Design for Tangible, Embedded and Networked Technologies









Tangibility in e-textile participatory service design with mental health participants 

Sarah Kettley, Anna Sadkowska, Rachel Lucas 

Nottingham Trent University (3)

Keywords: configuration of users; person-centred approach; e-textiles; Internet of Things


This paper introduces a project in which members of the Nottinghamshire Mind Network are engaged in the participatory design of e-textile service networks informed by the Person-Centred Approach mode of psychotherapy. Early reflections on separate e-textile and service design workshops reveal two distinct functions of tangibility in this process. First, we discuss how we have attempted to make novel technical futures tangible for participants through the experience of making textile circuits and soft handheld objects. Second, we discuss our finding that the experiences of participants in the mental health sector can lack presence for relevant audiences; our response to this, in the form of collaborative film work is introduced. The paper contributes to the technical and participatory design communities in its presentation of the Person-Centred attitude to the configuration of potentially vulnerable user groups, and the development of a methodology for the inclusive design of embedded technologies. 

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Kettley, S., Sadkowska, A., Lucas, R. (2016). Tangibility in e-textile participatory service design with mental health participants. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

This paper will be presented at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme

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