Taking Haptic Design from Research to Practice 

Karon Maclean, Professor, UBC

Mar 29 2017, 12:30 - 13:20 pm, SFU Surrey Room 5380

About the talk:

In the age of wearables, robots and the Internet of Things, physical interaction has far more to offer than buzzing smartphones and jolty game controllers. But while haptic actuation and sensing is advancing, incorporating them into a real-world design process still brings many challenges. In this talk I’ll focus on how my group has approached research both into viable roles and design languages for physical communication, and of what is needed to support their design in industry contexts.

I’ll explore this in the context of several examples, such as translating users’ cognitive frameworks for processing tactile signals into guidelines and tools to create learnable message vocabularies; exploiting low-cost, stretchy touch sensors and machine learning touch recognition to raise the ‘emotional intelligence’ of social human-robot interaction; and how such sensing and simple outputs can transform other interactions that are situated in the physical world rather than on a traditional computing device. 

About Speaker:

Karon MacLean is Professor in Computer Science at UBC, with degrees in Biology and Mechanical Engineering (BSc, Stanford; M.Sc. / Ph.D, MIT) and industry experience in robotics and interaction design. She leads UBC’s Designing for People interdisciplinary research cluster and CREATE graduate training program, and is Special Advisor, Knowledge Mobilization to the Faculty of Science. Her research interests are in the design of situated haptic and multimodal interfaces, and affective, therapeutic human-robotic interaction. Charles A. McDowell Award, 2008; Assoc Editor of IEEE Transactions on Haptics; chair of the 2010 and 2012 IEEE Haptics Symposia.


Pauline van Dongen, Fashion designer, PhD Researcher

Mar 29 2017, 13:30 - 14:20 pm, SFU Surrey Room 5380

About the talk:

Technology has entered our everyday environment and thus continuously interacts with our bodies. Since fashion constitutes the most intimate environment around our body, technology will also become part of our clothing. In her talk Pauline will show several of her projects that illustrate her view on the role of technology in fashion. Concerned with the predominantly functional and instrumental use of technologies in fashion, she will argue why the integration of technology challenges her to reclaim fashion as an embodied practice. Pauline’s research is grounded in a postphenomenological approach and builds upon Peter Paul Verbeek’s theory of material aesthetics as an analytical framework. By situating material aesthetics in fashion she aims to show how technology in fashion may allow us to engage in new relationships and interactions with our environment. 

About Speaker:

Pauline van Dongen is a Dutch fashion designer and PhD researcher specialised in wearable technology. As a creator interested in the notion of interactivity in fashion, she researches the human body in relation to its surroundings. Since the establishment in 2010, her design studio has received international recognition and is continuously involved in a diverse array of projects that span various disciplines, locations and collaborators. The studio is immersed in the dynamic intersection of fashion and technology and is dedicated to collaborative, cross-disciplinary work that enables innovation and experimentation to take form in a wearable and desirable product. Pauline’s vision is based on the belief that technology can add new value and meaning to fashion and can enhance the way we experience the world around us.



“My experimental approach towards materials, tools and processes results in a continuous renewal of the notion of craft and exploration of the role of the body in fashion”



Recent projects include work with solar cells, illuminated sportswear, new developments in 3D printed fashion using body scanning and generative design tools and the application of printed electronics, sensors and conductive yarns and coatings in textiles. Pauline has presented her work in numerous festivals, conferences and exhibitions around the world including SXSW, CES, TEDx, IDTechEx, ArcInTex, Northside Festival, Wearable Futures, Utopian Bodies, The Future of Fashion is Now, Dutch Design Week.


For more insights into the array of projects Pauline is involved in, please visit us online:


Website: www.paulinevandongen.com

Linkedin: https://nl.linkedin.com/in/paulinevandongen 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pauline.dongen

Twitter: @Pauline_Dongen

Instagram: @Paulinevandongen