Embodied Learning: Somatically Informed Instructional Design
Wearable technology is moving closer to and even into human bodies, effectively rendering it invisible. Coined by Weiser as Invisible Computing, wearable technologies now “weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.” While technologies may appear invisible to the naked eye and continue to demand less of our visual attention, our understanding of the world is created not just through our eyes but through our multisensory, corporeal experiences. Therefore, the movement of technologies from our hands onto our skin should, but often does not, account for broader, felt experiences. Entering into the wearable technology design field as a professional dance and somatic practitioner, I place somatically informed practices at the center of the wearable technology design process. This is made possible by handmade rapid prototyping wearable technology bands I designed specifically for pedagogical use. In this chapter, I share my curricular model for engaging somatically informed practices in wearable technology design. More specifically, I provide a brief overview of the field of somatic practices, describe my curricular design methods, and discuss my in-class experiences teaching the curriculum.
I am very grateful to Stjepan Rajko for co-teaching the course with me at DHSI and for his detailed comments and discussion on this chapter. I am also grateful to Eileen Standley for her contributions to the early stages of curriculum design. Special thanks to the Digital Humanities Summer Institute for supporting and hosting the course.
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