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Kuenen, S. (2018). Aesthetics of being together. (Doctoral dissertation). Umeå: Umeå University
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Aesthetics of being together
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Samvarons estetik
Abstract [en]

Design deals with matters of aesthetics. Historically, aesthetics in industrial design refers to the designed artifact: aesthetics of objects. When designed artifacts include digital technologies, aesthetics in design refers to what happens between people and artifacts as well: aesthetics of interaction. Now that these artifacts increasingly mediate our social lives, what aesthetics in design quite obviously also refers to, is what happens between people.

This dissertation proposes an aesthetic of being together, as a necessary addition to current notions of aesthetics in interaction design practice, when it engages with digital systems that are part of people’s social life. It does not answer the question what Aesthetics is in general, instead it examines the work that particular notions of aesthetics do in interaction design practice.

The practice based design research assembled in this dissertation starts from current notions of aesthetics in interaction design to explore the social experiences that mediated interactions between groups of people offer. What I found, through designing digital systems, is that current notions of aesthetics in interaction design are not conducive to addressing the kind of social experience people have with such systems. On the contrary, current notions actually inhibit interaction design to approach any experiences that cannot in the first place be conceived of as useful in terms of instrumental task performance. Yet, being social is hardly like performing a task or using other people in that sense.

An aesthetic of being together is a proposition of a different fundament for interaction design practice. In addition to referring to properties of things and qualities of interacting with things, it refers to the kind of relations that come to expression between people interacting with each other with these things. Consequently, interaction design needs to resolve basic issues in what it considers and brings to expression, i.e. people’s relations with things and people at the same time. This requires (re-) considering what the designed thing is, what interaction is about and what the role of design is in bringing those to expression.

My work contributes to the field of interaction design research an example of how, through practice, fundamental issues can be addressed. By orienting one set of concepts, ways of working and objectives into a different design situation, tensions built up that exposed foundational issues with that frame of reference, while pointing to the different fundaments needed to enable design practice to engage such situations.

The results of the practical experimentation led to the articulation of a series of structural mechanisms of mediating systems.  These mechanisms provide material handles for interaction designers on how experiences of being present with others take shape. They configure the relations of artifacts and people in different ways than current notions of aesthetics afford. This theoretical investigation is then synthesised in the form of a new logic of expression for interaction design practice: an aesthetic of being together.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2018. p. 248
Series
Umeå Institute of Design Research Publications ; 006
Keywords
design, interaction design, design theory, aesthetics, aesthetics of being together, aesthetics of interaction, design practices, design research practice, research through design, practice based research, constructive design research, social media, technological mediation, social platforms, digital interactions, social interaction, group interaction, social dynamics, perceptual crossing, intersubjectivity
National Category
Design Interaction Technologies Media Engineering Human Aspects of ICT Media Studies
Research subject
Aesthetics; design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-152647 (URN)978-91-7601-966-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-11-30, HumlabX, Umeå Arts Campus, Östra Strandgatan 30, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-11-09 Created: 2018-10-17 Last updated: 2018-11-16Bibliographically approved
Peeters, J., Kuenen, S. & Trotto, A. (2017). Unveiling the Expressivity of Complexity: Drifting in Design Research. In: Miguel Bruns Alonso and Elif Ozcan (Ed.), Proceedings of the Conference on Design and Semantics of Form and Movement: Sense and Sensitivity, DeSForM 2017. Paper presented at DeSForM 2017 (pp. 309-324). INTECH
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Unveiling the Expressivity of Complexity: Drifting in Design Research
2017 (English)In: Proceedings of the Conference on Design and Semantics of Form and Movement: Sense and Sensitivity, DeSForM 2017 / [ed] Miguel Bruns Alonso and Elif Ozcan, INTECH , 2017, p. 309-324Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Design research is regarded to be a mode of inquiry particularly suited to engage with complex topics. In our work, we are interested in unpacking the complexity at the heart of an embodied aesthetic experience. In this article, through our digital and physical artefacts and a methodological reflection, we illustrate an ongoing design research project that a multi-disciplinary team of interaction designers, professional dancers, software developers, artists and 3D modelling experts are carrying out to develop insights on how to understand this complexity and how to use such insights as inspiration for interaction design-related projects. By embracing combinations of design, new technologies and simple visualisation tools, the project investigates the complex and hidden expressivity embedded in the skills of dancers in a programmatic design research approach. This investigation leads to insights on different levels. Firstly, cycles of formulation, realisation and reflection on design programs express parts of this complexity and this lets new research interests emerge. Secondly, as a body of work, reflecting on these cycles exposes how our “drifting” within this programmatic approach has started to unveil the complexities inherent in our research program. In this article we aim at contributing to the growing understanding of what designerly ways of knowing might be and how a practice aimed at expanding and contributing such knowledge unfolds.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
INTECH, 2017
Keywords
constructive design research, drifting, embodiment, aesthetics, complexity
National Category
Interaction Technologies Design
Research subject
Aesthetics; design; computer and systems sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-144751 (URN)10.5772/intechopen.71123 (DOI)978-953-51-3588-3 (ISBN)978-953-51-3587-6 (ISBN)
Conference
DeSForM 2017
Available from: 2018-02-13 Created: 2018-02-13 Last updated: 2019-06-26Bibliographically approved
Peeters, J., Trotto, A. & Kuenen, S. (2016). Mocap tango: traces of complexity. In: Proceedings of Tenth International Conferencee on Tangible Embodied and Embedded Interaction: . Paper presented at Tangible Embodied and Embedded Interaction, TEI 2016, February 14-17, 2016, Eindhoven, the Netherlands (pp. 545-550). New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mocap tango: traces of complexity
2016 (English)In: Proceedings of Tenth International Conferencee on Tangible Embodied and Embedded Interaction, New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2016, p. 545-550Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed) [Artistic work]
Abstract [en]

