Co-creative Expression Interface: Aiming to Support Embodied Communication for Developmentally Disabled Children
This study is aiming to develop embodied interfaces to support co-creative expression which will be necessary when embracing the diversity in different people in a series of workshops, which are mainly focused on hand contact improvisation, held in the affected areas of the Great East Japan Earthquake. In specifics, two types of interfaces, which allow children to elicit hand-contact-improvisational expressions, create a relationship and cultivate it further, have been built with a focus on workshop-experienced autistic children having difficulties in verbal interactions in mind. These interfaces, designed to facilitate the reciprocal embodied awareness and thus achieve “the encounter and the connection with others through expression,” play a role of an inclusive function in hand contact improvisation. In the attempts of hand contact improvisations using these interfaces with the autistic children, it has been observed that co-creative expressions have been achieved among those children who tend to avoid a face-to-face contact. This indicates that the interfaces are efficient as new non-verbal technologies to support their communication.
KeywordsCo-creation Hand contact improvisation Autistic spectrum disorder Embodiment Bodily expression
This study received support from the research project “Principle of emergence for empathetic ‘Ba’ and its applicability to communication technology” conducted at the Waseda University Research Institute for Science and Engineering, as well as from the JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (grant number: 25282187). We would like to thank a child welfare service, “Mirai” (Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan) for supporting our research. We would also like to thank Dr. Shiroh Itai for his precious advice while writing this paper. Development of the system and execution of the experiment would not have been possible without the help of our graduate students: Taiga Iwanari, Harunobu Komine, Masanori Tsuruta, and Tomoki Tejika. We would like to express our deepest gratitude.
Out of respect for the dignity and rights of our participants and in order to maintain their personal privacy, the authors obtained permission upon review from the Ethics Review Committee on Human Research of Waseda University for all information collected at the time of the study.
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