The An Internet of Soft Things project challenges how a radically connected world would be designed to benefit human well-being, and in particular, what types of experience can be instigated from smart textile interfaces.
The primary aim of An Internet of Soft Things is the development of a participatory design methodology for the IoT informed by relational approaches in psychotherapy.
Our team of interactive textile developers, computer scientists and psychotherapists are working with Nottinghamshire Mind Network to:
- inform non-medicalised mental healthcare communities about the issues and opportunities for individuals in a networked society
- inform the participatory design community about different philosophical modes of practice in psychotherapy
- evaluate person-centred theory for its potential contribution to a new participatory design methodology for the IoT
There are three major phases in the Internet of Soft Things, in which service users become co-researchers, working with researchers and Mind staff. The scale of the textile network increases from the handheld, to the domestic, to the built environment through:
- series of workshops held at Mind, where participants create personalized textile objects with soft switches and light output
- service design workshops held in an apartment augmented with textile interfaces.
- participatory iteration of product service design concepts ‘in the wild’.
Finally, the Nottinghamshire Mind community will have the chance to devise future services and environments in collaboration with the research team.