In this paper, we report on an ongoing design research project MoCap Tango. Tango is a form of partner dancing in which two bodies sense each other in a dynamic, physical dialogue that is known for its subtle complexities, beauty and intimate experience. In MoCap Tango, we explore how we can use our skills as designers to highlight and unravel these embedded qualities and use them as inspiration in designing interactions. Using an optical Motion Capture System and custom-made passive markers, the movements of two world-class tango dancers are visualized in real- time. We present our motivation for this project, describe the first prototype and conclude with reflections on what this prototype revealed in terms of design opportunities and its relevance for the TEI community. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2016
Keywords
embodiment, design research, experience, dance, tango, performance, visualisation
National Category
Design
Research subject
design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-117891 (URN)10.1145/2839462.2856544 (DOI)000390588700075 ()978-1-4503-3582-9 (ISBN)
Conference
Tangible Embodied and Embedded Interaction, TEI 2016, February 14-17, 2016, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Available from: 2016-03-04 Created: 2016-03-04 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
Teixeira, F., Batista, C. R., Trotto, A., Kuenen, C., da Silva, C. H. & do Valle Filho, A. M. (2016). The Intuitive Human Interaction to Activate the Wetsuit Heating System. In: HCI International 2016: Posters' Extended Abstracts : 18th International Conference, HCI International 2016 Toronto, Canada, July 17–22, 2016 Proceedings, Part II. Paper presented at 18th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI International), JUL 17-22, 2016, Toronto, CANADA (pp. 546-551). Springer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Intuitive Human Interaction to Activate the Wetsuit Heating System
Show others...
2016 (English)In: HCI International 2016: Posters' Extended Abstracts : 18th International Conference, HCI International 2016 Toronto, Canada, July 17–22, 2016 Proceedings, Part II, Springer, 2016, p. 546-551Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The design process to create a wetsuit with heating system is shown in this paper. The wetsuit concept was inspired by characteristics of amphibians, so it was proposed a product that provides freedom of movement and adaptability into several environments. An intuitive interface without buttons or display based on human body language was created to activate the heating system of a wetsuit.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2016
Series
Communications in Computer and Information Science, ISSN 1865-0929 ; 618
Keywords
Intuitive interface, Human interaction
National Category
Interaction Technologies Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-129773 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-40542-1_89 (DOI)000389727500089 ()978-3-319-40542-1 (ISBN)978-3-319-40541-4 (ISBN)
Conference
18th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI International), JUL 17-22, 2016, Toronto, CANADA
Available from: 2017-01-09 Created: 2017-01-09 Last updated: 2019-08-26Bibliographically approved
Kuenen, C. (2015). Mediating group experiences: designing the in-between. In: TEI '15 Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction: . Paper presented at 9th international conference on tangible, embedded, and embodied interaction, Stanford University, January 15-19, 2015 (pp. 441-4444). New York: ACM Digital Library
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mediating group experiences: designing the in-between
2015 (English)In: TEI '15 Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, New York: ACM Digital Library, 2015, p. 441-4444Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this paper I present ongoing design research that explores mediating group experiences. The objective of the paper is to introduce subject matter and design research approach, to provide material for an in depth discussion of challenges.

