Legrand Jäger

Everyday Facial Yoga

Train with an Emoji avatar to manipulate facial expressions and thwart the controlling potential of emotional recognition devices.

Everyday Facial Yoga reconciles our human relationship to our facial expressions, movements, facial muscles and nerves with those of a machine. The film depicts a speculative facial yoga tutorial lead by Animoji avatars, who teach a series of exercises that train facial muscles to allow the user to better manipulate and control their face in front of emotional recognition devices.

This work was inspired by the discovery of a patent1 Facebook filed in 2018 that would read users facial expressions to create correlating animal and emotional ‘masks’ such as ‘Angry Bird’ and ‘Happy Panda’. The film was developed as part of an investigation into emotional recognition software and biometric data collection, protection and disruption__

Unicorn animoji avatar instructing Happy expression


In 2016, Facebook launched Masks, an augmented reality mask which allowed users to apply in live and still imagery. Facebook has also been creating thematic masks for brands as a revenue stream. In 2018 the brand filed a patent for Dynamic Mask Application. This ‘smart’ Mask, if you will, reads the users face for emotional data and determines as mask that fits that users current emotional state. This product has not yet launched and the patent is pending.

Alien animoji avatar instructing Surprised expression
Dragon animoji avatar instructing Contemptuous expression


Legrand Jäger is a critical design practice based between Berlin and London. Guillemette Legrand and Eva Jäger graduated as a duo from their MA at Design Academy Eindhoven in ‘contextual design’ and have continued to interrogate culture with their research-driven, critical design practice that investigates how the designed world, especially new technology, is shaping ethics. Their film, performance, soundscapes and objects have been shown across Europe in museums such as Palais de Tokyo, Van Abbe Museum, Pera Müzesi, and Design Museum London. They are currently designers in residence at the Design Museum London focusing on Dwelling through the lens of the smart home device.