Digital Dramaturgy Lab_squared hosts two-day workshop at 24th ACM conference

October 15, 2021 by Tara Maher

For the first time, the Digital Dramaturgy Labsquared will present a two-day workshop entitled "arttech: Performance and Embodiment in Technology for Resilience and Mental Health" (Oct. 23-24) as part of the 24th Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) conference on computer- supported cooperative work and social computing.

This workshop will bring together collaborative interdisciplinary research from the performing arts, social engineering and social computing. It serves as the first testing phase for the research led by Professors Antje Budde (Digital Dramaturgy Labsquared) and Mark Chignell (Interactive Media Lab) entitled: “PLAYStrong – Promoting Student Resilience through Interactive Prototypes for Embodied Self-learning”

Executive summary
Many students experience loneliness, anxiety and depressed mood as they deal with the pressure of rapidly learning new ideas and skills in a competitive university environment and dealing with a confusing new world of social relationships and ideologies. Recent suicides are the most dramatic expression of an unfolding mental health crisis.

We will use three embodied technology scenarios to facilitate self-learning and psychological resilience:

  1. Immersive hybrid physical/virtual AR/VR environments; 
  2. Physical-digital motion-tracking interactive spaces; 
  3. EEG-interfacing physical live movement/action and multi-media interaction.

We will employ play and game dramaturgy/action design where the primary goal of performances is for the actors (in this case our target students) to acquire attitudes of problem solving, self-awareness, and conflict management through embodied (inter)action. Case studies will utilize movement and play-based alternative thinking challenges within the three technology scenarios and will send students on a journey of alternative thinking, imagination, self-awareness and self-care while actively and physically moving and problem solving.