Improving Design Thinking Through Collaborative Improvisation


Over the last 2 years, we have been following an improvisational approach to physical interaction design research. It emphasizes the use of exploratory lab and field experiments as a way to (a) source novel ideas about how people might interact with expressive objects such as robots and active spaces, (b) appraise the performance of our prototypes of these technologies, and (c) build frameworks to understand users’ mental models and develop new insights into interaction. We have focused, in particular, on staging environments—whether in public settings or recreated in our workspace—where we can provoke discussion about what behaviors and emotions would be desirable or natural. This paper describes how we design and run experiments to evaluate how people interact with expressive robots built from everyday objects, including a mechanical ottoman, emotive dresser drawers and roving trash barrel.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Sirkin2016ImprovingDT, title={Improving Design Thinking Through Collaborative Improvisation}, author={David Sirkin and Brian K. Mok and Stephen S Yang and Rohan Maheshwari and Wendy Ju}, year={2016} }