Haptic technologies have long sought to simulate the tactile properties of materials for virtual or remote interactions. Although the engineering aspects of these technologies have been extensively studied, little is known about the sensory and experiential spaces they offer for design. The human experience of materials can extend beyond their immediate sensory attributes, such as roughness, to influence user emotion, perceptions of one’s body, or encourage human expression, reflection, or action. This workshop aims to bring together haptic device creators, perception scientists, and interaction designers to explore and map the user experience of materials across various technologies. Workshop participants will rotate through 4-6 stations featuring natural and programmable materials and document their experiences through notes. These notes are then used to create and compare experiential maps, identify design gaps, and guide future engineering and design in haptics.
Over the last 15 years, HCI and Interaction Design have experienced a “material turn” characterised by a growing interest in the materiality of technology and computation, and in methods that support exploring, envisioning, and crafting with and through materials. The community has experienced a similar turn focused on the body, on how to best design for and from a first-person, lived experience, and the moving and sensual body. In this workshop, we focus on the intersection of these two turns. The emerging developments in multimodal interfaces open up opportunities to bring in materiality to the digital world as well as to transform the materiality of objects and bodies in the real-world, including the materiality of our own body. The different sensory qualities of (touchable and untouchable, physical and digital) objects and bodies, including our own, can be brought into the design of digital technologies to enrich, augment, and transform embodied experiences. In this “materials revolution” , what are the current theories, approaches, methods and tools that emphasise the critical role of materiality to body-based interactions with technology?
To explore this, in this workshop we will focus on five related themes: material enabling expression, material as a catalyst for human action, material enabling reflection and awareness, material enabling transformation and material supporting the design process for the re-creation of the existing and the yet-to-exist. This workshop with technology presentations, panel sessions with experts, and multidisciplinary discussions will: (i) bring together researchers who work on (re)creating sensory properties of materials through technology with those who investigate experiential effects of materials and material-enabled interactions, (ii) discuss methods, opportunities, difficulties in designing materiality and material-enabled interactions, and (iii) form a multidisciplinary community to build synergies and collaborations.
This workshop aims to build a community and open the design space for materiality and material-enabled body-based multisensory experiences by integrating research from various perspectives.
Ana Tajadura-Jiménez presented The Hearing Body: Sound-driven Body Transformation Experiences Applications for Emotional and Physical Health in the C4DM-CogSci Workshop on Body-centred perspectives on human-human and human-machine interaction. It occurred at the Queen Mary University of London, on February 8th, 2023.
The following was the abstract of the talk:
Body perceptions are important for people’s motor, social and emotional functioning. Critically, neuroscientific research has shown that body perceptions are not fixed, but are continuously updated through sensorimotor information. In this talk, I will present work from our group on how sound and other sensory feedback on one’s body and actions can be used to alter body perception, creating Body Transformation Experiences. I will talk about how neuroscientifically grounded insights that body perceptions are continuously updated through sensorimotor information may contribute to the design of novel body-centred technologies to support people’s needs and for behaviour change. I will then present various studies from our current project, Magic OutFit, aimed to inform the design of wearable technology in which sensory-driven changes in body perception are used to enhance behavioural patterns and emotional states in the context of exertion. I will discuss how apart from the focus on real-life applications, novel technologies for body sensing and sensory feedback may also become a research tool for investigating how emotional and multisensory processes shape body perception. I will conclude by identifying new challenges and opportunities that this line of work presents, some of which we are addressing in our current ERC project BODYinTRANSIT.
We are holding a workshop to experience first hand and to explore how we can design multisensory interactions with immersive data representations in a different and innovative way, in particular, by using embodied design methods.
In the workshop, we will experience and explore a live installation of an immersive data representation, enacted by a dance group, who will respond to the presence and action of people in the room. Through our joint experience, we will reflect and ideate new ways of bodily interacting with immersive data representations.
When is the workshop? The workshop will be held next Thursday, January 26th at 15:00 (duration ~3h)