ETHOS Lab is very excited to introduce you all to our lovely lab member Vasiliki Tsaknaki. Vasiliki’s research is in the HCI domain and combines materials experiences, computational crafts and somatic design methods. Through practice-based studies, she investigates and reflects on intersections of these areas with a feminist theoretical commitment, probing the space of designing for wellbeing and exploring (bio)data as a design material. 

Below, Vasiliki reflects further on her work…

What is currently making you excited about your research?

I am currently excited to be doing research on two main topics. The first is studying how fabulations can be used to imagine and extend care practices in the Nordic context, encouraging broader forms of participation in society, building stronger connections among citizens, and ultimately fostering more resilient futures. The second is studying, through design practice and autoethnographic studies, new approaches to smart weather devices for domestic contexts, as new forms of “soft and felt Internet of Things”. Focused on humidity data, I am exploring new ways of visualising humidity data through thermochromic textile displays and soft sensors & actuators crafted through weaving, knitting and knotting techniques. Both of these research projects tackle technological futures of well-being with a post-anthropocentric focus, and by putting attention to bodily experiences, and social and environmental aspects.

How are you engaging with the current discourse around technological advancements in your work?

I have a critical and feminist approach towards technological advancements in HCI, aiming to reflect on and suggest alternatives to predominant values permeating technological futures, by paying attention to notions of felt and somatic experiences, crafts, and bodily normativities. My research is driven by questions such as “what are the tech futures we want?” and “who is included/excluded from those futures?”

What are your hopes for the research and your contribution to it?
My hope is to contribute to design research approaches within HCI that aim to influence the current discourse of technological developments towards more just, ethical and inclusive futures. But also, to leverage the importance of crafts, poetry, emotions and artistic approaches in HCI, showing new paths to positivist traditions that value rationale and objectivity.