Special Issue "Designing for the Body"

A special issue of Multimodal Technologies and Interaction (ISSN 2414-4088).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Lian Loke

Director of Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts The University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW 2006, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: aesthetics of interaction; movement-based interaction design; somatic literacy in design
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Elise Van den Hoven MTD

1. Professor in Human-Computer Interaction, School of Software, University of Technology Sydney, 15 Broadway, Ultimo NSW 2007, Australia
2. Associate professor in Interaction Design, Department of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5612 AZ Eindhoven, Netherlands
3. Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee, Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4HN, UK
4. Associate Investigator, Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Level 3, Australian Hearing Hub,16 University Avenue, Macquarie University NSW 2109, Australia
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Interests: people-centered design;designing interactive systems;physical interaction design;supporting human remembering
Guest Editor
Dr. Claudia Núñez-Pacheco

Universidad Austral de Chile, Independencia 631, Chile
Website | E-Mail
Interests: somatic-oriented design (including Focusing);first-person design research methods; aesthetics of interaction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Embodied approaches to understanding the interweaving of human cognition, perception, affect, and action in the field of human–computer interactions have been embraced over the past decade. There is now more knowledge and support for the value of body and bodily experiences in interactions with technology. This is as much due to the theoretical and epistemological values informed by disciplines that work directly with the body as a source of knowledge, as to the plethora of sensor technologies enabling new forms of interaction and expression grounded in bodily experience and capabilities. However, translating theoretical understandings of embodiment into practical approaches for design is a challenging task. The same holds for first-person tacit knowledge embedded in the body; a somatic or corporeal literacy that requires active fostering by researchers, designers and the people for whom they ultimately aim to create new or improved ways of living.

The focus of this Special Issue is on the innovations, opportunities and challenges of embodied approaches to design and interaction, which include the investigation of the following topics, but is not limited to:

  • What theoretical framings or epistemologies are useful for bridging how we think about the role of the body and how we as designers value, enact and translate these conceptual orientations into the act of designing and the design artefacts produced? For example, phenomenology, Somaesthetics and Eastern conceptions of the connection between the body and mind provide fertile material for embodied design.
  • How do new advances in interactive technologies influence how we understand and constitute ‘the human’ and/or ‘the body’, and what implications does this have for what and how we design from an embodied perspective?
  • What methods operate from a commitment to embodied or somatic perspectives or knowledge, and what are the distinctive features of these methods? What strategies are effective to materialize these distinctive features in the shape of design knowledge?
  • How does bodily experience relate with the affective dimension? And what techniques are available to infuse designs with the often-intangible qualities associated with the felt, bodily experience?
  • How and what can we design for physical embodied interaction? Case studies of design research practice, for example, tangible, wearable, or movement-based interactions.
  • What forms of documentation of embodied design methods and knowledge can adequately capture the ephemeral in-the-moment or in-the-body aspects of experience, for archiving, sharing and cross-disciplinary collaboration? Alternative modes of documentation are encouraged that transition across and within bodies, communities and various forms of media.

We encourage authors to submit original research articles, case studies, surveys, reviews, theoretical and critical perspectives, and viewpoint articles. Of particular interest are articles that explore from a design perspective the complex issues related to the tension between subjective, felt accounts of experience that are often personal, transient and ephemeral, and external forms of knowledge representation, validation and transfer most commonly accepted, but often inadequate in capturing aspects of experience that may be useful for design.

Dr. Lian Loke
Prof Dr Elise van den Hoven
Dr. Claudia Núñez-Pacheco
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Multimodal Technologies and Interaction is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.



Keywords

  • Embodied design
  • Somatic literacy
  • Somaesthetics of interaction
  • Bodily experience
  • Human-computer interaction

