Thesis Info

Thesis Title
KinAesthetic Movement Interaction - Designing for the Pleasure of Motion
Jin Moen
2nd Author
3rd Author
Number of Pages
Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, Sweden
Thesis Supervisor
Prof Yngve Sundblad
Supervisor e-mail
yngve AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Dr Cecilia Katzeff
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Human-Computer Interaction, Computer Science and Communication
Languages Familiar to Author
English, Swedish, Norwegian, French
URL where full thesis can be found
movement interaction, kinaesthetic, modern dance, rudolf laban, human-computer interaction, interaction design, aesthetic interaction
Abstract: 200-500 words
This thesis aims at identifying and exploring properties and design aspects of human movement when used as interaction modality between people and technology. The work has been carried out with a multidisciplinary approach and combines theories, methods and practices from various areas such as modern dance, pedagogy, behavioural science, human computer interaction and research through design. The research question asked in this work is: Which communicative aspects and properties of human full-body movement are important when designing for movement-based interaction, and how could such design be accomplished? This question has been dealt with through carrying out an explorative study of people experiencing dance-based human movement. The informants used were participants on a dance course called Physical Expression. On the basis of this study the following aspects of human movement were identified and discussed: Movement imitation, Movement generation, Natural movements, The meaning of movement, Personal space, Self-confidence, and Movement literacy. These notions were further explored, in relation to movement-based interaction design, through the design and implementation of an interaction concept and a research prototype called BodyBug. BodyBug can be described as an artefact that initiates and maintains bodily movements through its need to be fed with movement input. It gives the users a possibility to create and explore three-dimensional movements within a personal interaction space, both individually and in groups. BodyBug is a small device but does not necessary create small-scale interaction and movements. The main findings from this research can be summarised in four theoretical notions that are related to human movement as a dynamic and communicative process: Movement Literacy, Personal Interaction Space, Imitate-React-Express and Social Acceptability. These notions reflect aspects of human movement such as the ability to verbalise, describe, sense and express intentions through human movement; the physical and emotional space we create when moving; the naturalness and understanding of movement; and finally, the social impact of movement. The design and implementation process of the interaction concept exemplifies how we can apply knowledge and physical experiences of human movement in concrete design for movement-based interaction. The design process of BodyBug is therefore described as a holistic design process. It also argues for the importance of, and need for, multidisciplinary competencies and contributions throughout the whole design process. This work has shown that making use of movement as interaction modality means to provide possibilities for getting to know one’s own movement pattern and thus utilising the kinaesthetic sense and kinaesthetic awareness. However, since movement-based interaction is still in its early phase, we need more experiences and physical examples of this kind of interaction in order to develop an increased knowledge of human movement as design material. We also need to further investigate how movement-based interaction is experienced, and to continue the search for the essence and physical grounding of human movement in relation to technology and computational artefacts. Some of the biggest challenges are to design for movement-based interaction without loosing the aspects of individual preferences and differences in movement, and to preserve the spontaneity and ambiguity in human movement. As shown in this thesis, one approach to deal with these issues is to design for the pleasure of motion.