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Gender literacy through the making process: A feminist pedagogy approach

This article aims at exploring how to support students’ awareness on gender stereotypes and the development of gender literacy through the making process of interactive toys. I present a case study with 22 primary students (11–12 years) from a public primary school in Barcelona (Spain) who were involved in a maker workshop series. Building on principles of transformative feminist pedagogy, the article shows exemplary design activities for children to create a space for dialogue and reflection upon gender stereotypes. To this end, the activities were used as a means to spark critical reflections among the students and to guide them in the design of prototypes of cross-gendered interactive toys. By analyzing students’ artifacts and verbal expressions during the discussions, the study illustrates how they gradually discover their own assumptions on gender stereotypes and were enabled to propose cross-gendered alternatives for interactive toys focusing on movement-based and collaborative activities. Finally, the article presents a set of educational activities that support students to reflect upon gender stereotypes in the making process and guidelines for teachers to integrate these strategies into their educational practices.

Our special issue on “Computational Empowerment and Children” in the International Journal of Child Computer Interaction is out!

The special issue is honouring Professor Dr. Heidi Schelhowe (1949–2021), whose research and perspectives have been foundational for the development of Computational Empowerment. Building on Schelhowe’s perspective, we included  8 international research articles in the special issue. These contributions showcase how current research in CCI is pushing the boundaries of Computational Empowerment towards novel conceptual perspectives, diverse application areas and participatory strategies for maturing the field. It thus provides an excellent starting point for readers to familiarise themselves with the current state-of-the-art of Computational Empowerment. Each of the contributions offer new opportunities and directions to further develop Computational Empowerment in CCI research and practice towards empowerment, agency and participation. As such, this special issue on Computational Empowerment marks the beginning of an emerging research trajectory within CCI research. It is an invitation to scholars and practitioners to take on the challenges that still lie ahead of us to fully embrace the Computational Empowerment of future generations.

Thank you very much to all co-editors of the special issue Rachel Charlotte Smith, Ole Sejer Iversen, Christopher Frauenberger, Netta Iivari, Anja Zeising, Mike Tissenbaum, Elizabeth Marie Bonsignore and Jason Yip.

Here check out the special issue articles

Do you develop embodied design techniques for children? Check out our new Think-4-EmCoDe framework! We provide guidelines on how to evaluate and improve your techniques.

Think-4-EmCoDe framework: Highlighting key qualities in embodied co-design techniques for children

Embodied, co-design and children-specific methods have been gaining traction in Interaction Design for Children, and their potential and benefits are well-established. Yet methods at the intersection of all three areas are scarcer. In addition, design researchers lack tools for the analysis and adaptation of existing methods, and the creation of new ones to suit the particularities of the design project at hand. Here, we present the Think-4-EmCoDe framework for the design and analysis of embodied co-design methods and techniques for children, which foregrounds key qualities in embodied interaction design research: (1) embodied awareness; (2) reflective imaginary; (3) emergence; (4) embodied memory; (5) situated relationality; (6) contingency; (7) playful engagement; (8) play practice; (9) developmental scaffolds; and (10) social dialogue. The framework has been developed drawing from several theories, methods, and frameworks in the areas of co-design and embodied design approaches. This framework allows designers to focus on both general design qualities for embodied experiences and the specific child perspective. We illustrate the use of the framework through the analysis of three design techniques and discuss its potential as an inspirational tool to understand, adapt and refine embodied co-design techniques for children.

New publication about the FUBImethod

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 


New publication in International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction

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:

Until September open-access to article available using this link: