Category Archives: Research

Disembodied Performance

Original: Disembodied Performance / MIT Laboratory / CHI 2009, Boston MA USA

Authors:  Peter A. Torpey , Elena N. Jessop

Keywords:  Disembodied Performance, theater, visualization, physiological sensors


Disembodied Performance by Peter A. Torpey and Elena N. Jessop informs about a prospective way of theater and acting. Including Sensor Systems, Robots and the technology of mapping Torpey, Jessop and the Director Tod Machover developed the opera Death and the Powers. The  main character Simon Powers (or the actor James Maddalena)  can control parts of the stage by his behavior shown as light, sound, movements and other projected images. This kind of performance will be part of the Future of Theaters.

Main Contents:

The Paper „Disembodied Performance“ explains a new way of staging and performance. Using the example of Tod Machover’s Opera Death and the Powers is shown how futuristic theater can look like. In combination with sensor technologies and mapping the actor is in an absolut new situation. Off-stage he is acting and and gesturing in connection with Distance- , Pressure- , Sound- and other sensors. So his role is transfered by the technic of mapping and tracking. In case of Simon Powers, the main character of Death and Powers, the character is translated into the walls and robots on the stage. Part is that Powers dies at the beginning of the story and his Personality is going to be live into the robots. Here becomes a visual language and the actor keeps contact with the other characters. Light, Sound, robots and projecting images expresses the mood of the actor and visualize this on stage.

The Performance contains the following points: Performance Data, Affect Space and On-stage representation. Disembodied Performance adapts ideas from affective psychology, cognitive science, and the theatrical tradition to create a structure for thinking about the translation of stage presence. Fact is that this system or this kind of presence on the stage opens the door to acting and allows actors to be virtual. So, a new way of storytelling develops.


The Implications of Improvisational Acting and Role- Playing on Design Methodologies


Medler, B. Magerko, B. (2010). The Implications of Improvisational Acting and Role- Playing on Design Methodologies. CHI 2010: Dance, Dust, and Drama: Designing Design, p. 483-492


Ben Medler, Brian Magerko;

Georgia Institute of Technology, 686 Cherty St, Atlanta, GA 30332


Improvisation, Role-playing, Design Methodologies, Performance, Theatre
Summary: The authors of this paper are making an effort to define and differentiate Improvisational Theater and Role- Playing as design tools and methods that support certain goal achievement such as:building self- confindence, creating new ideas, increasing group focus, informing of user´s needs, evaluating products and design ideas.

Main Contents: 

Here you can write a little bit more about the core information of the paper. E.g. definition or description of specific terms, or list design guidelines & explain them shortly, or a give more detailed information about the technologies used, or decribe which evaluation methods have been applied … You can add pictures with references. But don’t write to much, not everything is important for us. Keep in mind to just give the essence here in 250 to 300 words.

Performance techniques to enhance the design process – Definitions

– in jazz, theatre, organizational science, management, etc.
– unscripted performance
– flexible, original, error prone
– happens in real time
– major factors: group coherence, novelty, speed of execution and lack of planning
– not completely prescribed in terms of functional and/or content constraints

–> to break out of normal or common ways of thinking
–> a form of brainstorming
–> to create novel, interesting experience for an audience
–> to create mental models: cognitive consensus (Improvisers will predict, or infer, where other improvisers are heading in the story)
–> discovering what is hidden within a scene
–> building character/ relationships during performance
–> work collectively; as a cohesive group

=> is best acted out by trained improvisers; it requires little constrains and will help designers to obtain innovative, novel ideas. The outcome is not predictable which helps on getting new ideas that were not thought of before.

Role- Playing:
– for entertainment, training, psychological treatment
– interaction of players in virtual spaces/ imaginary world
– to become another person/ take on a character role in a constructed scene
– allows for the “infinite manipulation of time and space”
– not for an audience
– lead by Game Master/ leader – as director and facilitator (rules are followed and to move the story along)

–> view from another person´s perspective
–> creates realism, simulates a ‘real life’ episode or experience – under controlled conditions
–> leader: maintain group focus, influences direction and outcome

=> used best by designers and testers to focus on specific areas in the further developed design process. It will obtain more practical, efficient designs and insights – not so much innovation, because of the tight constrains.

