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Anna Merry, Assistant Professor, Department of Arts and Communication, Frederick University, Cyprus

Interactive and Immersive Documentary: Designing for User Performance View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Craig Hight  

This session addresses examples of interactive and immersive documentary practice which are intended to be activated through interaction with users. In common with more established traditions of feature film, televisual and audio documentary these examples also look to engage users in experiences intended to mobilise them toward social and political participation. Unlike these earlier traditions, however, the effectiveness and impact of their constructions relies less on a sense of common spectatorship of a single audio-visual or aural text. Instead, interactive and immersive documentary typically ask users to work their way through carefully configured and staged multimedia material, accessible through interactive screens and navigable virtual spaces. These are experiences developed not by documentary filmmakers but documentary designers, working in software-based workflows drawing upon different kinds of specialisation from those of earlier traditions of documentary. These forms of documentary practice are focused on designing digital constructions which need to be ‘performed’ by users. They demand active engagement from users, providing opportunities for users to exercise their agency in selecting and activating affordances such as selecting options, scrolling and playing content, and moving through simulated space. Drawing from a software studies paradigm, this study uses examples of interactive and immersive documentary to consider the opportunities, challenges and implications for documentary practitioners moving increasingly into user experience design

Black Objects: A Symbiotic Analysis of Digital Objects View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
John Dimopoulos  

This paper shows digital objects, and particularly smartphones and similar artifacts, as objects in a process of maturation through conceptual, technological, and physical symbioses. Three major symbioses are presented: The first one has to do with the way memory, preservation and archival urges are integrated in digital technology. The second one has to do with 21st century breakthroughs in computational power. The third one is about the way digital objects have adapted to our physical interactions and created novel gestures and movement patterns. Following this interpretation, the experimental category of Black Objects is presented, to serve both as a projectional theory of digital objects and a symbiotic open-ended conceptual method for understanding ubiquitous design techniques and alternatives design-wise, politically and socially. The name of the category is derived from the computer science abstraction of the Black Box as a system, the inner workings of which are not known or observable as opposed to the racially and politically defined White or Clear Box, a system the internal process of which can be observed but not altered. Black Objects are proposed as a speculative mechanism of possible symbioses for the re-conceptualisation of digital artifacts in a manner less oriented to the articulation of application and systems warranting control on the user and more towards a focus on social, psychological, and political results.

3D Printed Assistive Technologies for People Living with Spinal Cord Injuries: An Innovative Co-design Process for Translating Research to Practice View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Muge Teixeira,  Anthony Franze  

In collaboration with end-users and other key stakeholders, this paper describes an innovation process for designing and manufacturing customized assistive technologies for regional and remote communities. The project collaboratively identified the real-world problems of people living with spinal cord injuries, created design solutions to overcome these challenges and worked with manufacturers to turn these solutions into actual products. The project embodied a co-design method to bring people living with spinal cord injuries, occupational therapists, researchers, designers, and manufacturers together to co-create new solutions to overcome common challenges. Data was collected through the following methods: a desktop study of the literature and the market; an innovation process via 4 x co-design workshops (Ideation, Design and Develop, Pitch and Feedback, Demonstration) from June 2021- June 2022. A Research through Design methodology was used to design 3D printed assistive technologies. Through iterative virtual and physical prototyping, reflective journaling and user testing, the most effective prototypes were refined into the optimal solution. The Project established an innovation process, including online consultation and workshops with end -users, that prioritize 3D production of assistive technology prototypes; created a demonstrator for allied health engagement and testing; and completed end-user pilot group testing. This innovation process produced a minimum viable product (MVP), a product with enough features to attract early adopters and provide design validation early in the product development cycle. Finally, this process produced a functional, user-tested product ready for commercialization.

Featured Connect - Connectivity Through Community Asset Mapping View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Samira Shiridevich  

Community asset mapping is a strength-based approach to community development. The goal of community asset-mapping is to work closely with communities to describe, find, and document assets within the community and use them to solve a particular social problem. Through a co-design process working with people in their context, designers may find ways to identify an immense amount of knowledge in communities. This paper documents the process of codesigning CONNECT, a project that I (an Iranian graphic designer) created in collaboration with Project YouthBuild (PYB) students and staff. PYB supports vulnerable low-income youth between 16–24 years of age to shape their futures with a measure of autonomy. It is a high school degree completion and jobs training program for students who have been forced out of high school. Many are either BIPOC, young parents, or experiencing the impact of multigenerational poverty. The goal of the partnership was to use the horizontal, iterative, co-design process to find the potentially valuable hidden knowledge in the community neighboring Gainesville’s PYB headquarters and find out how we can work together to use these assets to facilitate social change.

Digital Media

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