Hephaestus and the Senses at CHI’13

The video of the workshop done during Caroline Hummels’ inaugural day has been submitted and accepted at the CHI video session.

The abstract and the associated video are downloadable through the ACM digital library, at this link.

The need for transformative collaboration among cross-disciplinary stakeholders is becoming paramount since the complexity of designing (intelligent) systems, products and services has increased rapidly the last decade. Inspired by phenomenology, pragmatism and embodied cognition, we explore how we can use embodiment and skilful coping to connect people and to catalyse a constructive design “conversation” among people with different backgrounds (Hummels, 2012). During a two-weeks workshop with Master students at the Dept. of Industrial Design at the Eindhoven University of Technology, we developed six different interactive Engagement Probes: open, creative and playful tools aimed at engaging people in a design process more concrete and effective than a brainstorm session. These Engagement Probes have been validated in a five-hour workshop Hephaestus and the Senses, in which 80 participants from different background have used them as a mean to ignite their design process. Every team started to meet and getting to know each other in a playful way using their bodies through one of the Engagement Probes. Thereupon, they designed and prototyped in teams of 4-6 persons, an artefact for citizens to socially connect through their senses. The results of the workshop show that the Probes stimulate engagement, help people to get familiar and connect in a short period of time, and inspire and boost a design process with an emphasis on embodiment and tangibility.

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