We recently got a journal paper accepted to the MDPI Informatics journal describing why a first-person perspective provides rigour to our soma design practice. The article is based on a workshop at CHI 2016 where we met with researchers from all over the world, where we engaged with the role of soma and aesthetics in design.
Embracing First-Person Perspectives in Soma-Based Design
Kristina Höök, Baptiste Caramiaux, Cumhur Erkut, Jodi Forlizzi, Nassrin Hajinejad, Michael Haller, Caroline C. M. Hummels, Katherine Isbister, Martin Jonsson, George Khut, Lian Loke, Danielle Lottridge, Patrizia Marti, Edward Melcer, Florian Floyd Müller, Marianne Graves Petersen, Thecla Schiphorst, Elena Márquez Segura, Anna Ståhl, Dag Svanæs, Jakob Tholander and Helena Tobiasson
A set of prominent designers embarked on a research journey to explore aesthetics in movement-based design. Here we unpack one of the design sensitivities unique to our practice: a strong first person perspective—where the movements, somatics and aesthetic sensibilities of the designer, design researcher and user are at the forefront. We present an annotated portfolio of design exemplars and a brief introduction to some of the design methods and theory we use, together substantiating and explaining the first-person perspective. At the same time, we show how this felt dimension, despite its subjective nature, is what provides rigor and structure to our design research. Our aim is to assist researchers in soma-based design and designers wanting to consider the multiple facets when designing for the aesthetics of movement. The applications span a large field of designs, including slow introspective, contemplative interactions, arts, dance, health applications, games, work applications and many others.