Making as expression: Informing design with people with complex communication needs through art therapy

Amanda Lazar, Jessica L. Feuston, Caroline Edasis, Anne Marie Piper

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is a growing emphasis on designing with people with diverse health experiences rather than designing for them. Yet, collaborative design becomes difficult when working with individuals with health conditions (e.g., stroke, cancer, abuse, depression) that affect their ability or willingness to engage alongside researchers and verbally express themselves. The present paper analyzes how the clinical practice of art therapy engages these individuals in cocreative, visual expression of ideas, thoughts, and experiences. Drawing on interviews with 22 art therapists and over two years of field work in a clinical setting, we detail how art therapists view making as expression for people with complex communication needs. Under this view, we argue that art therapy practice can inspire collaborative design engagements by understanding materials as language, creating space for expression, and sustaining expressions in a broader context. We discuss practical and ethical implications for design work involving individuals with complex communication needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2018 - Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationEngage with CHI
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Volume2018-April
ISBN (Electronic)9781450356206, 9781450356213
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 20 2018
Event2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2018 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Apr 21 2018Apr 26 2018

Other

Other2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2018
CountryCanada
CityMontreal
Period4/21/184/26/18

Keywords

  • Art therapy
  • Collaborative design
  • Communication
  • Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software

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    Lazar, A., Feuston, J. L., Edasis, C., & Piper, A. M. (2018). Making as expression: Informing design with people with complex communication needs through art therapy. In CHI 2018 - Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Engage with CHI (Vol. 2018-April). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3173574.3173925