A combination of these two techniques is the ‘Wizard of Oz’ method:
This technique allows designers to have control over user testing while still giving participants the freedom to improvise their actions:
– participants don´t know that someone is guiding their experience
– users are set in low-fidelity, mixed-reality environment with freedom to perform “daily routines
– designers trigger different events or constrain the user in different ways in real-time .


Ideas for costume evaluation:

Improvisation and Role- Playing are methods suitable for this project. Unfortunatley at the first design acting workshop we participated, our ideas/ storytelling were not developed enough to work with. Improvisation would have been a good design tool to create story and costume ideas. Although trained actors are necessary to achieve useable results.
Bodystorming, is also mentioned in the paper – we tried that with good results: Group coherence towards our costume ideas were achieved.


Designing For Movement: Evaluating Computational models using LMA Effort Qualities

Original: Maranan,D.,  Alaoui, S.,  Schiphorst, T., Pasquier, P., Subyen,P., Bartram, L. (2014). Designing For Movement: Evaluating Computational Models using LMA Effort Qualities. CHI 2014, One of a CHInd, Toronto, ON, Canada p.991-1000

Authors: Diego Silang Maranan, Sarah Fdili Alaoui, Thecla Schiphorst, Philippe Pasquier,Pattarawut Subyen, Lyn Bartram

Keywords: Movement recognition; Movement analysis; Laban Effort
analysis; Movement analysis; Movement-based interaction.

Summary: In the paper a new framework for recognizing Laban Effort qualities in real-time is explained. It uses a five degree of freedom single accelerometer input stream, Machine Learning mechanisms and Laban Movement Analysis to detect and classify movement quality.

Main Contents:  The paper describes a system called EffortDetect which is able to detect Laban Effort qualities in real-time. In contrast to existing approaches of Effort recognition, which uses position data from movement capturing systems, EffortDetect works with a single 5-DOF accelerometer (X, Y, Z, Pinch, Roll) input stream to determine qualifiers for the movement.

EffortDetect uses Machine Learning mechanisms to classify movements. Therefore, a supervised learning scheme is applied.  In the training phase a professional Laban Movement Analyst recorded some exact Basic Effort Actions (BEAs) with the accelerometer attached to his wrist. The gathered data is then used to train the classifier. In the performance phase other (professional) dancers execute the same BEAs (under supervision of the expert) and EffortDetect computes classifiers for the BEAs and outputs the most likely BEA based on the trained data in real-time.

After the first tests some additional mainly mathematical improvements for weighting different BEA profiles were conducted.

EffortDetect has been successfully used in at least two real dance performances.

The eight BEAs:














Indirect (flexible)



















Sudden – Sustained




Thrust (punch)



Strong – Light




Direct – Indirect




Ideas for costume evaluation: EffortDetect needed mainly quantitative data for the first evaluations, which is not really helpful for us. But in my opinion it is worth mentioning that they developed a (in their opinion) finish prototype before evaluating with real actors/dancers. Because of time struggle we have now the problem that we have to test pre-alpha versions of our prototype which could lead to meaningless results. I think the evaluation should take place after we decide that the prototypes are ready for testing. The other way around (the prototypes have to be finished when the evaluation starts) is inappropriate.

Interactive Theatre Experience in Embodied + Wearable Mixed Reality Space

Original: Cheok, A., Weihua, W., Yang, X., Prince, S., Wan, F., Billinghurst, M. & Kato, H. (2002). Interactive Theatre Experience in Embodied + Wearable Mixed Reality Space. ISMAR ’02 Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, p. 59-317.

Authors: Adrian David Cheok, Wang Weihua, Xubo Yang, Simon Prince, Fong Siew Wan,Mark Billinghurst, Hirokazu Kato

Keywords: Game, Virtual Theater, Wearable Computing

Summary: In the paper it comes through interactive applications, to encourage more users to go back to the theater. In addition, the paper describes how to integrate them into the play, users with different technical progress.

Main Contents: A technique in which Mixed Reality Space is the actors and props of digital objects represented are seamlessly located in the physical space.

