Hedgehog’s Dilemma by MARS Studio, inspired by the “psychological distance effect”

Hedgehog’s Dilemma

MARS Studio designed an art installation themed on “Hedgehog’s Dilemma” for the urban animal section of the Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale.

There is a famous experiment in psychology: In winter, two hedgehogs will keep each other warm in order to survive. But if they get too close, each will sting the other; if they are too far away, they will be unable to withstand the severe cold. Until they find a suitable distance, they will not be hurt, but also feel warm, and they can spend the winter together. This is the famous “Hedgehog’s Dilemma”.

As a common urban animal, hedgehogs are used to hiding deep in the bushes. When hedgehogs are in danger, they will curl up into a ball like a thorn ball, with thorns erected all over their bodies. The “Hedgehog’s Dilemma” is precisely because of its physiology. Features are extended. The curved surface that rotates up and down constitutes a semi-open space, forming a “bush” where hedgehogs live.

Two hemispherical curved surfaces of different heights curl and shrink inward at the junction, forming a third space beyond the two spaces. This creates enough room for two or even three hedgehogs to live together without stabbing each other. It also implies that once social spaces overlap, social distance can be created through the third space.

Hedgehog’s Dilemma
Hedgehog’s Dilemma

The “Hedgehog’s Dilemma” alluding to human beings mainly refers to the “psychological distance effect” in interpersonal communication: friction and conflicts often occur in close interpersonal relationships, but it is not as easy as the first communication. Aren’t we always showing our sharp edge to those closest to us? Perhaps, the “Hedgehog’s Dilemma” can give humans an answer. Hedgehogs and hedgehogs, hedgehogs and people, people and people, and people and nature, in the law of survival, there is no lack of time and space distance maintenance.

The relationship between people can be improved because of the “Hedgehog’s Dilemma”. Then, the relationship between humans and nature Will living in harmony be realized because of the “Hedgehog’s Dilemma”?

Project Info

Project: Hedgehog’s Dilemma
Design Firm: MARS Studio
Design Type: UABB Art Installation
Location: Shenzhen, China
Principal Architect: Ma Ning
Design Team: Jiahui Zhao, Zifeng Tan, Shiyu Liu
Photography: Canhui Luo

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