Supporting group emotions awareness through technology
Abstract: The aim of this research is to speculate on the opportunity to create deeper human interactions for which technological means supporting the expression and the understanding of group emotions are explored. I tried to do this by connecting the Affective Interactional Approach (Höök, 2013) to studies about group emotions. The theoretical framework of this research is presented together with a brief account of the evolution of design for affect. The methodology used in the design process and in the evaluation used for the outcomes are delineated and tailored for this specific research, in which a central focus is given to users and their opinions. Following, the research process is divided into three stages/experiments: I first produced some Cultural Probes, then distributed them in a office and carried out an interview; after this I developed a prototype for collective emotional awareness and I tested it through a workshop attended by Interaction Design students. The last experiment consisted of a second prototype for collective emotional awareness which gave me the opportunity to explore what kind of technology is best suited for collecting and representing group emotions. This last prototype (Processing + Kinect based) was tested in a student collective and the results of a following interview were used to evaluate it. I conclude my dissertation proposing future scenarios for the explored designs and then with a presentation of the knowledge contributions produced.
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