Several research designs are presented that yield insight in theoretical and conceptual aspects of remote group interactions. Themes emerging from them concern the concept of embodiment, in particular regarding the conceptualization and expression of groups through the mediating system, as well as embodiment of the system for the individual, in the sense of both incorporation and extension of action-perception capacities. To further articulate and express such themes, ongoing and proposed research is presented. Difficulty is brought forward in bringing the various research designs together as one body of work, particularly in relation to theoretical framework, related work and ultimately articulating contributions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: ACM Digital Library, 2015
Keywords
Crowd interaction, embodiment, mediation, emergent behavior, practice, theory, research through design
National Category
Design Interaction Technologies Human Aspects of ICT Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
design; Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-113458 (URN)10.1145/2677199.2691605 (DOI)978-1-4503-3305-4 (ISBN)
Conference
9th international conference on tangible, embedded, and embodied interaction, Stanford University, January 15-19, 2015
Available from: 2015-12-18 Created: 2015-12-18 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
Peeters, J., Kuenen, C., Trotto, A. & Hummels, C. (2014). Diffract Me!: using a Skills-Based Approach in Design Practice. In: Simon Schütte, Pierre Levy (Ed.), KEER2014: Proceedings of the 5th Kanesi Engineering and Emotion Research. Paper presented at Conference on Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research, KEER 2014,LINKÖPING | JUNE 11-13 2014 (pp. 313-328). Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Diffract Me!: using a Skills-Based Approach in Design Practice
2014 (English)In: KEER2014: Proceedings of the 5th Kanesi Engineering and Emotion Research / [ed] Simon Schütte, Pierre Levy, Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014, p. 313-328Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The potential of skills in design is intriguing; as skills open up new perceptions of the world they allow meaning to arise as we engage with the world. Several skills-based techniques that leverage this potential have been developed, and integrated into the Designing in Skills framework. The framework builds on personal engagement of designers in their practice, and promotes them to take a first-person perspective, enabling designs to be enriched with meaning. In this paper, we present the most recent workshop based on this approach, which specifically focuses on employing the Designing in Skills framework as a starting point and catalyst for design practice. We briefly introduce the Designing in Skills framework and present the DiffractMe! project in which we built on this approach to explore its potential for design practice. We conclude with reflections on the process and result by the involved designers. These reflections offer insights into the value of this approach for enriching interactive design with experiential qualities. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014
Series
Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings, ISSN 1650-3686, 1650-3740 ; 100
Keywords
Interaction Design, Engagement, Skills, First-Person Perspective, Design Process
National Category
Design
Research subject
design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-113459 (URN)978-91-7519-276-5 (ISBN)
Conference
Conference on Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research, KEER 2014,LINKÖPING | JUNE 11-13 2014
Available from: 2015-12-18 Created: 2015-12-18 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
Kuenen, C. (2014). The Practice Of Constructive Design Research. In: Design's big debates pushing the boundaries of design research, DRS 2014: . Paper presented at DRS 2014, 15-19 June, Umeå (pp. 87). Umeå, Sweden: Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå University
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Practice Of Constructive Design Research
2014 (English)In: Design's big debates pushing the boundaries of design research, DRS 2014, Umeå, Sweden: Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå University , 2014, p. 87-Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

People practicing constructive/experimental/ practice-led/etc. design research come from a range of different academic traditions, which leads us to argue in certain ways, look for support in different places, and format and disseminate our work towards particular audiences. Such contextual factors might be the cause of some of the issues we struggle with in our work, while at the same time they obfuscate the ‘real’ foundational issues in the kind of design research we practice. When we look to current discourse concerning constructive design research, much attention seems to be given to positioning and justifying of the work in various contexts. What seems to be less exposed are foundational issues relating to how the practice unfolds, the kinds of issues that are tackled and by what means this is done. In this debate, four design researchers from various backgrounds will lead the discussion to uncover some of these issues. The debate will be fueled and framed with short video quotes from well and lesser known design research practitioners.

http://www.drs2014.org/en/presentations/the-practice-of-constructive-design-research/

