Creative Technology

Participatory Design

The Creative Technology Group has a number of specialists in participatory design. Funded by the AHRC, the EPSRC, the Leverhulme Trust and others, these projects include:


[Judith Good]

Although technologically very simple, ASCmeI.T. allows individuals with autism, and their parents and carers, to tell researchers what sorts of technologies they would like to see designed, thus extending the reach of participatory design to the ideation phase and giving individuals with disabilities a stronger voice in the design process.


[Olivia Thorne and Judith Good]

Emokno is an interactive toy robot with Natural Language capabilities: it is designed to engage in free form conversations with children with autism, sing songs, tell jokes, etc. It can also express different emotions as a result of children’s utterances to it. The aim is that children will better understand the causes of emotions through interacting with Emokno.

FireFly Game 

[Pollie Barden and Chloe Varelidi]

Firefly is a tagging game played in the dark that explores temporal memory and exploits a balance of collaboration and competition. The “Fireflies” are LED badges that flash on and off at various intervals and speeds, based on natural flashing patterns real fireflies exhibit to communicate with each other. Players can only steal a badge when the light is OFF. The players track the “fireflies” while they are lit, but must find and steal them when they go dark. The core goal is to collect as many badges as possible. An additional layer is to collect the firefly badges with the same flashing pattern.


Effectiveness in Action 

[Light PI, AHRC Connected Communities 2013 - 2014]

This was a codesign project looking at how people make change in their environments to support, protect or request the community resources they want in their futures. As a co-design project, it involved a team of community and academic researchers who worked closely to ask how people tackle an issue together and why places and practices inspire people enough to continue to act in their name.

Flexible Dwellings for Extended Living (FLEX)

[Light PI, AHRC Connected Communities 2012 - 2013]

This was a project addressing an increasing older population that wants to age ‘at home’, but faces the social isolation accompanying the loss of traditional meeting places like pubs, pension queues, community centres. It explored how to make dwellings more socially flexible for people as they age.

Fair Tracing

[Light CI, EPSRC, 2006 - 2009]

This was a three-year participatory design project working with Indian coffee growers and a Chilean Fairtrade wine collective to explore how ethically produced products can be tracked to show provenance and tagged with social media stories to increase their visibility and offer a means for ICT to support small enterprises in developing regions.