Painful technologies for personal expression

According to Swedish designers Magnus Torstensson and Erik Sandelin, humans are “the decorated monkey”. We submit our bodies to paint, scars, tattoos, or pinstripe business suits, happy to surrender some practical functionality for expressive purposes.


The duo designed Digital Peacock Tails, a series of personal digital devices that explore the extremes of human communication and self-expression. Among them are the Siren Shoes which make a loud noise when both feet are on the ground at the same time. The wearer faces the dilemma of either walking like a duck or becoming a shrieking public pest.


Two things:
1. the design might have been more effective if they had “hidden” the sirens.
2. I don’t think a guy wearing these shoes is much more ridiculous than the women who torture their feet, legs and back by wearing high heel stilettos.