Welcome to the first post in the “Let’s learn a thing” series. This is where I hope to, together, create a space for ideas and jumping points into learning more. I’d love for you to comment or ask questions too.

Today, we’re going to start in my past, and it’s also where I want to go in my future too: embodied design. This was something I learned about in the last year of university. At the time our subjects were ‘Tangible Media’ and ‘Embodied Design’, but it basically means, interaction with something that responds to you through inputs other than a mouse/keyboard. Well, that’s my understanding right now. It’s actually a very interesting and theorised area of study.

So, for example, you can interact with a game, which is perhaps an installation you can walk into – and it recognises the movement, or sound, or colour you’re wearing, and does something. It responds to your body in some way. The technology isn’t even that tricky – it is fairly simple – even a laptop with its built in speakers and camera could pick things up and through using a simple Flash program, respond. If you’d like to play with an example I built in my graduating uni subject, please check out my folio item here.

sublunar-copy

This is a little example of what I created while designing my project, and also a good example of embodied design, featuring pressure pads on the floor and motion and sound detection.

Right now, typing in ’embodied design’ in google still only comes up with academic articles and university websites; this is because it’s largely not commercialised as yet … but I am sure it will be because it’s amazing!

I’ll leave you with some beautiful creations by Emily Gobeille which I feel fit very well and inspiringly into embodied design. Visit her site to see the videos of them in action.