Designing social play through interpersonal touch: an annotated portfolio

Open Access:

Hobye, Mads, and Jonas Löwgren & Nicolas Padfield. 2013. “Designing social play through interpersonal touch: an annotated portfolio”. Paper presented at the Nordic Design Research Conference, Copenhagen/Malmö, June 9-12.

ABSTRACT – We present five design cases as an annotated portfolio, exploring ways to design for intimate, interpersonal touch and social intimacy in interaction design. Five key qualities are elicited from the cases, including novel connotations sparking curiosity; providing an excuse to interact; unfolding internal complexity; social ambiguity; norm-bending intimacy. The work highlights novel interaction design approaches fostering social play, turning participants into performers of their own narratives.

Strong concepts: Intermediate-level knowledge in interaction design research

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Item record on MUEP:

Höök, K. and Jonas Löwgren. (2012). Strong concepts: Intermediate-level knowledge in interaction design research. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction. 19, 3, Article 23 (October 2012), 18 pages.

SUMMARY – Design-oriented research practices create opportunities for constructing knowledge that is more abstracted than particular instances, without aspiring to be at the scope of generalized theories. We propose an intermediate design knowledge form that we name strong concepts that has the following properties:

Mediated Body: Designing for embodied experience

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Høbye, M. (2012). Mediated Body: Designing for embodied experience. ACM Computers in Entertainment Video Article,, accessed May 7, 2012.

ABOUT – This video article, published in the Video Journal section of ACM’s Computers in Entertainment (read more about the Video Journal), discusses the experiential qualities of the Mediated Body concept developed by PhD student Mads Høbye.

Touchbox: Intriguing touch between strangers

[PUBLICATION] The Touchbox is about facilitating intriguing touch interaction between strangers and illustrates a novel approach to embodied interaction design where social norms are transcended. Article by Mads Høbye to be presented at the CHI 2012 conference in Austin.

Touching a Stranger: Designing for Engaging Experience in Embodied Interaction

Open Access:

Høbye, M., & Löwgren, J. (2011). Touching a stranger: Designing for engaging experience in embodied interaction. International Journal of Design, 5(3), 31-48.

ABSTRACT – We present Mediated Body, an exploration into designing for engaging experience in embodied interaction. Mediated Body entails a Suit worn by a Performer engaging in social play with a Participant. The Performer and the Participant each wear a pair of headphones, and when they touch each other’s bare skin, they both hear a complex sound pattern. Our approach, which we call research-through-explorative-design, is a combination of experimental design in the lab and explorative design in the field, where qualitative assessments are used to elicit transferable knowledge contributions. This paper represents a case study of this somewhat innovative research approach in action.

Besök av kronprinsessparet och utbildningsministern

Medea har varit välbesökt den senaste tiden. Förra veckan var det kronprinsessparet som spenderade ett par timmar på Medea för att lära mer om nya medier. Den här veckan var utbildningsminister Jan Björklund på Medea, för att bland annat få en fördjupad presentation av bland annat Medeas verksamhet.

Mediated Body


Mediated Body is a physical suit that facilitates social play between a performer and a participant. When they touch each other’s bare skin, they both hear a complex sound pattern. This project is one of Mads Høbye’s PhD experiments.

Contact: Mads Høbye, PhD Student, MEDEA

Keywords: embodied interaction, interaction design.