by short instructions, which are more of a suggestion than rules to follow.

Listen, touch, smell, observe

The set is based on the four senses, which may gradually begin to fail us with age. Dmytro's intention was to reawaken them and intensify the stimuli that accompany us in close contact with other people.

The first element that catches the eye is a metal trumpet, thanks to which we can hear the heartbeat of our loved one more clearly. Then, a thimble with interchangeable tips offers variations of touch - from stroking to more intense sensations of pressure or pricking.

The next tool is intended to influence the sense of smell, which we can enjoy together. A sponge roller soaked in perfume or essential oil is also an element connecting two metal tubes through which the intensified scent reaches both people.

The last object refers to the sense of sight and allows you to look at your partner's well-known body in a different way. Replaceable lenses, placed in a metal holder, can multiply the image we are looking at, apply a colored filter like in Instagram, and serve as a magnifying glass or a mirror.


Dmytro focused his research on the sexual life of older people. He pointed to the stage of menopause and andropause as the most common moment when both women and men lose self-confidence and experience the aging process more severely. I don't doubt the research, but I think that Touch would also be useful for couples just after childbirth, an accident, surgery or when struggling with depression. The touch of a loved one, especially the tender and delicate one, can work wonders, and when supplemented with the other senses, it becomes therapeutic.

Tests

The topic of research on the potential target group interested me very much. Well, how did a young boy make mature women and men open up enough to talk about their intimate lives? Where do people open up to each other, expecting support and understanding? Thematic groups on Facebook! Initially, Dmytro joined several groups devoted to menopause and wrote directly about his intention to join the group. Unfortunately, this method only attracted one interlocutor.

Wanting to delve deeper into the topic, he created an account posing as a woman struggling with problems during menopause. The idea may seem quite controversial, although he did not use the information with malicious intent, he was mainly a silent observer, and any posts or conversations remained anonymous. I also leave the assessment of a given methodology to each individual. Of course, it must be added that his knowledge was based primarily on numerous studies, reliable publications and conversations with specialists.

Thanks to projects such as Dotyk, we have a chance to change the perception of the aging process of the body. Undoubtedly, the set is highly conceptual - it should not be placed in a rigid framework of usability. Its greatest advantage is starting a dialogue on a topic that has no place in public discussion. Just realizing that this is a problem makes Touch touching, sensitizing and, despite the metal frame, generating a lot of warmth.