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Dr Lian Loke

Biography

Lian is Co-Director of the Interaction Design and Human Practice Lab and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Software, FEIT.

She is an Early Career Researcher in the research centre for Human Centred Technology Design (HCTD).

She has a keen interest in design and creative thinking, which permeates her teaching philosophy. She teaches human-computer interaction and web interface design in the IT undergraduate program.

Her research is interdisciplinary and spans human-computer interaction, design and artistic practice, with the body as a central focus.

Image of Lian Loke
Thesis Marker, ADMIN Research Office
Associate Member, HCTD - Human Centred Technology Design
BEng (Syd), BSc (Syd), GCHETL (UTS), PhD (UTS)
Member, Association for Computing Machinery
 

Research Interests

Lian's research is interdisciplinary and spans human-computer interaction, design and artistic practice, with the body as a central focus. Her research interests lie in understanding the lived experience of people interacting with emerging technologies and exploring how to design future products and systems from such understandings. Design methods and tools for speculative, user-centred and participatory design form a large part of her research programme.

An ongoing strand of research is the development of methods for working with the creative potential of the moving body, drawn from movement improvisation, dance and somatic practices, which can be appropriated by designers.

Her doctoral research investigated the emerging field of movement-based interaction design and resulted in a design methodology, Moving and Making Strange, consisting of methods and tools to assist in the design of movement-based interactive technologies. The design methodology gives primacy to the lived experience of people interacting with technology and offers three perspectives for designers: the first-person experiential, the observer and the machine.

Recent projects include the Thinking Through The Body ensemble (opens an external link), exploring aesthetic experience, interactive art and somatic bodywork (ArtLab 2008/2009); and the Bystander Field (ARC LINKAGE PROJECT LP0349327), an interactive, immersive interface for engaging with curatorial collections.

In 2010 she co-curated the Art of Participatory Design programme, PDC2010 with Dr Lizzie Muller (DAB) and facilitated the Sydney Lab of the Remnant/Emergency ArtLab project led by Dr Keith Armstrong (QUT), in collaboration with Natalie Jeremijenko (NYU) remnantartlab.com (opens an external link).

Current projects include Australia Council for the Arts funded research into body-focused interaction and wearable technologies for interactive art contexts.

Chapters

Loke, L. & Khut, G.P. 2014, 'Intimate Aesthetics and Facilitated Interaction' in Candy, L. & Ferguson, S. (eds), Interactive Experience in the Digital Age, Springer, pp. 91-108.
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Richards, K., Gibson, R.J. & Loke, L. 2006, 'Bystander: a responsive, immersive 'spirit world' environment for multiple users' in Responsive Architecture, Riverside Architectural Press, Canada, pp. 106-109.
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Conferences