There are 3 different research approaches: ubiquitous computing (deals with computing and activities in environment), tangible Interaction (deals with the physical world and physical objects) and social computing (analyze interaction and social conduct).

The result of the paper project will be a unique theater which connects the various interactions with each other. (human-to-human, human-to-physical, world and human-to-virtual-world). Exactly the same thing we want to achieve with our project.

Another technique is a small game that is intended to encourage the spectator to learn playfully over a play. The visitor must run around a particular area (for example, a Historic Game Tate) and can gather information about the play and the author. This is done with a portable computer, which is equipped with GPS, and a digital compass. However, no thoughts have been made about how the wearable computer looks like.

"Wearable Computer System (Source: AD Cheok et al, 2002)"
“Wearable Computer System (Source: AD Cheok et al, 2002)”

What does the paper at an actor and what we want in our project?
Live 3D Actors are used to the gestures, body language and movement represent as realistic as possible. For this purpose, a system was developed which represents a live 3D actors in the mixed reality environment.

“Live human actor´s (Source: AD Cheok et al, 2002)”
“Live human actor´s (Source: AD Cheok et al, 2002)”

Longer there is already the 2D representation, but which has the disadvantage that can be detected no precise gestures and movements, thereby the audience does not identify with the actor. Therefore, the 3D representation is always evolving.

Here the actor is thus defined on the basis of his gestures and movements. In addition, the actor is only virtually represented in a digital world. The costume puts into the background white relationship is not mentioned. Moreover, the so called actors are just normal users and not trained stage actor.

Just by the costume we identify in our project but the actor relationship to the white spectacle ends character. With us, the gestures and the movement is not the focus. However, it was also observed when designing the costume. Among other things, in the octopus we have, among other thoughts about how we made moves an octopus when he is aggressive to the electrical control to adjust this.

What does the paper at a theater and what we want in our project?
Interactive theater is a new kind of theater, which is caused by the advancement of technology. In addition, it is possible that the audience is a part of the game and thus is right there.

It is the spectator present a novel theatrical experience.

We understand, however, under theater, classical drama on the stage, with actors as trained professionals, costumes and props. Analog integrated interactive elements in it, with us in the project are the costumes. We want to achieve with our E-Textiles that the viewer gets a new theater experience. However, with us not always reached the spectator right there because he can identify with the technique does not always.

Ideas for costume evaluation: When we evaluate our costume we must respect that the figure can do in the play other gesticular as other normal do.

Temporal Integration of Interactive Technology in Dance: Creative Process Impacts


Latulipe, Celine;  Wilson, David; Gonzalez, Berto; Huskey, Sybil; Word, Melissa, (2011), Temporal Integration of Interactive Technology in Dance: Creative Process Impacts, C&C ’11 Proceedings of the 8th ACM conference on Creativity and cognition, Pages 107-116


Interdisciplinary integration, arts, creativity, dance, temporal effects

ACM Classification Keywords:

J.5 Computer Applications: Arts and Humanitiy – Performing Arts


The paper deals with time dependent integrations of technical features in artistic projects. Common problems are described that might occur during such interdisciplinary projects. The main focus is still on dance projects.

Main Contents:

Situated effects and technologies get included very soon, because they are automatically there. But their use often starts when the piece is almost ready for the stage. If the technological properties/devices are known, performances and costumes can easily be build around it. Parallel development teams in different departments demand a higher level of cooperation between the teams. In case of failures on the technical site, there should be a clear decision on how or if the performance should go on. It is also a good practice to incorporate the tech stuff as soon as possible so it can be used during rehearsals. That way you might get valuable insights/ideas. If the way the technology is used changes overtime it can heavily affect the final performance. So it is mandatory to update all team members that modifications are needed. Even the development of accompanying props greatly profits from early usable technology.

Ideas for costume evaluation: ?

Use the Article’s Title here

Original: Lastname1, 1.*, Lastname2, 2.* & Lastname3, 3.* (year). Title comes here in its full length. Write here italic the Conference Proceedings in which it has been published, p. XXX-XXX.

* Write here only the first letter of the first name!

