To Shed Some Light on Empowerment: Towards Designing for Embodied Functionality

Jelle van Dijk, Fenne Verhoeven

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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    We present a case study as part of an investigation into the value of Embodied theory for the design of mixed physical-­‐digital interactive products. An interactive light system was designed that empowers an independent living person with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in managing domestic activities. Reflecting on the case we develop our vision of Embodied Functionality (EF). Designing for EF goes beyond 'distributing' information technology in the environment. It aims at creating interactive physical-­digital products that play a functional role (i.e. become part of) a person's embodied being-­in-­the-­world, involving a person's identity. It does so by utilizing existing structure and by supporting action-­perception couplings, reflection in-­ and on action and autonomy in social coordination. EF opens up an alternative design space holding the promise of a more successful appropriation of interactive (assistive) products into people's everyday lives.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages15
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event2016 Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference: Future-Focused Thinking - Brighton, United Kingdom
    Duration: 27 Jun 201630 Jun 2016


    Conference2016 Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference
    Abbreviated titleDRS 2016
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


    • Embodiment
    • Empowerment
    • Interaction design
    • Situated practice


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