Free Hugs Campaign has been started in 2004 as a random act of kindness. Since then, free huggers are spreading all over the world. Apparently there is a great need for hugging. This year we see some designers use it as answer to human isolation and to enrich the social communication.
London College of Fashion graduate Si Chan used hand as a key motif in his AW2012-2013 collection titled Hug Me. Hand becomes a figurative object to express love in his design. Added with padding, the coat is designed to make wearer to feel warm and loved. Under the colourful collection, there is a dash of loneliness and a desire to be hugged.
Another team from MIT designed a vest called Like-A-Hug that can connect to wearer’s Facebook account. It aims at bringing us physical sensation despite the physical distance. The vest will inflates when friends like a photo, video, or status update on the wearer’s wall, giving the wearer warmth and hug.
Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, Director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory in Japan created a body-shaped pillow called Hugvie that gives more feeling to phone call. The vibrator-equipped Hugvie can be connected to mobile phone and stimulate heartbeat according to tone of their voice. The price of this invention is quite affordable, that now you can buy it here for 3,990 Japanese Yen.
Ad agency Ogilvy & Mather also brought the hugging idea to Coca Cola in Singapore as a mean to spread happiness. If you hug this Coca Cola Hug Machine, a free can of Coke will be dispensed for you. This is part of the company’s ‘Open Happiness’ campaign.
Virginia Satir, a well respected family therapist says, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” If you feel that you are way below the survival standard, maybe it’s time to consider these designs.