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RavalSTEAM: Teaching support for the High School Milà i Fontanals

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I am currently collaborating in RavalSTEAM, a project between the María de Maeztu Unit of Universitat Pompeu Fabra and the Barcelona City Council. My role is to provide support for teachers in STEAM related activities. This trimester we started with the co-creation of a digital school magazine. The final presentation of the first edition will be next week!

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The main goal of the workshop was to initiate the students in basic concepts of augmented reality design and digital fabrication and create their own narratives of an imaginary world with physical objects and audiovisual content using different technologies (touch board, Arduino, 3D printing and tablets) . Throughout the workshop, students were involved in the different phases of co-creation of a project, which are brainstorming, storyboarding, rapid and advanced prototyping of objects in 3D format and audiovisual content (e.g. characters and imaginary creatures). The final result was the realization of different group projects that shaped a world of stories fusing physical and augmented reality.

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New publication in International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction

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We are happy to share another publication about our project “Refugi 307” that has recently been published in the Special issue on “Assumptions about the Concept of Childhood and the Roles of Children in Design” of the International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction.

Abstract
The roles that children are allowed to play in the co-design of an interactive experience are strongly influenced and determined by the views of designers and other adult stakeholders on childhood, as well as by their expectations of children’s skills and cognitive capacities. In this paper, we contrast these assumptions in the design of a Virtual Heritage experience for guided school visits at an archaeological site. The goal of our study was to analyse different viewpoints of adult stakeholders in order to find new strategies that balance power relations between adults and children. The study was carried out in the context of the preliminary design stage of an interactive learning experience for a bomb shelter dating from the Spanish Civil War, known as “Refugi 307”. Our analysis reveals some of the reasons behind the assumptions of adult stakeholders. These outcomes were our starting point for defining strategies that can establish collective values among adult stakeholders and enrich the range of roles of children in a design process.

Reference
Marie-Monique Schaper, Maria Santos, and Narcis Pares. (2018). Orchestrating experts’ assumptions and children’s values in the design of Virtual Heritage experiences. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcci.2018.02.001

Until September open-access to article available using this link:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221286891630085X

Storytelling: Illustration and Technology

Girl during the interactive storytelling workshop

I would like to share with you some impressions from our workshop “Storytelling: illustration and technology”. The event took place on 26th and 27th January 2018 during the opening event of the Library Montserrat Abelló in Les Corts (Barcelona). Laura Malinverni and Maria Santos collaborationed as facilitators in the workshop. Children co-created with conductive paint and touch boards an interactive storytelling wall. The topic was the former textil factory in which the new library has been installed. Children invented stories around the factory imagining workers’ lives during this period.

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New article about Project Refugi 307 published

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I am proud to announce that our paper “Learning about the past through situatedness, embodied exploration and digital augmentation of cultural heritage sites” has been published in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies.

Abstract
The design of interactive experiences for archaeological sites entails the consideration of the particular characteristics and constraints of the exhibition space. Our aim is to address these challenges by exploring the potential of a recently emerging interaction paradigm called World-as-Support, which is based on projective Augmented Reality (AR). In this study, we present the design process of a virtual heritage experience for a bomb shelter built during the Spanish Civil War that currently belongs to the Barcelona History Museum. The goal of this study was twofold. First, we aimed to define the requirements for the design of a first prototype based on the World-as-Support interaction paradigm. Second, we carried out a study with a local school to evaluate the benefits of an educational experience based on this paradigm. Our results indicate benefits to complement the guided visit: (1) by using projective AR to explore different layers of the learning experience; and (2) by including collaborative activities based on embodied enactments to foster the understanding of historical contents that require emotional engagement and critical thinking.

Here we can find the link to the paper: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2018.01.003

TV Report about Project Magical Movements Co-Design Techniques for Body and Space Awareness

Prototype Magical Movements

Since December 2015 we have been collaborating with Plàudite Teatre – Espai d’Arts Escèniques to explore novel co-design methods with and for children for Full-Body interactive experiences. For my PhD Thesis I particularly focused on techniques based on theatre practise that promote body and space awareness.

Last Tuesday a short overview of the project and first examples of a prototype using these techniques has been presented by Televisió L’Hospitalet. You can watch the report and an interview with the co-design team here (in Catalan, starting from 09.12 min):

Link to video if you cannot access the file before: http://lhdigital.cat/web/digital-h/televisio/veure-video/-/journal_content/56_INSTANCE_ZrP3/11023/12259299

Inspiring Teenagers in Digital Fabrication

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During the first two weeks of July, I faciliate together with Laura Malinverni a summer camp for 20 girls from Barcelona in which they learned about the basics of 3D printing, robotics and coding. This hands-on workshop introduced them to the world of Digital Fabrication. The #Girlstech Summer Camp was co-organized by the American Space Barcelona and the Department of Information and Communication Technologies Engineering (ETIC) of Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

I regularly participate in the organization of workshops to inspire teenagers in digital fabrication. Another workshop was held in April 2017 at the American Space Barcelona and focused particularly on a critical reflection upon how technology influenced our personal lives. In June 2017, Maria Santos and I also participated in the Oracle4Girls which aimed to attrack and retain girls in STEM and we conducted a second workshop in this line.

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QTC Talk at Digital Living Research Commons, Aarhus University

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I am please to invite you to my talk “Participative Design Strategies for Full-Body Interaction” on Wednesday, 8th March 2017 at 15.00, Wiener Building 028, 030, 032, Aarhus University.

Abstract:
The design for Full-Body Interaction Learning Environments faces two main challenges. First, the need to define learning contents that are aligned with users’ understanding and that are suitable for the features of Full-Body Interaction. Second, research based on the embodied cognition framework proposes the use of physicality and spatiality to promote learning. Nevertheless, currently employed methods to involve users in the design of Full-Body Interaction Learning Environments often neglect to properly integrate the notion of body and space. In this talk, Marie will present a set of participative design strategies to tackle these challenges. The audience will be invited to participate in a dialogue about potentials and limitations of the presented design strategies and to think about the physical instance of a Full-Body Interaction design kit. Furthermore, we will discuss and reflect upon how this approach could be relevant for general design practices and applied to related research areas.

More information about the research project can be found here: https://www.upf.edu/web/evaluation-driven-design/

Hands-on STEM Workshops at American Space in Barcelona

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Together with Maria Santos, I organized a STEM workshop at the American Space Hackathon and Youth Innovation Day in Barcelona in which children learned about conductivity and how to programm mini-games through hands-on activities with Scratch and the microcontroller Makey Makey.

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World-As-Support | Digital Graffiti on Campus

Child using pico projector

Together with Laura Malinverni, I participated in the Campus Junior event “La universidad y yo” at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. We invited teenagers to explore possibilities of rethinking and changing learning spaces through the use of a mixed reality system. During a brainstorming activity, the participants reflected upon which learning spaces had caught their attention and how they would like them to “transform”. After that, they created first their own ideas for graffitis with pencil and paper. The graffitis were then digitalized and the teenagers explored their application in relation to the physical space of the university campus.