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Raune Frankjaer

Body-worn Environmental Interfaces: ICT beyond the Anthropocentric

1. title and short overview of your PhD thesis. In my thesis ‘Body-worn Environmental Interfaces: ICT beyond the Anthropocentric’ (working title), I investigate possible applications of (primarily) body-worn, computational technologies, in relation to mediating non-human and biosphere data. My main focus is on areas of application which can foster the establishment of nonhuman-based values. True sustainable development must consider life holistically and couple the human-made and natural systems by taking into account the needs of the inhabited ecosystem(s) in the design process. Hence, my research seeks to establish a model of non-anthropocentric approach to sustainable design within wearable technology.

2. the nature of your ‘non-written work'. I develop and construct interactive artefacts, blending traditional craft practice with digital elements.  

3. in what way your ‘non-written work' relates to your PhD thesis. The developed artefacts form the basis of my investigations, i.e. the theory grows out of practice-based experiments. Through my experiments I ask the question: what can happen if we use technology to let the world we inhabit speak to us instead of a way of subduing it on our conditions?

4. how you integrate or consider integrating your ‘non-written work' into your PhD thesis. At present I predominantly use exhibitions of my work as a method for studying user responses and elicit reactions, which then become the empirical data on which I base written publications. However, with the new rules allowing 'non-written works' as being part of the dissertation I aim to integrate the artefacts themselves as a small exhibition.  

5. which scholarly traditions you base your methodology on. My dominant research method stems from applied creative practice. Leaning on the principles of grounded theory, the research begins without a preconceived hypothesis or anticipated result. Rather, the process is more like one of reverse engineering a hypothesis by iterative methods of praxis-based experiments. The process is cyclical, the practical work inspires new areas of research, which in turn fuels further praxis experimentation. Coming from a technical design background with little focus on theory I have not yet aligned myself with any particular scholarly tradition. Recently I have begun working with a concept of 'agential provotypes' based on a synthesis of Preben Mogensen and Karan Barad, as well using craft-processes as a research approach.

6. which difficulties you have encountered regarding your ‘non-written work’. The very experimental nature of my work and the laborious and time-consuming construction of crafted artefacts can be somewhat difficult to justify as objects of research and not art (or craft). Furthermore the heavy idealistic content and political intentions which are conveyed by the work is often perceived as problematic, especially within HCI contexts.  

7. what you wish to gain from the workshop. Insights in how best to frame my work convincingly within the research community as well as connecting with others working with comparable thematics and facing similar issues.