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Conference paper

Designing Smart Textile for Music and Health

In this paper we present our ongoing research on designing smart textile solutions for musical tangibles, what we call co-creative tangibles. Our textile, musical tangibles shall be used to improve health and wellbeing for children with severe disabilities and their families, in their homes. We use theories from the Music and Health field as a framework, both for the design process and the design related user evaluations. Building on an ecological and holistic health approach, our main goal is to reduce passivity and isolation, for the child with special needs. To achieve our overall goal, improve health for the users, our textile, musical tangibles have to evoke feelings in the user, be possible for the users to master, create and strengthen social relations and give the users a feeling of wholeness. Because of our ambitious goal, the diversity of users and the varying everyday situation, our musical tangibles have to offer the users a variety of musical actions to perform, and continuous choices of intensity levels and focus of attention. If not, the musical tangibles will lose their interest fast, and lack the relation building qualities we need. Our Music and Health approach therefore demands our textile, musical tangibles not only to be used as an instrument in limited therapeutic session, but in many situations in the users’ everyday lives.

Cappelen, B.Andersson, A. 2011. 'Designing Smart Textile for Music and Health'. In Proceedings of Ambience2011. Borås 39–48. Available: http://bada.hb.se/handle/2320/10688