Embodied Technology: Unraveling Bodily Action with Normative Types

Laurens Boer, Robb Mitchell, Agnese Caglio, Andrés Lucero

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Interactive artifacts are normative, as they materialize the norms of their designers in order to guide human action in a use-context. A better understanding of how interactive artifacts transmit norms can support designers and users to critically reflect about appropriate human and designed artificial behavior in context. In this paper we introduce 'normative types', which are artifacts that disable, guide, or empower people's bodily actions, in order to deliberately address and explore what is normative physical action in context. We present four design explorations of normative types, named 'Petal Table', 'Toilet Companion', 'Keep-Up-With-Me Table', and the 'Ring Fork'. Based on initial field trials we suggest that socially (in)appropriate bodily action can be imposed, exposed, juxtaposed, or opposed by normative types. We suggest that these modes of intention can aid designers in developing a critical self-reflective and contextually informed design approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2015
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-3146-3
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventCHI'15 - Gangnam District, Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 18 Apr 201523 Apr 2015


LocationGangnam District
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


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