131 research outputs found

    Post-human interaction design, yes, but cautiously

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    Post-human design runs the risk of obscuring the fact that AI technology actually imports a Cartesian humanist logic, which subsequently influences how we design and conceive of so-called smart or intelligent objects. This leads to unwanted metaphorical attributions of human qualities to smart objects. Instead, starting from an embodied sensemaking perspective, designers should demand of engineers to radically transform the very structure of AI technology, in order to truly support critical posthuman values of collectivity, relationality and community building.Comment: A "provocation" contribution to the acm Designing Interactive Systems 2020 Conference, Eindhoven, July 202

    Embodied Empowerment Design:Reframing the Problem through Co-Design

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    Background: As health-care policy increasingly focuses on ‘empowerment’, assistive technologies are developed to help persons with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) in independent living. Most technologies quite straightforwardly provide ‘solutions’ to aid with daily tasks, or to train certain skills. Objectives: Given the poor success-rates of assistive technologies in general, our co-design approach aims first to explore instead in more detail what the actual problems are, as seen from the lived, embodied and situated experiences of the people involved. Methods: We work closely together with a small number of people on the spectrum, over a longer period of time. Through a series of design cycles involving contextual interview, role-play, collaborative brainstorming, prototyping, and evaluation of experience prototypes, we develop a designerly understanding of the details of their lifeworlds, along with a final product proposal. Reflecting on this process and the design outcome with stakeholders (people with ASC, family, care-professionals), we uncover implicit assumptions that may actually get in the way of designing truly empowering technologies, and we envision what alternative conceptualizations may look like. Results: In this talk I present two cases. The first concerns a system of wireless lamp-bodies that provide situated hints to help structure the day. The second is a smartwatch allowing users to record their own relaxing messages to be played in response to situations of stress. Using these cases I develop the vision of Embodied Empowerment. This vision on empowering technologies critically reframes several conventional interpretations of assistive technology. First: our designs never directly address ‘the disorder’. Straightforward attempts at ‘solving problems caused by autism’, I claim, are always potentially misguided. Instead, Embodied Empowerment calls for technology that enables people first and foremost to be and become most fully themselves. Second, our systems do not ‘take over’: they provide scaffolds with which people may regain control over their lives, recruiting their skills and available resources in the environment. Third, our technologies are not ‘monitoring’ or ‘training’ tools used by care-givers, nor are they replacing real people: instead they mediate in social relations with significant others, towards more empowered interactions. Fourth: while we use information technology, we do not use it to ‘remind’, ‘instruct’ or ‘inform’ the user about what to do. Rather, we design objects and spaces with interactive properties to catalyze and transform sensorimotor routines, such that the user can find (his own) information, by taking action. Finally, we envision not finished solutions, but open platforms. which can be tailored by people in use to their individual needs, interests and talents. Conclusions: To conclude, we used a co-design research approach as a method to critically reframe some implicit assumptions in present-day assistive technology. The resulting vision of Embodied Empowerment opens up a large, unexplored design potential, promising new personally meaningful devices, to empower persons with ASD in living their everyday lives, on their own terms, in their own unique ways

    Embodied Emotion:designing interactive products for a person’s emotional being-in-the-world

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    In this paper we present a new perspective on how one can design interactive products in a way that they will become a meaningful and mediating part in a person’s emotional being-in- the-world. In an ongoing participatory design project, a concept of an assistive and interactive wearable is currently designed with the aim to empower people with an autism spectrum disorder by supporting them in their process of emotion regulation. We reflect on this case study by contrasting embodiment theory with our design insights, offering a new perspective of what it means to design embodied interactive products for emotion regulation. This can be used by designers, offering them an embodied perspective as a guidance when making decisions during the design process. We speculate that our embodied perspective on emotion regulation enables the design of products that integrate better into a person’s lifeworld and are therefore less likely to be abandoned