Authors: Firstname1 Lastname1, Firstname2 Lastname2, Firstname3 Lastname3

Keywords: List here 3 to 5 keywords

Summary: Here comes the abstract. But do not copy & paste it from the article – write down the summary in your own words. Please no more than 3 to 5 sentences.

Main Contents: Here you can write a little bit more about the core information of the paper. E.g. definition or description of specific terms, or list design guidelines & explain them shortly, or a give more detailed information about the technologies used, or decribe which evaluation methods have been applied … You can add pictures with references. But don’t write to much, not everything is important for us. Keep in mind to just give the essence here in 250 to 300 words.

Ideas for costume evaluation: Please mention finally in 2 or 3 sentences how this paper could inspire our own costume evaluation. What shall we adopt? Or is something missing, you would like to introduce in our study?

Bubble Machine for the Diving Suit

We are planning to incoporate a bubble making machine into the oxygen tank in the back that is suppose to release soap bubbles from time to time. The bubbles are suppose to simulate CO2 and other waste gases that are being realeased.

One funny example that I just found – way after we had this idea! – is this:

Lady Gaga bubble dress

For implementing our idea we already got a functioning bubble machine. Next goal is to get it running via Arduino. We experimented quite a bit with it. Once it´s running we´ll show you how we got it to work!

Material Research

We reached that point in the semester project where we need to find out how to reach our set goals in costume making. What are the best materials to use – what are the best model building techniques and methods – what is doable with the small budget we have?

To get ahead I went to our synthetic material workshop/ model building workshop in the design faculty. I looked at all these material samples we have there, talked to the workshop staff who are as usual a great help to figure out how to implement your idea.

Acrylic sheets for the helmet would be great! Dark in the back, clear sheets in the front. Unfotunately that stuff is expensive! It is a thermoplast though which means you can shape it when heated. It´s really easy to get folds into the material. Organic forms is a different topic. That is much harder since the material doesn´t strech or compress so easily.  Alternative material might be a lower grade clear plastic from the hardware store.

That rubber I described in the pictures would be great. It is still see through transparent, but has this organic colour. It also has the right kind of elasticity to rigidity. I´d love to use that material for the fron side of the oxygen tanks. Problematic is the amount of work and material I would have to put into the mould buliding. You can only pour that rubbery stuff, since it comes luiquid which means I would have to first built an inside and ouside mould for it. Alternative idea that I still have to develop would be to pour large flat sheets from that material and glue or weld or sew it into the right shape.

I will keep you posted on how the model building is going!


material tests possibly for the tank


Bodystorming Session

The collection of objects & materials we used
The collection of objects & materials we used
Captain Nemo & the Octopus are fighting
Captain Nemo & the Octopus are fighting

In order to inform our design ideas we made a bodystomring session. Everybody brought objects & materials with him/ her that could help to get more inspiration for our costume ideas of

  • captain Nemo,
  • a diving suit for the crew member and
  • the sea creature.

It was a funny afternoon that enabled us in some points to figure out whether some ideas could work for the final costume prototypes or not.




Captain Nemo, version 1
Captain Nemo, version 1
Captain Nemo, version 2
Captain Nemo, version 2
Captain Nemo, version 3
Captain Nemo, version 3


Diving Suit, front view
Diving Suit, front view
Diving Suit, back view
Diving Suit, back view
Sketching ideas for the diving suit
Sketching ideas for the diving suit
Assembling the octopus' arms
Assembling the octopus’ arms
Enlarge the octopus' head
Enlarge the octopus’ head
The octopus
The octopus


The Story by Jules Verne: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (French: Vingt mille lieues sous les mers) is a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne published in 1870. It tells the story of Captain Nemo and his submarine Nautilus, as seen from the perspective of Professor Pierre Aronnax after he, his servant Conseil, and Canadian harpoonist Ned Land wash up on their ship. On the Nautilus, the three embark on a journey which has them going all around the world. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We, the team HEMASU chose to pick out the Nautilus´CREW. The interacitve costume we will create this semester is suppose to be worn by one of Nemo´s comrades. We specifically aim to built a suit that is also suitable for diving in the deep sea.

