The Sackler Conference at the V&A

In June, Sarah was invited to present at the Sackler Conference at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The theme of the conference was Art, Design and New Technology for Health and was an excellent forum for us to share the project. A full line up of speakers can be seen here. ...more

Interactive Technologies and Games (ITAG) Conference 2015

We'll be at the Interactive Technologies and Games (ITAG) Conference 2015 again this year. Health, Disability and Education Dates: Thursday 22 October 2015 - Friday 23 October 2015 Location: The Council House, Nottingham NG1 2DT ...more

UKCP Research Conference

On 18th July, Richard, Rachel and Matthew traveled to London to present at the Fourth UKCP Research Conference. UKCP is the UK Council for Psychotherapy. ...more

UbiComp/ISWC 2015 publications

citations and links for the papers presented at the Participatory Design workshop at UbiComp ...more

Designing with Smart Textiles – ancillary tutorials

The Internet of Soft Things project has contributed to material for a new book on Designing with Smart Textiles, shortly to be published by Bloomsbury (see listing here). This post lists the ancillary tutorial material listed in the book. Each link will take you to a short tutorial. Links will be added as material is developed. See also the longer integrated projects making a HUG ball and using a crochet stretch sensor. ...more

Critical Alternatives conference Aarhus 2015

We were delighted to be invited to take part in two workshops as part of the critical alternatives conference in Aarhus, Denmark. Both workshops provided an opportunity to share experiences of research with others and establish new connections and future collaborative opportunities.   workshop one Monday 17th August: Embodying embodied design research techniques  This workshop provided researchers interested in embodied design research to share methods and approaches used to capture embodied experiences. Each participant took turns in discussing their techniques via research probes which was previously requested by the facilitators to bring in as a means of communicating your method. This provided an interesting challenge for many of us that took part as some embodied methods involved large scale props. Alternatives needed to be considered and brought instead for each participant to experience. Discussions took place after every demonstration and similarities in approaches and thinking were gathered to identify possible collaborative opportunities. As a result the participants were team up in a mash up session with those who shared similar approaches or could benefit from each other. This session continued with the pairings exploring each other's processes in an effort to combine and develop a new method. Each pair later presented to the rest of the group about how they considered combining their approaches and demonstrated this by re-enacting what they had done. By the afternoon a further mash up was encouraged with other members and the process was repeated again, this time with others with slightly different approaches which was interesting to experience how to now a number of approaches into a effective method. The workshop enabled the participants to consider how to engage others in their methods. Some of these methods had to be experience by those taking part. In addition to this, by adding in other methods this created a further challenge as to how to communicate this to the group with so many aspects to consider. The workshop enabled those involved to experience those challenges and consider ways in which to overcome them. As a result this has demonstrated the potential for a further workshop to reflect on those experiences and consider new approaches to communicating embodied design research. [gallery size="medium" ids="513,514,515"] For the full publication please follow the link below Evidencing embodied participatory design ...more

Phase One workshop reflections – participant films

Salamanda Tandem, a Nottingham based participatory arts organisation, are closely involved with An Internet of Soft Things: creative director Isabel Jones is a member of our advisory group, and she and partner Geoffrey Fielding have created a suite of beautiful short films with three of the phase one participants. Chris, Elaine and Meg all agreed to be interviewed on their experience of taking part in the workshops, and to be named in the films. Informed consent was personal to each of them, and we find that each focuses on a different aspect of the process. In a way these films might be called evidence, but they also demonstrate that in mental health normative forms of evidence, such as transcriptions of verbal accounts, and coherent narratives of recalled events, may simply not be feasible, or relevant. When you watch these films please bear in mind that Chris, Elaine and Meg live with quite different experiences of mental health issues, and that each day is different for them. In practical terms for research this can mean constraints on what can and cannot be included (such as faces, hands or voices); indistinct speech (or no speech at all); contradictory accounts of experience (within the filmed conversation, or in remembering previous experience); and a higher level of presence from the researcher or interviewer than 'objective' studies would call for. The three films can be viewed on Salamanda Tandem's YouTube page here. ...more

Access to Mental Health – Kings Fund event 8th September 2015

We will have a stand at the Kings Fund event, Increasing Access to Mental Health Care on Tuesday 8th September in London. See full details here. Isabel Jones and Geoffrey Fielding of Salamanda Tandem and the project's advisory board will attend on behalf of the project and show the three films they made with participants from Bassetlaw Mind reflecting on experiences with the first workshop phase of the project. ...more

welcome to new RA – Ania Sadkowska

We are very pleased to welcome a new addition to the team - Ania Sadkowska is writing up her PhD in the School of Art and Design at NTU, specialising in phenomenological approaches to men's fashion. On the Internet of Soft Things project, she will help us to develop service design and participatory design tools for working with mental health communities, while sensitive to the balance of participant empowerment and expectations. Ania's student profile can be seen here. ...more

Phase 2 – Textile Residency

The second phase of the project is concerned with scaling up both the physical size of the e-textile things, and the network they are part of. We invited three textile artists to work with us for four days 14-18 June 2015 in the textile studio in the Bonington building at Nottingham Trent University. Sara Robertson, Lorna Smith and Joanne Hodge joined the textile and interaction design practitioners on the research team to explore advanced textile qualities and scenarios of use in An Internet of Soft Things. Sara brought with her a swatch book from one of the previous Paillard e-textile summer camps, which was fantastic to see, and she and Tincuta both attended the camp in July following this residency. ...more