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Kando* Research

*Kando is a Japanese word for the simultaneous feelings of deep satisfaction and intense excitement that we experience when we encounter something of exceptional value.

About this project

The design departments of both Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and Yamaha Corporation have collaborated with Dr. Mark Changizi and the California Institute of Technology’s Shinsuke Shimojo Laboratory as research partners to create an experience of “Kando,” a sensation common to the corporate philosophies of both Yamahas. The team is working together to explore how to further clarify the essences of the experience itself through science and art as well as how it can be reproduced.
As a part of the collaboration, the team exhibits an experiential installation (an interactive artwork) called “e-plegona”* at various exhibitions.

*The name was coined by combining the ancient English word "plegona" (to move the body), which is said to be the origin of the word "play," with the prefix "e," which means "&" in Italian and symbolizes a new format of human activity, such as e-sport.

About “e-plegona”

This installation has two people experience it at the same time in pairs. Each player can generate a “Note” (cue for sound) tapping the circular tabletop touch-panel display, sending rhythm pattern(s) to the other player (partner). One can also generate a “Tone” (sound) by tapping “Note” generated by one’ s partner, playing the rhythm pattern(s) of the partner.
Each player must take both roles (generating “Note” and generating “Tone”). Each role would be negotiated moment to moment by means of feeling each partner’s intention through non-verbal and intuitive communication such as facial expression or patterns of their “Note” and “Tone.”
The artwork in the center of the display will grow by absorbing their communication.

Theory behind our installation

Through discussion among scientists and creators, we hypothesized that our “Kando” experience consists of three factors.
First, physical actions, or somatosensory stimuli, are required. Majority of Yamaha brand’s products, such as musical instrument, golf club, motorcycle, boat, or other mobility, requires physical action to control.
Second, as might be expected, “Kando” experience seems to require intense emotion.
The third factor could be dynamics of emotion. Both of Yamaha’ s ( “Make Waves” ) and Yamaha Motor’s ( “Revs Your Heart” ) slogan mention temporal change in emotion.
We speculated that “Kando” experience could be induced through physical activity with dynamic changes of intense emotion.

As described above, the installation requires physical actions: Tapping the top of the installation to generate “Note” and “Tone.” To produce dynamic changes of intense emotions artificially, the installation has the two players to “negotiate” their roles by means of feeling counterpart’s intention through non-verbal and intuitive communication. This “negotiation” is a key to induce our "Kando" experience. According to Changizi and Barber (2022), human's emotional expression has been evolved for negotiation and discussion in interactive situation. And such negotiation must be most efficient through embodied, harnessed way (e.g., facial expression). This discussion could mean that exchanging intentions through embodied, harnessed way results dynamic changes of intense emotions. Based on such theoretical discussions, we installed continuing negotiation through non-verbal and intuitive communication into our installation to artificially produce dynamic changes of intense emotions.

Now you understand that our installation aims to replicate our “Kando” experience, which could be induced through physical activity with dynamic changes of intense emotion. We are very happy to hear your feedback and would love to discuss our research on “Kando” experience!! It’s also wonderful if you have any idea for application of our theory. Please feel free to talk about your idea with us!!

Exhibition schedule

Event : EICMA 2023open new window
Date : 7-12 November 2023
Place : Fiera Milano (Milano, Italy)

Event : TOA Festivalopen new window
Date : 5-6 July 2023
Place : Wilhelm Hallen (Berlin, Germany)

Event : hub.berlinopen new window
Date : 28-29 June 2023
Place : STATION Berlin (Berlin, Germany)

Event : Creative Industries Expo in SXSW2023open new window
Date : 12-15 March 2023
Place : Austin Convention Center (Austin, Texas, USA)
Booth No : 1126

Installation view at SXSW 2023


Research Partners
Dr. Mark Changizi
California Institute of Technology (Prof. Shinsuke Shimojo, Dr. Daw-An Wu, Mr. Amir-Vala Tavakoli)

Visual Design + Direction
WOW inc.

Sound Designer Masato Hatanaka

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