Horizon Blog

Expressive Personalisation of Consumer Products through Dance : an introduction blog

Assistive technologies are often medicalised in their design.  Horizon’s Consumer Product campaign project ‘Expressive Personalisation of Consumer Products through Dance’ will explore how people can use their creative and expressive skills to interact with algorithms to personalise products such as prosthetics, mobility aids, tableware, furniture and other home products.

The project team is led by Paul Tennent, Assistant Professor in Computer Science and consists of Steve Benford (Dunford Professor of Computer Science), Praminda Caleb-Solly (Professor of Embodied Intelligence), Ian Ashcroft (Engineer at Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering), Virginia Portillo (Research Fellow) and Feng Zhou (Early Career Researcher) at the University of Nottingham along with Sarah Whately (Professor of Dance and Director, Centre for Dance Research) and Kate Marsh (Assistant Professor and Early Career Researcher at the Centre for Dance Research), Coventry University).

When we consider ‘consumer products’ in this context, our work will focus on those that play an important role in many people’s lives – prostheses attached to the body, assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, crutches through to items of tableware. Products such as these have been traditionally recognisable as ‘medical’, however there is a growing trend to now personalise these, to reveal, embed and celebrate a persons individual identity.

Our starting point is to run a co-design workshop with Candoco, our project partners, to explore the use of assistive products used in professional dance performances – their impact on the artists, audiences, choreographers, set and costume designers.

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