The body gets the notion: performative design practice for human computer integration to encourage innovation in the domains of health and well-being.

A.M. Olthof, Jouke Verlinden, S. Ben Allouch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


The concept of human-computer integration (HInt) is entering a new evolutionary phase, that leads to a paradigm shift from interaction to the integration of computing devices with the human body (Farooq & Grudin, 2017). This embodied integration, where a computer tightly integrates with the human body (Mueller, Maes & Grudin, 2019), engages the human being in mutual give-and-take relationships with computational systems. The paradigm shift in human-computer integration might have more to do with ‘becoming-in-the-world’ (Shildrick, 2022) than with ‘being-in-the-world’ requires a rethinking in the philosophy on the human body and its technological intertwining. Our research project starts from the belief that new insight and meanings on bodily understanding in the context of Human-Computer Integration can only be achieved through a creative and artistic exploration of the ‘lived experience’ of disabled bodies. In this project, research activities will be grounded in feminist philosophy and performed into the context of disability, yet the methodological approach of exploring the ‘felt sense’ and ‘kinaesthetics’ of the disability materiality takes place through performative design practice at the intersection of the HCI-related research fields of Soma Design (Höök, 2018) and Somaesthetics (Shusterman, 2008), as well as artistic disciplines, such as Musicology and Music Therapy, Dance and Dance Movement Therapy, Disability Arts and Critical Disability Studies. This paper starts with an explanation of the current research situation, and then provides background information on the different schools of thought that are present in the project. It continues with describing the research goals, methods, and research questions. The final part of the paper consists of an overview of three preliminary studies which explore human-computer relationships through the combination of performative practice and cyber-physical demonstrators, created by bachelor-students ‘Communication and Multimedia Design’ at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands and master-students ‘Web, Communication, and Information Systems’ at the Fachhochschule Kufstein in Austria. The takeaway message of this paper is that to advance our understandings of human-computer integration, we must consider a perspectivist viewpoint to develop alternative ways for exploring the bodily complexities of human-computer integration. We further argue that disability can be a catalyst for innovation and life-changing design in health and well-being, as it automatically emphasises the need for engaging with ‘being human’ in the context of the human-computer relationship. This PhD-project is productively looking for new forms of studying the context of disability, to unveil, excavate and expose knowledge for human- computer integration (HInt) that would otherwise be overlooked in the HCI-community.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIASDR 2023: Life-Changing Design
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2023


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