Closing date: 30 September 2021
This PhD project is part of the Cotutelle arrangement between Coventry University, UK and Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. The successful applicant will spend the 1st year at Coventry University and the following year at Deakin University, and then the final 1.5 years at Coventry University. The supervision team will be drawn from the two Universities.
A key focal point of research for many industry sectors, including health, entertainment and manufacturing, is how dynamic interaction between the physical and virtual world can take full advantage of the sophistication of human activity. Immersive multimodal haptics, primarily relying on the human senses of touch and motion, form a core part of this research. Driven by the development of the technology with specific industry uses in mind, this research currently lacks adequate experimentation and exploration on the human activity side of the interaction paradigm. 'Making Motion Tangible' seeks to address this gap in part by engaging with the embodied knowledge found in skilful bodily practices such as dance, somatic bodywork and in some cases crafts. Such practices also facilitate critical questions around accessibility, gender and ethics which need fuller consideration in the design and development of human-computer interaction.
'Making Motion Tangible' aims to engage two researchers, one hosted at the Deakin Motion Lab, Deakin University and one hosted by the Centre for Dance Research, Coventry University, to develop complementary research strands. Both strands will explore the application of embodied knowledge and experience in the context of practical experimentation with novel immersive multimodal haptic interfaces aimed at enriching human interactions between the digital and the physical. Prospective candidates should have a background in HCI, media studies, serious games and/ or other digital research (including accessible and health-tech) interested in full body movement or embodied design principles.
The primary novel interfaces to be used are several Teslasuits available at the Deakin Motion Lab that can be used in combination with Virtual Reality devices. This means that the research which begins at Coventry will first establish a theoretical/ reflexive base of understanding involving embodied knowledge and its application in this context before encountering these novel interfaces in their second year. The study that starts at Deakin will immediately begin to practically explore these interfaces in the first year, followed by the second year at Coventry engaging in a period of analysis and reflection. In the third and final year, both researchers will be supported in comparing and contrasting findings.
Both research trajectories will involve the study and integration of embodied and computational knowledge throughout, albeit on different complementary pathways. The core supervisory teams at Deakin and Coventry are well-positioned to support this learning approach from which both researchers and organisations can expect to benefit. Deakin and Coventry have active immersive media industry connections and once selections are made a third specialist supervisor will be brought on to support these links.
This is a cotutelle arrangement - it is therefore essential for applicants to confirm that they are able to physically locate to both Coventry University (England) and Deakin University (Australia).
Call for Events is now open! We're supporting Members and Expert Fellows to lead activities that explore aspects of TIPS in the Digital Economy. We will help to organise the activity with up to £5,000 to cover the associated costs.