The Slow Floor: Increasing creative agency while walking on an interactive surface

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
TEI 2014 - 8th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction, Proceedings, 2014, pp. 105 - 112
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Walking is a physical activity that most people do on a daily basis. It is often characterized as a utilitarian means of locomotion; our basic, habitual mode of getting around from place to place. Walking can also be considered a creative and expressive act, with the potential for inspiring the design of interactive surfaces to support and mediate these aesthetic aspects. We draw on understandings of walking from a range of perspectives including biomechanics, ecological perception, anthropology and dance to inform the design and evaluation of an interactive surface. This surface, the Slow Floor, is intended to encourage a reflective engagement with the act of walking. We present the design and initial user evaluation of the Slow Floor, a pressure sensitive sound-generating surface, with a group of Butoh dancers performing a slow walk. The evaluation reveals a unique creative agency when walking on the Slow Floor compared to the internal focus on awareness when slow walking without the interactive surface. This creative agency provides new knowledge on the role interactive surfaces can play in developing awareness of movement and internal felt experience contributing to the discussion around somatics and HCI. Copyright is held by the owner/author(s).
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