Inclusive Extensions: from Design to Practice
Panel discussion with Simon Dogger, Michel Witter and Gesche Joost
Location: Online programme
An inclusive society allows disabled people to participate on an equal footing. But how are we to create such a society – and what role can art, design and technology play in this? These are key questions in the IMPAKT series Inclusive Extensions. After a panel discussion and a three-day workshop on this topic, we are now looking at the necessary steps from the scientific drawing board to implementation in daily life. What do we need to make new designs applicable on a large scale for people with physical disabilities? What are the opportunities and challenges – and where are the limits to such applications?
To investigate this, we are focusing on ‘haptic interfaces’ for people with impaired hearing or vision. An interface converts information from a system into comprehensible, recognisable stimuli; in a haptic interface, this information is transmitted by the sense of touch, enabling people to see or hear through vibrations or movements. For example, the researcher Michel Witter has developed an interactive belt that vibrates round the waist and can be used by hearing-impaired people to perceive virtual objects. The blind designer Simon Dogger has created an ‘emotion whisperer’ based on facial recognition. Glasses with a built-in camera record emotions on the face of someone the person is talking to, such as a raised eyebrow or a thoughtful smile. A hand-held apparatus registers these emotions as different vibrating signals, so that for example a blind person can feel whether someone is smiling.
These are just some of the many developments in the field of haptic interfaces. Yet they are only very gradually becoming part of disabled people’s lives. How can we change this? Inclusive Extensions: from Science to Practice includes discussions not only with Simon Dogger and Michel Witter, but also with design researcher Gesche Joost on the potential role and future of technology in an inclusive society.
This event takes place via Zoom. You can get your tickets here. Before the event we will send you an email with the link to participate.
Simon Dogger― Speaker
Simon Dogger is a designer with a whole new point of view. During his studies at the Design Academy Eindhoven, he lost his sight and was forced to take a long break. He returned as a non-visual designer, with a renewed ability to listen and feel, and a strong drive to regain his independence. Not seeing himself as handicapped, but as someone who takes in information differently, he set out to explore more inclusive forms of communication. His concepts and designs combine visual, auditory and sensory means to improve the quality of life. Not only for the visually impaired, but for all people who could benefit from self-empowering, intuitive tools that help them connect with others and their surroundings.
Gesche Joost― Speaker
Gesche Joost, Professor of Design Research at the Berlin University of the Arts, is a researcher, founder, political advisor and tech consultant. She focuses her work on the digital transformation and its implications on our society both in her research practice and on the policy level. She runs a research lab at the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence specialized in human-computer-interaction and wearable computing and is part of the Weizenbaum Institute in Berlin. From 2014 to 2018, she served as the German government’s Federal Internet ambassador to the European Commission. Since 2015, she is member of the supervisory board of SAP, ING and ottobock. In 2016, she founded Calliope gGmbH, a non for-profit organization offering digital learning to children.
Michel Witter― Speaker
Michel Witter teaches interaction design at the Academy of Communication & User Experience (Avans University of Applied Sciences). He is driven by his fascination for embodied interaction. As a researcher at the Centre of Expertise for Art, Design and Technology (CARADT) he is currently occupied with designing sensory augmentation technology for the deaf, and he has just started his promotion research about appropriate situated design methods for the development of such technology. Because to support people with a sensory impediment in social interaction, existing advanced technology has proven to be insufficiently effective to use these in daily practice. His research focuses on designing a co-creation toolkit that helps designers to realise the potential of this technology. More information about Michel and his research: https://caradt.nl/project/embodied-interaction/ and nl.linkedin.com/in/michelwitter
Eva Fotiadi― Moderator
Eva Fotiadi is a historian and theorist of contemporary art and design. Her research explores relations between art, design and the public. Her expertise lies in collaborative and hybrid artistic practices and site-specific projects. In 2019 she curated together with artist Adi Hollander the exhibition of the The OtherAbilities Festival in Amsterdam. The festival aimed at investigating possibilities of creating aesthetic events that can be experienced simultaneously by people with and without physical and sensory differences. She has a PhD from the University of Amsterdam, has been a research fellow at Free University Berlin and Princeton University. She teaches at the St Joost School of Art & Design, where she also coordinates the international exchange program Speculating The Future.