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå, Sweden: Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå University, 2014
Keywords
constructive design research, practice, research through design, conversation
National Category
Design
Research subject
design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-113470 (URN)978-91-7601-069-3 (ISBN)
Conference
DRS 2014, 15-19 June, Umeå
Available from: 2015-12-18 Created: 2015-12-18 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
Davoli, L. & Kuenen, C. (2013). New participative tools require new foundations. In: EAD (Ed.), 10th European Academy of Design Conference - Crafting the Future Göteborg April 17th - 19th, 2013: . Paper presented at 10th European Academy of Design Conference - Crafting the Future.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>New participative tools require new foundations
2013 (English)In: 10th European Academy of Design Conference - Crafting the Future Göteborg April 17th - 19th, 2013 / [ed] EAD, 2013Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The radical changes of our environment under the influence of information technology require an adaptive approach between programmers and designers to enable lay participation and interaction with it. Satin is an application builder for mobile devices that enables end-users without programming skills to create and share their own apps (http://www.satinproject.eu/). Using shortcomings discovered in its design and development as a basis, we use the foundational principles and process behind the design of the Satin interface to illustrate that apart from following user centered design, designers also need to consider the constraints and influences of the design space they operate within. When designing a product, the systems and paradigms within which designers act, in this case information infrastructure and work practices, inevitably affect the solution space in which the final designs and products will be searched for. This often results in a limited impact or intelligibility of the initial goals. The design of innovative, collaborative user centered solutions requires designers to work not only on the final product, but also to challenge and evolve the foundations and underlying infrastructures that determine the possibilities of that specific design space. We conclude the paper by emphasizing the need for development of ways of working on the design of interactive systems that are informed by a holistic stance based on day-to-day experience and behavior as a guiding principle for technological development.

Keywords
Interaction, Programming, Internet of things, Open Innovation, Collaborative Tools, Infrastructures
National Category
Natural Sciences Human Computer Interaction Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-74418 (URN)
Conference
10th European Academy of Design Conference - Crafting the Future
Projects
Satin Project
Available from: 2013-06-27 Created: 2013-06-27 Last updated: 2018-06-08Bibliographically approved
Dijk, van, J., Moussette, C., Kuenen, C. & Hummels, C. (2013). Radical Calshes: What Tangible Interaction is Made of. In: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction - TEI '13: . Paper presented at 7th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction - TEI '13 (pp. 323-326). Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Radical Calshes: What Tangible Interaction is Made of
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction - TEI '13, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2013, p. 323-326Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Driven by a critique of Ishii et al’s recent vision of Radical Atoms we call for a debate on the different conceptual paradigms underlying the TEI community and its activities. TEI was initiated to share and connect different perspectives, but we feel conceptual debate is lacking. To fuel this debate, we start with comparing two paradigms by examining the Radical Atoms proposal and balance it from our design-led perspective. Our aim with this paper is to revive the richness of TEI’s multidisciplinary approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2013
Keywords
TEI community, theory, tangible, embodied, conceptual paradigms, perspectives, radical atoms, computation ACM Classification Keywords H5.m. Information interfaces and presentation (e.g.
National Category
Design Human Computer Interaction Human Aspects of ICT
Research subject
History Of Sciences and Ideas; Aesthetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-76284 (URN)10.1145/2460625.2460680 (DOI)978-1-4503-1898-3 (ISBN)
Conference
7th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction - TEI '13
Available from: 2013-07-08 Created: 2013-07-08 Last updated: 2018-06-08Bibliographically approved
Kuenen, C. & Redström, J. (2013). The wickedness of design research practices: Methodological issues in bringing knowledge to expression through design. In: Proceedings of the 5th International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference 2013, IASDR'13: “Consilience and Innovation in Design”. Paper presented at 5th International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference 2013, IASDR'13.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The wickedness of design research practices: Methodological issues in bringing knowledge to expression through design
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the 5th International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference 2013, IASDR'13: “Consilience and Innovation in Design”, 2013Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this paper we review existing literature in design research to see to what extent it provides a basis for meeting the methodological challenges that we encounter in our own practice- based design research. Seemingly, much attention is given to describing the results and types of knowledge that design research may provide, the purposes those may serve and by what yardsticks those results may be evaluated. Another focal area seems to be the form(-ats) in which the results of design research are presented and disseminated. What is often missing, however, are detailed accounts of the roles that design practice plays that can be picked up and used by others doing design research. This is unfortunate, as it is often such methodological structures that we struggle with. The emergence of ‘design research practices’ entails something more than mere combinations of design practice and academic research. Research typically has the objective of knowledge production; practice has the objective of creating the right thing by solving a set of problems. Considered a ‘new’ kind of design practice, design research practice seems to be more about problem finding through the design and creation of things that bring knowledge to expression. Thus, the process by which it achieves this must be uncovered and articulated. 

Keywords
design research practice, design theory, design practice, conceptual circles, wicked problems
National Category
Design Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Aesthetics; History Of Sciences and Ideas
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-76281 (URN)
Conference
5th International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference 2013, IASDR'13
Available from: 2013-07-08 Created: 2013-07-08 Last updated: 2018-06-08Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-3542-5717

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