To get a clear vision of the crew I picked out some quotes from the original text by Jules Verne. I´m sorry that they are all in german. – I wrote an english summary at the end.

Die Mannschaft

S.64 – Kleidung, Sprache, Nationalität

Die beiden Unbekannten, mit Mützen von Seeotterfell und in Seestiefeln von Robbenfell, trugen Kleider von einem besonderen Gewebe, die große Freiheit der Bewegungen gestatteten. Der größere von beiden, offenbar der Anführer der Leute an Bord, prüfte uns mit größter Achtsamkeit, ohne ein Wort zu reden. Darauf besprach er sich mit seinem Gefährten in einer Sprache, die mir nicht bekannt war. Es war ein volltönender, harmonischer, biegsamer Dialekt mit sehr verschiedenartiger Betonung.

S.67 – Nationalität, Urteil zum „Typ“ Mensch

Seien Sie so freundlich zu warten, um mir ein Urteil über den Kommandanten und die Mannschaft dieses Fahrzeugs zu bilden.« »Ich bin mit meinem Urteil fertig«, versetzte Ned Land. »Es sind Schurken …« »Gut! Und aus welchem Land?« »Aus dem Schurkenland!« »Wackerer Ned, dieses Land ist auf den Karten noch nicht ge­nügend bestimmt, und ich gestehe, daß die Nationalität der bei­den Unbekannten schwer zu ermitteln ist! Weder Engländer noch Franzosen, noch Deutsche, das ist alles, was man bis jetzt sagen kann. Doch möchte ich annehmen, daß die beiden einer südlichen Breite angehören, sie haben etwas Südliches in ihrem Wesen. Aber ob Spanier, Türken, Araber oder Inder, läßt sich aus ihrem physi­schen Typus noch nicht ermessen. Ihre Sprache ist völlig unver­ständlich.«

S.68 – „Typ“Mensch, Bildung

Unterdessen hatte der Steward – stumm, vielleicht auch taub – den Tisch gedeckt und drei Gedecke aufge­setzt. Ge­wiß hatten wir’s mit Leuten von Bildung zu tun, und hätte uns nicht das elektrische Licht umstrahlt, so hätte ich geglaubt, im Speisesaal des Hotels Adelphi zu Liverpool oder des Grand-Hotels zu Paris zu sein.

S.87 – Essen

Auf Nahrungsmittel von der Erde habe ich lange verzichtet, und befinde mich darum nicht übler. Meine kräf­tige Mannschaft genießt dieselbe Nahrung wie ich.«

S.120 – Anzahl, Roboter?

Ich habe nicht einmal die Mannschaft des Boots gesehen. Sollte sie vielleicht auch elektrisch sein?« »Sie können mir nicht sagen, wieviel Mann an Bord sind? 10? 20? 50? 100?« »Ich kann darauf keine Antwort geben, Meister Land.

S.140 – Körpergröße

Kapitän Nemo, einer seiner Gefährten – eine herkulische Ge­stalt von außerordentlicher Körperkraft – Conseil und ich zogen rasch die Kleidung an.

S.205 – Kommunikation

Und er drückte auf einen elektrischen Knopf, wodurch er an seine Mannschaft den Befehl gelangen ließ.

S.207 – Fleiß, Arbeit

So verging die Nacht, ohne daß die Mannschaft von ihrer gewöhnlichen Untätigkeit ab­ließ. Sie kümmerte sich um die Anwesenheit dieser Kannibalen so wenig, als die Soldaten eines festen Platzes um die Ameisen, die über seine Bollwerke laufen.


Ich vermutete, die Mannschaft sei mit inneren Reparaturen beschäftigt, die durch die Heftigkeit der mechanischen Bewegungen der Maschine notwendig gewor­den


Ein Teil der Mannschaft mit Skaphandern gepanzert, war beschäf­tigt, halb verfaulte Fässer abzuräumen und Kisten zu leeren in­mitten des schwarzen Strandgutes.