Bown, O., Loke, L., Ferguson, S.J. & Reinhardt, D. 2015, 'Distributed Interactive Audio Devices: Creative strategies and audienceresponses to novel musical interaction scenarios', http://isea2015.org/publications/proceedings-of-the-21st-international-s..., International Symposium on Electronic Art, Vancouver, Canada.
With the rise of ubiquitous computing, comes new possibilities for experiencing audio, visual and tactile media in distributed and situated forms, disrupting modes of media experience that have been relatively stable for decades. We present the Distributed Interactive Audio Devices (DIADs) project, a set of experimental interventions to explore future ubiquitous computing design spaces in which electronic sound is presented as distributed, interactive and portable. The DIAD system is intended for creative sound and music performance and interaction, yet it does not conform to traditional concepts of musical performance, suggesting instead a fusion of music performance and other forms of collaborative digital interaction. We describe the thinking behind the project, the state of the DIAD system's technical development, and our experiences working with userinteraction in lab-based and public performance scenarios.
Feltham, F.G., Loke, L., van den Hoven, E., Hannam, J. & Bongers, B. 2014, 'The Slow Floor: Increasing creative agency while walking on an interactive surface', Proceedings of the 8th International conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction, International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction, ACM, Munich, Germany, pp. 105-112.
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Walking is a physical activity that most people do on a daily basis. It is often characterized as a utilitarian means of locomotion; our basic, habitual mode of getting around from place to place. Walking can also be considered a creative and expressive act, with the potential for inspiring the design of interactive surfaces to support and mediate these aesthetic aspects. We draw on understandings of walking from a range of perspectives including biomechanics, ecological perception, anthropology and dance to inform the design and evaluation of an interactive surface. This surface, the Slow Floor, is intended to encourage a reflective engagement with the act of walking. We present the design and initial user evaluation of the Slow Floor, a pressure sensitive sound-generating surface, with a group of Butoh dancers performing a slow walk. The evaluation reveals a unique creative agency when walking on the Slow Floor compared to the internal focus on awareness when slow walking without the interactive surface. This creative agency provides new knowledge on the role interactive surfaces can play in developing awareness of movement and internal felt experience contributing to the discussion around somatics and HCI.
Loke, L., Khut, P.G. & Kocaballi, A.B. 2012, 'Bodily experience and imagination: Designing ritual interactions for participatory live-art contexts', ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, ACM, Newcastle, UK, pp. 779-788.
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We are exploring new possibilities for bodily-focused aesthetic experiences within participatory live-art contexts. As artist-researchers, we are interested in how we can understand and shape bodily experience and imagination as primary components of an interactive aesthetic experience, sonically mediated by digital biofeedback technologies. Through the making of a participatory live-art installation, we illustrate how we used the Bodyweather performance methodology to inform the design of ritual interactions intended to reframe the audience experience of self, body and the world through imaginative processes of scaling and metaphor. We report on the insights into the varieties of audience experience gathered from audience testing of the prototype artwork, with a particular focus on the relationship between the embodied imagination and felt sensation; the influence of objects and costume; and the sonically mediated experience of physiological processes of breathing and heartbeat. We offer some reflections on the use of ritual and scripted interactions as a strategy for facilitating coherent forms of bodily experience.
Loke, L. & Khut, P.G. 2011, 'Surging Verticality: An Experience of Balance', Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEl '11), TEl '11 - The Fifth International Conference on Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interaction, The Association for Computing Machinery - ACM, Madeira, Portugal, pp. 237-240.
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In our approach to body-focused interactive art, the tangible material with which we craft interactional aesthetic experiences is body experience. Touch and proprioception become primary materials for exploration and embedding in technology-mediated interactional situations. We applied the Feldenkrais Method of somatic bodywork in the development of a prototype interactive artwork, Surging Verticality, to pursue our understanding of how to craft audience experience, where the artwork offers a framework for critical reflection and self-enquiry. The Feldenkrais Method is based on an appreciation of musculo-skeletal organization as a fundamental component of our self-image and subjectivity. Our preliminary reflections on our experience of making, testing and evaluating body-focused interactions reveal the importance of the contract between artist and audience, the care, skill and sensitivity required by the artist and the receptivity of the audience.
Loke, L. & Robertson, T.J. 2011, 'The Lived Body in Design: Mapping the Terrain', 23rd Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference (OzCHI 2011), ACM, Canberra, Australia, pp. 181-184.
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We briefly sketch an overview of emerging design research and practice, which values the lived body as a central theoretical foundation in the design of interactive technologies. Three main areas of research activity are presented: theoretical and philosophical perspectives on bodies and embodiment; concepts of the body; and design approaches and methods for working with the body and bodily literacy.
Muller, E. & Loke, L. 2010, 'Take Part: Participatory methods in art and design', Participation: The Challenge - Proceedings of the Participatory Design Conference 2010, Participation: The Challenge - Participatory Design Conference 2010, Association of Computing Machinery, Sydney, pp. 283-284.
The Take Part workshop explores the philosophical, ethical, political and methodological crossovers that exist between artists and designers working with participatory processes.
Robertson, T.J. & Loke, L. 2009, 'Designing Situations', Conference Proceedings OZCHI2009, Australian Computer Human Interaction Conference, CHISIG, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-8.
