Finally, the day has come… I successfully presented my PhD Thesis defence last Friday, 25th January 2019 at 11 am. It took place in Tanger Building, Room 55.309 (third floor), Campus Poblenou, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
The thesis is titled: Co-Design Strategies with Children in Full-Body Interaction for Situated Non-Formal Learning Experiences. The thesis was supervised by Narcís Parés and evaluated by the PhD committee composed of Ole Iversen (University Aarhus), Oscar Tomico (University Eindhoven of Technology) and Davinia Herandez-Leo (Universitat Pompeu Fabra).
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
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.
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.
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):
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.
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.
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.)