Call: Being There, Doing It: The Challenge of Embodied Cognition for Design Workshop

Being There, Doing It: The Challenge of Embodied Cognition for Design

Workshop to be held at Creativity and Cognition 2011 conference, Thursday, November 3rd 2011, in TSRB on Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta, USA.

Jelle van Dijk & Joep Frens

Web site:

This workshop offers designers/researchers a deeper understanding of the way human beings, designed artifacts and the surrounding environment figure in situated and embodied couplings – and invites discussion of the role of artifacts within those couplings. It investigates how to apply embodied principles to interaction design, a complex challenge we believe deserves to be discussed amongst designers more thoroughly than is now the case.

As designer-researchers, we approach this discussion in a creative, ‘designerly’ way by combining embodied experiences, hands-on prototyping techniques and theoretical reflections. Concrete design proposals in the form of lo-fi prototypes will be designed, presented and discussed within the theoretical context. We aim to contribute to further development and linkage of embodied theory and design practice by uncovering some of the more complex challenges embodiment presents to design.

Target group

The workshop welcomes designers, researchers and/or artists interested in embodied theory, in particular those working with action- or space-oriented systems, bodily movement, tangible media, augmented reality, intelligent systems, mobile (social) computing or related. We aim at 20 participants (from 10 up to 25).

Workshop Program

The full-day program consists of the following activities:

  1. Introduction to Embodied & Situated Cognition
  2. Experience-objects activity & reflection
  3. Reflection, link to theory
  4. Introduction in cardboard modeling.
  5. Design case: creating first concepts.
  6. Reflections
  7. Iterating your concept: final prototype.
  8. Presenting & discussing prototypes.
  9. Group learnings: defining the main challenges for applying embodied & situated cognition to design.

Call for submissions

Submit a short position paper (max 2 A4) about your work. Present your research topic/design identity, current interests, standing questions or design challenges. Explain the potential relevance of your work for the workshop (what to you offer to bring along with you) and the potential relevance of the workshop for you. (what do you expect to take home). Send your submission in any user friendly format to The workshop is part of the Creativity and Cognition 2011 conference

Workshop organizers

Jelle van Dijk is a cognitive scientist turned designer working on a Phd at Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, investigating the application of embodied cognition theory to the design of interactive media systems. His research combines concept design & prototyping for realistic contexts accompanied by co-design workshops and observational studies of in situ user behavior.

Joep Frens is ass. professor in the Designing Quality in Interaction group in the faculty of Industrial Design, Eindhoven. His PhD work focused on Rich Interaction: a new interaction style for interactive products starting from the theory of ecological perception and the field of tangible interaction. Joep is a skilled craftsman in designing and prototyping for embodied interactions and has played a central role in developing Industrial Design’s unique skills & reflection-based design education program.


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