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This paper extends the analytic framework Suchman used in Plans and Situated Actions by using it as a tool in the design of interactive, immersive environments that rely on human movement as input. We describe the historical and methodological background to Suchman's framework and the impact of her analysis on the development of HCI and related fields. We provide two examples of its use to support prototype evaluation, design reflection and generative and iterative design. Suchman's recognition that computers act on the basis of resources within their situations, just as people act in accord with the resources of theirs, broadens our focus from the design of interfaces to the design of situations within which interaction between people and computers can occur. The tool, and the methodological and theoretical commitments embedded within it, contribute to the design of emerging technologies and to current discussions about approaches to design within shifting paradigms of HCI.
Lawrence, E.M., Loke, L., Raban, R., Brookes, W.C. & Aubrey, T.A. 2009, 'Towards an Understanding of Collaboration in Teaching Technology Subjects in an Amalgamated Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology', International Conference on Mobile, Hybrid, and On-line Learning EL & ML 2009, International Conference on Mobile, Hybrid, and On-Line Learning, IEEE Computer Society Conference Publications, Cancun, Mexico, pp. 47-52.
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The paper sets out a collaborative approach for teaching technology subjects. It Illustrates the benefits of this approach over the single academic owning a particular subject. The paper presents preliminary findings from interviews with academics in a newly combined Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology. It concludes by pointing the way to the future of htis funded research project.
Loke, L. & Robertson, T.J. 2008, 'Inventing and Devising Movement in the Design of Movement-based Interactive Systems', Proceedings of the 20th Australasian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction: Designing for Habitus and Habitat, Australian Computer Human Interaction Conference, ACM, Cairns, Australia, pp. 81-87.
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This paper reports on a study that explored ways of inventing and devising movement for use in the design of movementbased interaction with video-based, motion-sensing technologies. Methods that dancers, trained in movement improvisation and performance-making, used to choreograph movement were examined as sources of potential methods for technology designers. The findings enabled us to develop methods and tools for creating and structuring new movements, based on felt experience and the creative potential of the moving body. These methods and tools contribute to the ongoing development of a design methodology underpinned by the principle of making strange. By making strange, we mean ways of unsettling habitual perceptions and conceptions of the moving body to arrive at fresh appreciations and perspectives for design that are anchored in the sensing, feeling and moving body.
Loke, L. & Robertson, T.J. 2007, 'Making Strange with the Falling Body in Interactive Technology Design', Proceedings of Design and Semantics of Form and Movement, DeSForM 2007, Design and Semantics of Form and Movement, Koninklijke Philips Electronics, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, pp. 164-175.
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Robertson, T.J., Mansfield, T. & Loke, L. 2006, 'Designing an immersive environment for public use', Proceedings of the Ninth Paticipatory Design Conference, Participatory Design Conference, CPSR/ACM, Trento, Italy, pp. 31-40.
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Loke, L., Larssen, A.T. & Robertson, T.J. 2005, 'labanotation for design of movement-based interaction', Proceedings of the second australasian conference on interactive entertainment 2005, Interactive Entertainment, ACM, Sydney, Australia, pp. 113-120.
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Loke, L., Robertson, T.J. & Mansfield, T. 2005, 'Moving bodies, social selves: movement-orientated personas and scenarios', Proceedings of the OZCHI 2005, Australian Computer Human Interaction Conference, CHISIG, Canberra, Aust, pp. 1-10.
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Loke, L., Robertson, T.J. & Mansfield, T. 2005, 'Moving bodies, social selves: Movement-oriented personas and scenarios', Proceedings of the 17th Australia conference on Computer-Human Interaction: Citizens Online: Considerations for Today and the Future, Australian Computer Human Interaction Conference, Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group (CHISIG) of Australia, Canberra, Australia, pp. 1-10.
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This paper describes the development of movement-oriented personas and scenarios for representing multiple users of an interactive, immersive environment, designed as an artistic work for a public space. Personas and scenarios were integrated into a user interaction script and linked to a set of movement schemas using Labanotation for group choreography. Enactment of the script within a prototype environment enabled the designers to experience the aesthetic and kinaesthetic qualities of the work, as well as the social interactional aspects of the user experience. This ensured that the experience of those visiting the exhibition was always central to the design process
Larssen, A.T., Loke, L., Robertson, T.J. & Edwards, J. 2004, 'Understanding Movement as Input for Interaction-a study of Two EyeToy(tm) Games', Conference Proceedings of OZCHI 2004, Australian Computer Human Interaction Conference, Bluora and Cedir, Wollongong, Australia, pp. 1-10.
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Robertson, T.J., Mansfield, T. & Loke, L. 2004, 'Human Centred Design Issues for Immersive Media Spaces', Futureground: Volume 1 Abstracts, Futureground, Monash University Faculty of Art and Design, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 0-0.
This paper describes the development of movement-oriented personas and scenarios for representing multiple users of an interactive, immersive environment, designed as an artistic work for a public space. Personas and scenarios were integrated into a user interaction script and linked to a set of movement schemas using Labanotation for group choreography. Enactment of the script within a prototype environment enabled the designers to experience the aesthetic and kinaesthetic qualities of the work, as well as the social interactional aspects of the user experience. This ensured that the experience of those visiting the exhibition was always central to the design process.

