Today I want to share a publication, I am particularly proud of. The journal article presents five embodied co-design techniques for children that I developed during my thesis in collaboration with the theatre school Plàudite in Barcelona. The research was recently published in TOCHI.
Marie-Monique Schaper and Narcis Pares. (2021). Co-design Techniques for and with Children based on Physical Theatre Practice to promote Embodied Awareness. ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact. 28, 4, Article 22 (July 2021), 42 pages. DOI:
Research in Full-Body Interaction suggests the benefits of activities based on using embodied resources to strengthen the sensorimotor, cognitive and socio-emotional aspects of the user experience. However, scholars in this field have been often primarily concerned with the comprehension of and design for the user’s mind. Little attention has been drawn on its connection to the bodily experience. The scarcity of adequate co-design methods with and for children to raise an awareness of their body during design risks of deriving interaction design decisions only from the perspective of adult designers. In this article, we present our research on novel co-design techniques to elicit children’s embodied awareness. These techniques were analysed in the context of a design workshop series with a local theatre school. For the analysis, we used the Think4EmCoDe research framework, a tool to foreground key aspects of an embodied co-design technique for children. Results indicate the benefits of techniques based on physical theatre practice that (1) help children understand their body and space as mediators of ideas and meaning making processes; (2) allow them to incorporate the specific features of Full-Body Interaction in their co-design.
We are pleased to announce that we have published a new article in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies.
Title: FUBImethod: Strategies to engage Children in the Co-Design of Full-Body Interactive Experiences
Abstract: In this paper, we present the FUBImethod, a method based on six stages to co-design interactive experiences based on Full-Body Interaction. The FUBImethod aims specifically to engage children in co-design processes and to benefit from their natural playfulness and expertise in movement. This approach allows designers to go beyond the surface level of content-driven ideas by raising awareness of the body and space, and by proposing techniques that help the design team to understand and incorporate the specific qualities that constitute Full-Body Interaction. We also propose strategies to strengthen the children’s perspective in the design process in reaching a common agreement in the design goals and the selection of adequate design choices within the design team. We ground our theoretical discussions on the outcomes of the research project “Evaluation-Driven Design”, the goal of which was the exploration and definition of adequate research and design methods in Full- Body Interaction.
Marie-Monique Schaper, Ole Sejer Iversen, Laura Malinverni, and Narcis Pares. (2019). FUBImethod: Strategies to engage children in the co-design of Full-Body interactive experiences. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 132: 52-69. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2019.07.008
This autumn I facilitated another workshop at the library Ignasi Iglésias-Can Fabra in collaboration with the American Space Barcelona. The children created beautiful interactive stories about a magical world behind the books of the library.
One group imagined a forest by night and a sky full of shooting stars. They designed an owl in Tinkercad and printed the model in 3D. They created an interactive sky with LEDs and Arduino. Finally, they augmented the model with music using conductive material and Makey Makey.
Another group created a world of volcanos, lava and fire that was inhabited by a hippogriff.
A third group created a dungeon of a castle in which a prisoner is guarded by two beasts.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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):
This evening I discussed together with Cecilia Tham (Makers of Barcelona), Nuria Mir (GFT IT Consulting), Elena Panizza (AdMojo), Eugenia Gargallo (Inspira’t), Marta Verde Baqueiro and Ana Freire (Universitat Pompeu) in a town hall discussion future goals and practices to move toward leadership equality. The event was sponsored by IED Barcelona and WebVisions.
GirlsInLab is an organization of volunteers in Barcelona which offers free educational and hands-on STEM workshops and tutorials for young girls to promote their interest in technology and in pursuing STEM-related careers.
On 29th November 2015, I participated as volunteer at the UPF Hackathon for girls between 7 and 17 years.
This video shows how the girls learnt to program and to create their own ideas with Scratch, robotics, AppInventor, Drawbots, 3D design, 3D printing and Makey Makey.
(You can get an impression of my Scratch Jr workshop from 0:58 min.)