Talk: Dag Svanæs – Designing for and with the lived body

Dag Svanæs

Dag Svanæs is full professor of Interaction Design at the Department of Computer and Information Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim and an adjunct professor at the IT-University of Copenhagen.

His academic trajectory goes from a master thesis on logic programming to human-computer interaction, with a PhD on the philosophy of interactivity in 2000. He has been involved in projects ranging from compiler construction, to universal design, educational software, health informatics, maker culture, and game design.

He manages the User Experience Lab at NTNU, and leads a project on exercise games for physical rehabilitation and active ageing. His current interest is on body-centric design, inspired by phenomenology philosopher Merleau-Ponty.

As designers we always have implicit assumptions about users and use situations. In this talk I will explore one aspect, related to the human body, and show how theories of the body shape design. I will contrast the prevalent third person perspective of the body with the first-person “lived body” perspective of French philosopher Merleau-Ponty. The first-person perspective on the body sees it as intelligent, skilful, purposeful, expressive, learning and with a memory of its own. Reframing the body in this way forces us to question our concepts of mind. This leads us from “mind-centric” to “body-centric” design.

How will body-centric design be different from the traditional approach of designing for the mind? This question is explored through a number of design examples, including body extensions for theatre settings, and exercise games for physical rehabilitation. To illustrate some of my points, I have built a 3D-printed computer-controlled mechanical human tail that I will demo.”

Dag Svanæs
Designing for and with the lived body

Thursday, November 17th 2016 / 19:00
Raum 116 / van de Velde Werkstatt
Geschwister-Scholl-Str. 7
99423 Weimar

This talk is part of the Bauhausinteraction Colloquium.