Thinking Pieces

Sensory

From the InTouch project to Living with Living Machines

Guest post, by Ned Barker (@nedbarker10 & @BiohybridB). Today on the 1st of October 2021, my focus switches from InTouch to a new project, ‘Biohybrid bodies: a sociological framework for living with Living Machines’, supported by the Leverhulme Trust and UCL’s Institute of Education. Besides introducing the project, this thinking piece charts some of the key the ideas encountered through the InTouch Robotic Touch case study that inspired its formation.

In-Touch Podcast

Industrial Touch & Robotic Imaginations

In this episode, Lili Golmohammadi catches up with Dr Ned Barker to hear about his research into advanced robots in industrial settings. Every industrial revolution, or major technological advancement, transforms the role of touch in making things and the social and sensory experience of work. This has not simply been a story of production being taken out of the hands of workers by automated processes. Who touches what, why, and how, has been a longstanding feature of our sociological and political life – especially when it comes to the touching of dirty and dangerous materials. With all the current technological changes afoot, what types of touch do we want to see developing? And what alternatives might there be to the well-known utopian/dystopian cultural imaginations of robots and industrial touch? In this episode, we dive into some of these themes, which emerged through Ned’s time in a waste management centre, a glass bottle factory, and a leading robotics company, as well as through interviews with world-leading roboticists.

Sensory

The Star-nosed Mole and Our Sense of Touch

Guest post, by Jackie Higgins (@JackieHiggins_) This extract has been adapted from Jackie Higgins's new book 'Sentient: What Animals Reveal about our Senses'. Out now in the UK with Picador and in the USA on 22 February 2022 with Atria.  Higgins considers the human senses through the ears, eyes, skins, noses, tongues and more of… Continue reading The Star-nosed Mole and Our Sense of Touch

Sensory

‘Touch Tools’ at IEEE World Haptics 2021

By Kerstin Leder Mackley (@kayle10) with InTouch (@IN_TOUCH_UCL) [Touch Tools Workshop Website] In July 2021, InTouch brought together an international panel of speakers from academia and industry for an interactive workshop at the IEEE World Haptics Conference 2021. ‘Touch Tools: Bringing Social-Sensorial Tools to Digital Touch Design’ explored the kinds of conceptual and design tools… Continue reading ‘Touch Tools’ at IEEE World Haptics 2021

Sensory

Technologies of Touch: Rendering physical tactile sensations into virtual online shopping environments

Guest post, by Dr. Margot Racat, Professor of Marketing, IDRAC Business School (@Margot_bb, LinkedIn, Research Gate) Cosmetics are among the most sensory products around. Almost ten years ago when I was working at l’Oréal, the worldwide cosmetic group, they were about to launch their first virtual try-on make-over, and I began to realise that we… Continue reading Technologies of Touch: Rendering physical tactile sensations into virtual online shopping environments

In-Touch Podcast

Relearning and reconfiguring touch in life-changing circumstances

In this episode, Lili Golmohammadi and Kerstin Leder Mackley speak to former teacher Caroline Coster about relearning and reconfiguring touch after quadruple amputations. We explore Caroline’s modified touch experiences, including issues of touch sensitivity and the use of digital and analogue tools for navigating everyday life.

Sensory

Fashioning the Voice – A singing trench coat that shows how clothes touch us in more ways than you think

Guest post, by Jennifer Anyan (@jenniferanyan) Fashioning the Voice is an interdisciplinary research project that brings together the expertise of Yvon Bonenfant, Dr. Tychonas Michailidis and myself, Jennifer Anyan. Yvon is an artist-academic and creative director at Tract + Touch, who extends voice across media to explore innovative ways of creating. Tychonas’s work focuses on… Continue reading Fashioning the Voice – A singing trench coat that shows how clothes touch us in more ways than you think

Sensory

What Anthropomorphic Design can do for Digital Touch

Guest post, by Marc Teyssier (@marcteyssier) https://youtu.be/OuEhqHvE1qU As a designer and researcher, I am constantly obsessed with how to shape the future of interfaces and technologies. Until recently, this was easy for me to imagine. Similar to many of us, my creativity for the future was fuelled with visions proposed by science-fiction books and movies… Continue reading What Anthropomorphic Design can do for Digital Touch

Sensory

Lost in delivery. Touch, and fashion’s inconsistent communication to the visually impaired

Guest post, by Michela Ornati (@michela.ornati) About a year into my new PhD program at the Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland, I began losing my eyesight. I have been myopic since adolescence, so not seeing well has always been the norm for me. But this was different. The decline was marked, and what was worse,… Continue reading Lost in delivery. Touch, and fashion’s inconsistent communication to the visually impaired