Studies of Dancers: Moving from Experience to Interaction Design
Lian Loke, Toni Robertson


As movement-based, interactive technologies continue to become more embedded in our daily lives, aliveness, vitality and pleasure in our interactions with these technologies are becoming sought-after qualities. Dance is one discipline that works directly with these qualities of aesthetic experience through the moving body. We conducted a series of studies with trained dancers and physical performers to explore ways of working with the moving body in interaction design. The first study was of falling by skilled movers. The aim was to explore the first-person experience and external representations of the act of falling. The second study explored ways of inventing and choreographing movement for use in the design of motion-sensing technologies. The results of the studies were examined to identify an emerging set of methods and tools to enable designers to work with movement and felt experience in the context of movement-based, interactive technologies. The methods and tools enable designers to move between and integrate the three different perspectives of the mover, the observer and the machine. This act of integration makes it possible for the designer to remain accountable to the different views of the moving body, in an approach to interaction design with the primacy of embodied, lived experience at its centre.

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