S.364 – Anzahl

»Wieviel Mann glauben Sie, daß sich an Bord der ›Nautilus‹ be­finden?« »Ich wüßte es nicht zu sagen, mein Freund.« »Es scheint mir«, versetzte Ned Land, »sein Manövrieren erfor­dert keine große Mannschaft.«

S.448 – Beziehung

Kapitän Nemo, in Blut gebadet, unbeweglich neben dem Fa­nal, sah ins Meer hinaus, das einen seiner Gefährten verschlungen hatte, und dicke Tränen quollen aus seinen Augen. Ich hatte also einen Heimatgenossen unter der Kapitän Nemo mit Leib und Seele verbundenen Mannschaft! War er der einzige Repräsentant Frankreichs in der aus verschiedenen Nationalitäten gemischten Gesellschaft? Ein ungelöstes Rätsel, das mich unabläs­sig quälte. –> Nemo liebt seine Mannschaft. Wie Familienmitglied?


S. 128

Ich zog alsbald meine Byssuskleider an. Über die Beschaffen­heit dieses Stoffs machte Conseil öfters seine Bemerkungen. Ich belehrte ihn nun, daß er aus den glänzenden seidenartigen Fasern gemacht sei, womit eine Art an den Ufern des Mittelmeers sehr häufiger Muscheln an die Felsen geheftet ist. Früher bereitete man daraus schöne Zeuge, Strümpfe, Handschuhe, denn sie waren zu­gleich kernhaft und sehr warm. Die Mannschaft der ›Nautilus‹ ließ sich darin billig kleiden, und man konnte die Baumwolle, Schafe und Seidenwürmer der Oberwelt entbehren.


Ich ging wieder in mein Zimmer und kleidete mich rasch an: Seestiefel, Ottermütze, Reiserock von Byssus mit Robbenfell gefüt­tert.

Was ist Byssus?

Der Taucheranzug

S.139 f
_ schwer, undurchdringlichen, aus Kautschuk gefertigt
_ halten Druck aus
_ eine Rüstung, geschmeidig und widerstandsfähig zugleich
_ Hosen und Weste, durch Kupferplättchen geschützt, die der Brust zum Panzer dienten, um den Druck des Wassers auszuhalten und den Lungen ihre freie Tätigkeit zu sichern
_ dichten Fußbekleidung, mit schweren Bleisohlen besetzt
_ geschmeidigen Handschuhen, welche die Handbewegung nicht hinderten
_ Kleidung endigt oben in ein kupfernes, schraubenartig ausgebohrtes Halsband, worauf der metallene Helm eingeschraubt wird. Drei mit dicken Gläsern versehene Löcher gestatteten nach allen Richtungen zu sehen.
_ auf Rücken befestigten Apparate Rouquayrol fangen ihre Tätigkeit an, für das Atmen
_ Ruhmkorffsche Lampe am Gürtel


Summary – Crew

There are almost no specific, defined descriptions of Nemo´s crew. But it is possible to read a lot of information in the view mentioned parts. The crew must consist of a minimum of 12 members, all men, all from several different countries. They seem to all have a “southern” touch, but it is not clear from exactly where since the language they use to communicate with one another is unknown to scientist Aronnax. They execute any task that needs to be done on the Nautilus: Repair work, cloth making, cooking, hunting, collecting items from the sea, etc.
 Nemo wears the cloth made of the same type of material that the crew wears. Also do they all eat the same food they derive from the sea. It must be healthy protein rich food since Nemo describes his crew to be strong. Especially one of his comrades looks like Herkules and is equally strong.

Sure is that the crew respect Captain Nemo completely. They come when called, they execute any task given to them. Maybe they even love Nemo. He certainly is bound to them with his heart and soul. When one of his comrades dies in an attac, Nemo starts crying in blank despair.

as for their clothing:

It´s made by elements from the sea. Caps made from sea otter, boots made for water from sealskin, and clothes made from fabric that allows good movements. This fabric he is talking about is called Byssus, made from mussels. It´s similar to silk. The crew makes clothes such as gloves or a coat insulated with sealfur with this type of textile.

Certainly we have to take into consideration that all the clothes are made from textiles/ materials found in the sea. But nonetheless we decided to have the play take place in a distant future, even in fictional world. So we do not have to take Jules Verne´s descriptions literally.