10:50 - 12:30
Session: S19
[Customization and Systems] + Design
Designing for Diverse Bodies: Toward a Constructionist Perspective
Embodiment; Constructionist; Identities; Technological Bodies; Multimodal Interaction
Xin SHEN, Kenny CHOW

The concept of embodiment and the human body have been important subjects in various fields including human-computer interaction (HCI). The quality of embodied experiences shapes the ways how we live and act and is closely linked to well-being. While bodily experiences and interactions have been widely explored in HCI, the differences among bodies have not been a focus in the field. We argue that how we perceive and manage the differences of bodies affect the quality of embodied experiences of both ourselves and others. Therefore, we feel the urge to conduct a systematic study to establish a framework of designing for the diversity of bodies. We take the social constructionist perspective which asserts that bodies are shaped in the context of culture, society, and history. To understand the influences of the socio-cultural forces, an identity-based approach is adopted to analyse the differences among bodies. Subsequently, we explore how multimodal technologies could contribute to deconstructing and reconstructing bodies. In particular, we investigate the possibilities of three types of technological bodies which are classified based on the ways how the physical human bodies are involved and interacted with. These technological bodies (cyborg bodies, hybrid bodies, cyberbodies) are examined and illustrated with existing design cases.