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Expanding:THE BODY

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Expanding:THE BODY

– Designing for the Diversity of Human Bodies

As we enter a world where technology is not just around us but also inseparable from us, even inside us, it is time to rethink how we design the human body. The rise of wearables, body tattoos, and e-textiles demonstrates the increasing ubiquity of technology in capturing vital body data. However, these innovations tend to reflect universal solutions that often overlook the individuality inherent in each human body's response to different life situations and environments (Streeck, 2011).

The field of health technologies has been characterized as male-biased, often excluding marginalized groups such as non-binary people, people with disabilities, and pregnant women. This points to the urgent need for a paradigm shift in which technologies are designed to celebrate and support the uniqueness of each human body, bridging the digital-physical divide with tangible and embodied artifacts.

Enter our groundbreaking interdisciplinary course project, „Expanding:THE BODY“, where we foster the conventional approach and emphasize the design for the uniqueness of the human body. Our core objective is to engineer embodied interactions that actively articulate, reflect individual needs, and materialize them (Spiel, 2021). Our mission is to honor the plurality of human bodies and develop a deeper understanding of embodiment as a perception and interaction mode and a design principle (Spiel, 2021).

In this course, we face several challenges:

1. We delve into the experiential differences in the lived embodiments of individuals and groups and explore how these unique experiences shape lives differently.

2. We raise questions about the data and information that human bodies can provide and how individuals can cultivate skills to become more attentive to their body data.

3. We explore how complex and multifaceted body data can be translated into innovative physical artifacts.

We invite students from Computer Science at Freie Universität Berlin and Product Design from Kunsthochschule Weißensee Berlin to collaborate. The challenge is to design and develop novel neo-analog artifacts that use the body as a starting point. These artifacts aim to enhance cognition, communication, learning, and decision-making in everyday contexts (Jansen et al., 2015).

Join us in „Expanding:THE BODY“ as we embark on a journey to reshape the future of body-centered technologies. Be a part of this innovative endeavor and help us create a more inclusive, perceptive, and empathetic technological landscape.



Yvonne Jansen, Pierre Dragicevic, Petra Isenberg, Jason Alexander, Abhijit Karnik, Johan Kildal, Sriram Subramanian, and Kasper Hornbæk. 2015. Opportunities and Challenges for Data Physicalization. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '15). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 3227–3236.

Katta Spiel. 2021. The Bodies of TEI – Investigating Norms and Assumptions in the Design of Embodied Interaction. In Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI '21). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 32, 1–19.

Streeck, Jürgen, Charles Goodwin, and Curtis LeBaron. „Embodied interaction in the material world: An introduction.“ Embodied interaction: Language and body in the material world 1 (2011): 26.




Fachspezifische Grundlagen: Technologie


Wintersemester 2023 / 2024


Montag, 13:00 – 18:00

Mittwoch, 9:00 – 12:00

Erster Termin



eLab + Flughalle + Exzellenzcluster HU / MItte