Journal articles

Loke, L. & Robertson, T.J. 2013, 'Moving And Making Strange: An Embodied Approach To Movement-based Interaction Design', ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 1-25.
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There is growing interest in designing for movement-based interactions with technology, now that various sensing technologies are available enabling a range of movement possibilities from gestural to whole-body interactions. We present a design methodology of Moving and Making Strange, an approach to movement-based interaction design that recognizes the central role of the body and movement in lived cognition. The methodology was developed through a series of empirical projects, each focusing on different conceptions of movement available within motion-sensing interactive, immersive spaces. The methodology offers designers a set of principles, perspectives, methods, and tools for exploring and testing movement-related design concepts. It is innovative for the inclusion of the perspective of the mover, together with the traditional perspectives of the observer and the machine. Making strange is put forward as an important tactic for rethinking how to approach the design of movement-based interaction.
Loke, L., Khut, P.G., Slattery, M., Truman, C., Muller, E. & Duckworth, J. 2013, 'Re-sensitising the body: interactive art and the Feldenkrais method', International Journal of Arts and Technology, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 339-356.
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This article describes interdisciplinary research undertaken by a group of artists, designers, curators and somatic bodywork practitioners to explore a humancentred approach to the potential of touch, movement, balance and proprioception as modalities for interactive art. Somatic bodywork methodologies such as the Feldenkrais method provide highly developed frameworks for attending to these very phenomena. Resensitising the body through somatic investigations allowed us as makers of bodyfocussed interactive art to translate the subtle shifts in attention and nuances of felt sensation into the audience experience of sensorbased interactive artworks. We describe the results of a yearlong project through our experience of the making of one specific experimental artwork, surging verticality. We reflect on the conditions for audience engagement and the profound connections we experienced between Feldenkrais somatic bodywork and art practice as modes of enquiry into the world.
Loke, L. & Robertson, T.J. 2010, 'Studies of dancers: Moving from experience to interaction design', International Journal of Design, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 39-54.
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As movement-based, interactive technologies continue to become more embedded in our daily lives, aliveness, vitality and pleasure in our interactions with these technologies are becoming sought-after qualities. Dance is one discipline that works directly with these qualities of aesthetic experience through the moving body. We conducted a series of studies with trained dancers and physical performers to explore ways of working with the moving body in interaction design. The first study was of falling by skilled movers. The aim was to explore the first-person experience and external representations of the act of falling. The second study explored ways of inventing and choreographing movement for use in the design of motion-sensing technologies. The results of the studies were examined to identify an emerging set of methods and tools to enable designers to work with movement and felt experience in the context of movement-based, interactive technologies. The methods and tools enable designers to move between and integrate the three different perspectives of the mover, the observer and the machine. This act of integration makes it possible for the designer to remain accountable to the different views of the moving body, in an approach to interaction design with the primacy of embodied, lived experience at its centre
Loke, L. & Robertson, T.J. 2009, 'Design representations of moving bodies in interactive, immersive spaces', International Journal Of Human-computer Studies, vol. 67, no. 4, pp. 394-410.
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This paper describes the development and use of a set of design representations of moving bodies in the design of Bystander, a multi-user, interactive, immersive artwork built on video-based, motion-sensing technology. We extended the traditional user-centred design tools of personas and scenarios to explicitly address human movement characteristics embedded in social interaction. A set of corresponding movement schemas in Labanotation was constructed to visually represent the spatial and social interaction of multiple users over time. Together these three design representations of moving bodies were used to enable the design team to work with the aspects of human movement relevant to Bystander and to ensure that the system could respond in a coherent and robust manner to the shifting configurations of visitors in the space. They also supported two experiential methods of design reflection-in-actionenactment and immersionthat were vital for grounding designers understandings of the specific interactive nature of the work in their own sensing, feeling and moving bodies.
Loke, L., Larssen, A.T., Robertson, T.J. & Edwards, J. 2007, 'Understanding movement for interaction design: Framework and Approaches', Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, vol. 11, no. 8, pp. 691-701.
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The results of a study of two computer games, that use human movement as direct input, were analysed using four existing frameworks and approaches, drawn from different disciplines that relate to interaction and movement. This enabled the exploration of the relationships between bodily actions and the corresponding responses from technology. Interaction analysis, two design frameworks and Laban movement analysis were chosen for their ability to provide different perspectives on human movement in interaction design. Each framework and approach provided a different, yet still useful, perspective to inform the design of movement-based interaction. Each allowed us to examine the interaction between the player and the game technology in quite distinctive ways. Each contributed insights that the others did not.
Larssen, A.T., Robertson, T.J., Loke, L. & Edwards, J. 2007, 'Introduction To The Special Issue On Movement-based Interaction', Personal And Ubiquitous Computing, vol. 11, pp. 607-608.
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