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Documenting the Elusive and Ephemeral in Embodied Design Ideation Activities
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2018, 2(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti2030035
Received: 12 November 2017 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 18 June 2018 / Published: 24 June 2018
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Abstract
Documenting embodied ideation activities is challenging, as they often result in ephemeral design constructs and elusive design knowledge difficult to document and represent. Here, we explore documentation forms designers can use internally during the design process in the domain of movement-based interaction in [...] Read more.
Documenting embodied ideation activities is challenging, as they often result in ephemeral design constructs and elusive design knowledge difficult to document and represent. Here, we explore documentation forms designers can use internally during the design process in the domain of movement-based interaction in collocated, social settings. Using previous work and our experience from embodied ideation workshops, we propose three documentation forms with complementing perspectives of embodied action from a first and a third person view. We discuss how they capture ephemeral embodied action and elusive design and experiential knowledge, in relation to two interdependent aspects of documentation forms: their performativity and the medium they use. The novelty of these forms lies in what is being captured: ephemeral design constructs that emerge as designers engage with the embodied ideation activity; how it is portrayed: in aggregation forms that highlight elusive design knowledge; and their purpose: to clarify and augment analytical results improving the designer-researchers’ understanding of key aspects of the embodied ideation process and its outcomes, useful to advance the design process and for research dissemination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Designing for the Body)
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Open AccessArticle Sensibility, Narcissism and Affect: Using Immersive Practices in Design for Embodied Experience
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2018, 2(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti2020015
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
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Abstract
‘Embodiment’ need not focus on isolated individuals or group interactions. This article articulates the potential for designs that prompt participants to bring relationships with other people to mind. These can be fleeting relationships between participants and unknown others, or remembered relationships with romantic [...] Read more.
‘Embodiment’ need not focus on isolated individuals or group interactions. This article articulates the potential for designs that prompt participants to bring relationships with other people to mind. These can be fleeting relationships between participants and unknown others, or remembered relationships with romantic partners, family members, or close friends who are not physically co-present or digitally represented. In either case, it is possible to generate affective responses that profoundly shape participants’ emotional and physical reactions to, and co-creation of, the designed interaction. This article presents existing practices of immersive theatre to frame our exploration of this phenomenon. It introduces three theories—mise-en-sensibilité, narcissistic spectatorship and affect—through which we illuminate both the internally felt and the externally designed experience, whether or not it is explicitly framed as theatrical performance. Through analysis of two immersive performances (one-on-one interactions that could easily be understood in terms of experience design) and two designs of our own, we argue that the affect generated by personal relationships in immersive experiences can both shape and drive participation, and we offer a three-point guideline by which one can design for the affective consequences of bringing relationships to mind. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Designing for the Body)
Open AccessArticle An Embodied Approach to Designing Meaningful Experiences with Ambient Media
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2018, 2(2), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti2020013
Received: 17 November 2017 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 5 April 2018
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Abstract
With the emerging trend in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) shifting focus from usability to facilitating meaningful experiences, the notion of embodied cognition provides designers and researchers with valuable insight into how the body–mind interplay can influence meaning-making during embodied experiences. This paper presents an [...] Read more.
With the emerging trend in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) shifting focus from usability to facilitating meaningful experiences, the notion of embodied cognition provides designers and researchers with valuable insight into how the body–mind interplay can influence meaning-making during embodied experiences. This paper presents an approach to designing embodied interactions with ambient media. Building on theories of embodied cognition and cognitive semantics, we developed our approach by conducting a series of studies, including an interpretive case analysis, empirical research into audience experience and design ideations, as well as designerly reflections on design. Our findings showed that an embodied approach is applicable for designing meaningful interactions, by coupling bodily engagement with metaphorical meanings. Design implications and future work are also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Designing for the Body)
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Open AccessArticle Designing for Embodied Being-in-the-World: A Critical Analysis of the Concept of Embodiment in the Design of Hybrids
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2018, 2(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti2010007
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 11 February 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2902 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper critically explores what it means to Design for Embodied Being-in-the-world (D4EB). It aims to uncover what this perspective means for designing hybrids, the new interactive physical-digital artefacts developed in wearable, tangible and ubiquitous computing and augmented reality. D4EB is contrasted with [...] Read more.
This paper critically explores what it means to Design for Embodied Being-in-the-world (D4EB). It aims to uncover what this perspective means for designing hybrids, the new interactive physical-digital artefacts developed in wearable, tangible and ubiquitous computing and augmented reality. D4EB is contrasted with the principle of embodied representation, applied for example in designing tangible interfaces between users and digital information. In contrast, D4EB starts from our phenomenological ‘being-in-the-world’. Hybrids are conceived as participating in socially situated, sensorimotor couplings that govern the way the lived body operates in the lifeworld. D4EB rejects conceptual dualisms between the (representational) mind and the (physical) body and between (inner) mind and (outside) world. To illustrate its core principles, three design cases are presented. The cases are part of ongoing design-research that formed the basis for the framework. D4EB is further discussed in relation to personal identity, the role of external representations and the role of the designer. D4EB promises to open up a theoretically informed, largely unexplored design space, which can help designers utilize the full power of hybrid technologies. Hybrids may be designed to support people in their embodied being by sustaining, enriching and generating new ways of attuning to the lifeworld. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Designing for the Body)
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Open AccessArticle Reflection through Inner Presence: A Sensitising Concept for Design
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2018, 2(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti2010005
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (638 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although our embodied dimension has been recognised as a generative source of imagination through movement and gesture, the notion of the body as a generator of more symbolic and descriptive expressions of knowledge remains mostly unexplored in human-computer interaction (HCI). This theoretical paper [...] Read more.
Although our embodied dimension has been recognised as a generative source of imagination through movement and gesture, the notion of the body as a generator of more symbolic and descriptive expressions of knowledge remains mostly unexplored in human-computer interaction (HCI). This theoretical paper introduces the sensitising concept of reflection through inner presence, in contrast to reflection in action, as a way to differentiate two modes of embodied reflection generating distinct types of materials for design ideation, inspiration, and information. The relevance of this distinction, and the recognition of inner presence in somatic-oriented design, appears as a way to fill the gap of the reported elusiveness in the description of inner experience for design use. Different than design approaches that use reflection in action, reflection through inner presence generates detailed accounts of somatic and aesthetic qualities, which can be potentially incorporated into the design of artefacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Designing for the Body)
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Open AccessArticle Designing from a Disabled Body: The Case of Architect Marta Bordas Eddy
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2018, 2(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti2010004
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
Studies on design, disability and phenomenology offer rich insights into how the designed environment is experienced by people with different abilities. In architectural design, this experience is only starting to become recognized as a valuable resource for designers. Considering disability as a particular [...] Read more.
Studies on design, disability and phenomenology offer rich insights into how the designed environment is experienced by people with different abilities. In architectural design, this experience is only starting to become recognized as a valuable resource for designers. Considering disability as a particular kind of experience, we report on the focused ethnography of architect Marta Bordas Eddy’s design practice. We analyze how her design practice and outcomes connect with her embodied experience of being a wheelchair user and the role of architecture therein. We interviewed Marta, her sister/co-worker and her life partner/co-habitant, gathered design documents, and analyzed the house she designed for and by herself. Our study highlights how Marta’s experience of being disabled, combined with her background, informs how she assesses design and establishes distinct architectural qualities. Being a disabled person and a designer enables Marta to detect problems in an intuitive body-based manner and think of solutions at the same time. The analysis of Marta’s house moreover raises awareness of architecture’s role in (disabled) people’s lives insofar it can support or impair human capabilities. It challenges prevailing views of what a house for a disabled person looks and is like, and how design can neutralize apparently restricted capabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Designing for the Body)
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