Designing for body awareness – Somaesthetics as a generative theory for design
In the SOMA project we are investigating how to create new technology that can support an increased understanding of one’s own body and its functioning. We build on the Somaesthetics philosophy that bridges phenomenology and pragmatism, focussing on how we can sharpen the perception of our own bodies using various somatic training practices. The work has also partly been conducted in collaboration with IKEA, where we together have been creating a number of furniture prototypes.
Changing democracy: Designing media technology to facilitate co-creative citizen engagement in democratic processes
EXCEPTIONAL PLACE AND TIME: on 14 at room M20, DSV, Kista
Internet-based information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been increasingly used to facilitate and support democratic participation in contemporary societies. A growing body of research has demonstrated that social networking sites have given individuals the opportunity to participate, interact, network, collaborate, and mobilize in communities even for democratic purposes. While these technologies have shown their usefulness to rally massive crowds behind political issues and allow people to exercise citizenship in forms of participatory democracy, the technical and cultural conditions exist to provide the necessary means to move beyond reactive actions and towards proactive and co-creative citizenship.
The challenge of this thesis is to develop a concept design of co-creative media within the field of media technology that aims to be open source, adaptable by means of modularity, deliberative, collaborative, and flexible for multiple levels of society ranging from daily democratic practices to massive movements. The thesis is guided by the principal research question: what are the media technological, democratic, and decision-making elements for designing and implementing co-creative media? The thesis presents four papers that suggest answers to the principal research question and the intellectual progression departs from a traditional view of democracy, followed by considerations of more participatory and co-creative forms of democracy beyond individual decisions. The proposed concept design of co-creative media was developed through a concept-driven design approach and related research was conducted using theoretical considerations and empirical measurements.
The theoretical contributions of this thesis emerge from the appended papers, which offer new insights into the design of co-creative media, deeper knowledge of how online information influence attitudes and behavior, better understanding of how Internet voting can be used for political participation, and in what way different media can be integrated to create novel services that would facilitate the free flow of information in conditions of censorship.
Keywords: media technology, democracy, decision-making, concept-driven design, co-creative media, attitudes, Internet voting, mobilization, open source, deliberation.
On Research Seminar of Media Technology Feb 4 2015:
Kjetil Falkenberg Hansen: Sound and music computing research with a health and wellbeing approach
In the seminar I will present my ongoing research and work on sound interaction used for improving health and wellbeing. The perspective is that of exploration and playfulness with music as facilitating medium. In the talk I will discuss successful experiments and possible future projects.
The event will take place in MD 338 starting at 13.
[In case the door to MD3 would be closed, please phone Södertörn University switchboard at +46 8 6084000 and ask for Mauri Kaipainen’s cell phone]
Professor Sue Walker will discuss research in typography and graphic design, with particular reference to the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication which uses the term ‘design for reading’ to describe its work. She will relate this to current thinking about research in the UK drawing on her experience as a panelist in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. She will talk about history, theory and practice in information design, typeface design and book design. In this context she will talk about her work on typographic design for children.
Creating, making, hacking – How DIY and the maker movement influence and shape design and development of future technologies
Interactive systems are rapidly evolving and play a major role in our daily lives. Until now those technologies have foremost been shaped and developed by design professionals and researchers all over the world. DIY and the maker movement are challenging this role by allocating and empowering people (i.e. hackers, makers, creators) to do extraordinary things with affordable materials and may therefore shape future technologies. The intention of the proposed research is to embrace the creators, makers and hackers’ practices and to study the transformed role of the design researcher in this setting. How does the empowerment of makers add to the quality of the outcome? What can HCI design researchers learn from makers practice? And how can the HCI design researcher play a role for the maker movement? The maker movement is hereby capturing the development, which has transformed a hobby pursuit of mainly individuals into a self-organised movement towards creating and co-creating.
Inhabited information interfaces indicating interest, intention, interaction
Inhabited Information Spaces are intended to visualise information in such a way that multiple users not only can access the information but also perceive each other and the work others are performing on and with the data, with the purpose that users may have an awareness of what is going on, \eg in order to coordinate work. A still open research issue is how to best indicate, through multiple interfaces, what data items a given user is interested in, if that user intends to do anything with them, and what actions have been taken by the user on what data.
Redesigning the relationship between natural and artificial
Timo Honkela, University of Helsinki, Department of Modern Languages
Information and communication technologies have already changed our societies and the everyday life in a dramatic manner. The future developments may even be more profound. One important reason for this scenario is the fact that the machines are increasingly capable of performing pattern recognition and learning. Traditionally ICT systems were programmed to perform their operations in a manner that made them predictable. The increasing use of machine learning algorithms constitutes a challenge as well as an opportunity for information systems design. The systems do not repeat their actions in similar manner over and over but they evolve and can take contextual factors into account better than before (Honkela 2005). Moreover, machines are becoming increasingly autonomous at a conceptual level – or, in other words, semiotically competent. Various kinds of doomsday scenarios have been presented by people who are concerned about these kinds of developments. It is also possible to look for opportunities for positive societal developments based on the new technologies. In this presentation, four areas are considered in some detail: 1) machine-aided human-to-human communication (Honkela et al. 2012b, Honkela 2014), 2) libraries (Kettunen et al. 2014), 3) democratic society (Berg et al. 2005, Faraon et al. 2013), and 4) health care (Honkela et al. 2012b, Topol 2012).
In this talk I will discuss the nature and implications of the abstracted digitalized world for education, including emerging opportunities and risks. There are plenty of controversial topics, providing excellent motives for discussion.
Physical participation in interior and furniture design
Rumsgestaltning och möbelformgivning är yrkespraktiker vilka laborerar med materiella, rumsliga, sinnliga kvalitéer och aspekter. Inom inredningsarkitektur och möbeldesign finns sedan gammalt väl utvecklade metoder och språk för att undersöka, kommunicera och utveckla dessa men dessa är sällan i textform och ofta inte ens i ordform. Avhandlingen diskuterar hur textbaserad teoretisering av ett visst ämne tenderar att leda till en försämrad förmåga att uppfatta och värdera sinnliga och formmässiga aspekter på det ämne som akademiseras. De akademiska institutioner som arbetar med textualiserad teoribildning har av gammal hävd tolkningsföreträde i utbildnings- och kunskapssammanhang.
Denna situation har bidragit till ett dikotomiserande synsätt på kunskap vilket tenderar att värdera textteoretiska kunskapsformer högre än sådana kunskapsfält som i högre grad utvecklar kunskap praktiskt genom till exempel fysiskt och sinnesbaserat arbete med form snarare än genom text. Avhandlingen visar hur denna hierarkiska kunskapssyn också har utövat inflytande på formgivningsfälten och har där bidragit till det paradoxala att formaspekter på formgivning ofta hamnar i skymundan. Den centrala fråga som ställs i textdelen är: Vilka negativa effekter kan en ökande grad av textualiserad teoribildning befaras ha på formgivningspraktikerna? I avhandlingens formgivningsdel är forskningsfrågan: Kan en hög grad av fysiskt deltagande i designprocessen bidra med impulser som motverkar eventuella negativa effekter av en textualiseringen av teoribildningen inom, i första hand, fälten för inredningsarkitektur och möbeldesign, men i förlängningen också andra form- och designrelaterade yrken?