As design practice shifts from designing material goods to shaping and facilitating social situations, there is a compelling need to develop a richer understanding of specific social relations as facilitated by design. This article explores bodied unisons—enkinaesthetic entrainments of self + other. We present these unison acts as identifiable patterns of behavior that are observable when people coordinate, patterns that foster a move from individual to superunit. Extending the metaphor of musical unison, this article provides perspective on the varied qualities of consensus, offering insight for those designing to coordinate behavior. The disciplines of service design, interaction design, and experience design all aim to coordinate behavior toward specific ends. In each discipline, there are two or more entities (the client and the service provider, for instance) searching for congruence, and the success or failure of the interaction can be assessed through this spectrum of unisons. This study explores the definition of unison as an enkinaesthetic embodied act, provides a framework for analysis, and concludes with implications for the design profession and some ethical considerations regarding designed unisons. The analytical framework encourages novel attention to shared experience, opening avenues for intervention in experiential design fields. As a metaphoric construct and as embodied performance, unison offers participants a sense of stability and cooperation with varying degrees of independence and agency.

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