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T-per-te
An interactive therapeutic tea system

Author: Patray Lui (Hong Kong)
Supervisors: Simona Maschi and Yaniv Steiner

Idea/problem/context Oriental healthcare believes that different combinations of tea can cure different types of bodily imbalance. Modern life, however, robs us of the leisure needed for traditional modes of diagnosis and tea consumption. This project therefore uses modern interactive and mechanical technology to automate these processes. The standard office beverage dispenser emerges anew as a more intelligent, responsive and sympathetic companion.

What it is T-per-te is a combined holistic health monitor and advisor which dispenses tea appropriate to ones current health. It looks rather like a traditional Chinese medicine cabinet. A wooden worktop, housing a touch-screen, supports an array of small wooden tea boxes.

How it works As you approach T-per-te its associated floorpad and visual sensor measure your weight and height. Placing your hand on the tabletop measures your temperature. The touch screen asks how you are feeling. Software analyses this data, offers a diagnosis and recommends a therapeutic response, including a combination of tea varieties. If you accept, Archimedean screws (in the office version) deliver an appropriate combination of tea leaves to your cup; a tap dispenses as much hot water as you want. Short-range radio can transmit this body data and diagnosis via your mobile phone to your confidential health records, while the touch-screen offers, through interactive dialogue, general advice about oriental holistic medicine. T-per-te is also the service which maintains the software and supplies the dispenser and its teas. A domestic version of the cabinet is available, with the same screen and software but no automatic tea-dispenser.

Value/Potential T-per-tes fusing of old and new refreshes interest in traditional medicine among younger consumers in the Far East, and introduces its principles to Western consumers. This project shows how traditional belief systems and aesthetic typologies can not only survive the advent of ICT but be revived by it.

download QuickTime Movie (video by Andrea Pierri) - 713 KB


Patray Lui
2005 graduate
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