    Designing Dialogs between Users and Products through a Sensory Language

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    This paper presents a research-through-design exploring interaction as a dialog between the user and the product that is in contact for sharing something, typically quantitative and/or qualitative information (e.g., data, points of view, feelings, and so on). This exchange is made possible by the implementation of a given kind of common language. Traditionally, human-computer interaction relies on an explicit, codified language, as for example when designers use icons, text, or pictures to convey a message. In contrast, we define empirical sensory language as those sensory stimuli coming from an artifact, processed most often unconsciously, which play a constructive role in generating a meaningful interactive experience, yet do not require any explicit exchange of information messages. Our investigation aimed at exploring potentialities and limits of applying a sensory language to arouse meaningful interactions leading to a desired change in routine behaviors. We thus designed two product prototypes intended to lead users to decrease water consumption. Our approach opens up a new space for design that is currently not covered by explicit, codified forms of interaction. We discuss implications for a product designer to design for a sensory language and the results of an exploratory user evaluation

    Gambiarra Meets Design Thinking:Scaffolding Embodied Creativity in a Design Lab

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    In this paper we report an exploratory study of developing a workspace of creative exploration as part of a design process inspired on a Brazilian improvisational street-culture, denominated Gambiarra. In a six month iterative design ethnography we adapted elements of Gambiarra into a formal, carefully designed ‘Design Lab’ for engineering and interactive computing students. The interventions produced alternative approaches to concept design and idea generation, whereby physical materials and their affordances recruited bottom-up improvisations and reflection-on-action. We propose this strategy as positively extending the basic model of design thinking, including materiality as a crucial element in the early phases of creative design. We evaluated how traditionally educated engineering and computing students can be seduced into utilizing their latent embodied creativity via a suitable, inviting physical space. One of the main insights for designing our Gambiarra scaffolds was combining material invitations and improvise with ways to store and display intermediate results in one integrated workspace, such that each person’s ‘material trace’ of creative thinking’ would scaffold those of others

    Participatory Design of a Social Robot (So-bot) Toolkit for and with Adults with Autism

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    According to Autism-Europe, autism impacts around 5 million people in the EU. Recent research has shown that social robots, due to their deterministic nature, simplified appearance and technological capabilities, can enable robot- assisted therapy or act as assistive technology for empowering autistic individuals with daily household activities. As such, toolkits have emerged to enable researchers to prototype assistive social robots. In the design and research regarding such toolkits, there are gaps regarding robot designs, fundamental customization possibilities and especially the methodologies for operationalizing and scaffolding the co-design of social robots with vulnerable groups. In order to take a first step towards overcoming these research/design gaps and towards uncovering the right questions about them, the Co3 Project deals with an exploratory study involving the participatory design of a social robot toolkit for and with autistic adults. The project’s components have been co-designed, evaluated and tested with autistic adults at an autism care institute. The exploratory project has carved a toolkit of linkable social robot building blocks centered around which is a holistic, novel process for conducting social robot participatory design with cognitively impaired individuals. That process has artefacts meticulously designed with the participants in mind–giving the artefacts sufficient scaffolding to make co- design navigable by bridging the imaginative or social impairments of involved participants. The project aims to inspire a movement of scalable, democratized social robot co-design, which can evoke questions on what human-robot interactions to design in the first place and which can empower egalitarian inclusiveness in (co-)design of all users

    Support by Participatory Sense-Making in Robot Therapy for Children with Autism

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    People with Autism Spectrum Condition have issues navigating social situations. Typically, in therapy, robots teach people with ASC desirable social interaction according to traditional models which focus on the cognitive, rather than emotions or intuitions. Participatory sense- making could provide new insights in the theory of this area. To establish participatory sense- making, joint attention needs to be reached. We analyzed footage of a robot expressing emotions of therapy sessions in Serbia, during which a child with ASC has to guess the emotion. We used conversation analysis from the perspective of participatory sense-making with a focus on body language. Not speaking the language allowed us to focus on the body language without distraction. During the analysis 3 types of situations occurred: participatory sense-making, missed opportunity and non-compliance. The results showed that more elements of coordination lead to better participatory sense- making was established. We argue that a robot could provide support for a therapist when establishing participatory sense-making
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