The project "immersion by inclusion" brings together people with Down syndrome, actors, theatre makers and designers in a vibrating research collaboration. Our motivation is to see cognitive impairments not as deficiencies but as a great potential to find out together new opportunities for inclusive interaction by the use of immersive technologies.
Several design disciplines and artistic fields have shifted their focus towards the body as the central means of interaction in order to create experiences. For people with certain cognitive disabilities the expression through the body is often more important than through language. They have remarkable repertoire for paralinguistic communication: an extraordinary space for creating beyond traditional narratives and aesthetics, focusing on embodied auto-ethnographic approach and content. Consequently, these people can be seen as experts in the field of embodied interaction.
Under this perspective, such community provides important and implicit knowledge that has a nourishing potential for the general population of our day. This potential has already been shown by several design and artistic projects in the field of inclusion.
Recent technologies (e.g. immersive media, physiological mappings, body tracking) allow the manipulation of perception in ways that would not have been conceivable a few years ago. These tools enable to immerse oneself in completely different perceptual realities. However, how they could open up innovative possibilities for inclusive interaction design has been much less explored.
The project pursues the following research questions:
- How can we focus on physical and emotional communication beyond language and intellect and to what extent can cognitively impaired people provide new clues for the design of collaborative environments and embodied experiences?
- How can we develop new forms of non-verbal co-creation methods, especially via immersive technologies, to open up a space for an inclusive interaction design?
- Which new aesthetic and narrative principles, characteristics and qualities can be derived from these embodied ethnographic experiences which could supply generalizable insights for immersive design?The project sees itself as an explorative prelude to an extended series of research activities in order to foster new insight in the field of inclusive interaction design by immersive technologies.
The project sees itself as an explorative prelude to an extended series of research activities in order to foster new insight in the field of inclusive interaction design by immersive technologies.
- 01.07. – 31.12.2019
- Junior Research in Design Programm