BetweenBodies is Full-Body Interaction environment aimed at supporting the collaborative creation of drawings and to serve as a starting point for guiding children’s reflection on group dynamics and discrimination.
I led the design of the BetweenBodies project as part of my PhD in the Full-Body Interaction Lab of University Pompeu Fabra. In this project I’ve been in charge of conducting interviews with experts, designing and carry out Participatory Design workshops with children, defining design requirements, analyzing and interpreting quantitative and qualitative data. The project has been realized in collaboration with Gustavo Hitscherich and Marie Monique Schaper.
Collaboration and group dynamics are important learning goals during childhood. In this project we aimed at developing a playful application that can serve as as a starting point for guiding children’s reflection on group dynamics and discrimination. Its development should be based on making a meaningful use of embodied resources through the use of Full-Body Interaction interfaces.
The design process
The design process was structured in three stages:
- An ideation stage aimed at eliciting and integrating requirements from experts and children
- A preliminary evaluation stage where we tested the first prototype and compared its usage with the two different interfaces (Vertical Screen and Floor Projection).
- The definition of design refinements
The ideation stage
|Elicitation of requirements from experts||Children as partners in the design ideation stage|
|Goal: Delineate learning goals||Goal: Analyze how children understand and live discrimination and groups’ dynamics.|
|Method: Semi-structured interviews with experts||Method: Participatory design workshop, employing methods based on the Pictionary Activity and on Game Design activities.|
Outcomes: The workshop allowed spotting out some relevant insights to guide the design of the experience. Specifically:
The initial prototype
From participation to design concepts
We decided to work with the following design concepts:
- identity / categories
- approach movement
Furthermore, we decided to evaluate the suitability of two different Full-Body Interaction interfaces (Vertical Screen and Floor Projection).
We developed an initial application was based on a back-story that describes the world of “Pimpis”, the inhabitants of a faraway planet. The children had to help the characters to rebuild their planet by freely drawing a novel environment. Children are presented an almost empty scenario, where only four characters of different colors were present. Each child can control one character by using a small hand-held lantern.To be able to draw, two children needed to bring their characters close to one another. When the two characters were sufficiently close to each other, a drawing line appeared. If the children now jointly moved through the space and maintained the physical contact between their characters, the drawing line followed their paths and they could draw whatever they wanted.
The preliminary evaluation
- comparing the two interfaces (Vertical Screen and Floor Projection)
- identifying design refinements
- Questionnaires for assessing social perception
- The analysis of children’s in situ interaction with the two systems according to a multimodal approach
- The analysis of the outcomes of a Redesign workshop after the play experience.
|Results showed that children assigned to the Floor Projection condition (Mdn =10.9) rated collaboration significantly higher than children assigned to the Vertical Screen condition (Mdn =4), U = 76.50, p < 0.001.||The analysis of the multiple embodied resources showed that:
- The Floor Projection may represent a more appropriate interface to promote collaboration, negotiation of the tasks and discussion on group behavior.
- Need for a critical reflection on the consistency between the proposed sensorimotor experience and the task of drawing
- Need of creating a stronger boundary between the visual output and the narrative of the game.
A final version of the system is currently under development
- importance of moving evaluation of comparative studies beyond verbal reports
- need for a proper understanding of spatial and material affordances