Narcis Pares


Narcís Parés is a Tenure Associate Professor in the ICT Department (DTIC) of Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain). His research is focused on Full-body Interaction based on theories of Embodied Cognition, Human-Computer Interaction, Developmental Psychology, etc. He leads the Full-Body Interaction Lab within the Cognitive Media Technologies Group. His approach starts from Interaction Design, Interactive Communication and Interaction Models. His background is: PhD in Audiovisual Communication -specialized in Virtual Reality- (UPF), MSc in Image Processing and Artificial Intelligence (UAB) and BSc in Computer Engineering (UPC). He is co-creator and was coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Master in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media (UPF) for ten years. He has been secretary of the Audiovisual University Institute (IUA of UPF) and head of the Interactive Systems Laboratory (IUA). He is co-founder and scientific director of Galeria Virtual from 1993 to 2000, where he directed the technological aspects of a number of experimental Virtual Reality productions applied to contemporary art. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the ACM SIGCHI International Conference on Interaction Design and Children and a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Child Computer Interaction, Elsevier.

Talk: Meaningful use of full-body interaction in interactive playgrounds for children

The possibility of designing interactive experiences in which the body of the user is put in relation with the physical space and other users in this space, provides a huge potential that may take advantage of the users’ kinaesthetic abilities, their proprioception, their knowledge on navigating and exploring the world, the relation of scale that their body constantly provides to relate to objects and volumes, their capacity to change point of view, the possibility of manipulating objects, etc., etc., etc. This potential has made full-body interaction increasingly popular during the last ten years. However, it is disappointing to see how many such interactive experiences actually treat the body of users as mere cursors in a large projection where users are essentially asked to point at giant menu options and oversized buttons. In this lecture, we will analyse some of the general theories that inform full-body interaction and we will see examples of how we can justify its use in experiences that make good use of its essential properties. The topics that will be covered are:

  • What is Full-Body Interaction?
  • Three pillars: Embodied Cognition, Developmental Psychology, and Physiology
  • Meaning generation through Full-Body Interaction in Interactive Communication and Experience Design
  • Examples of my work in Full-Body Interaction Environments for Children
  • FUBImethod: a method for raising body awareness in co-design teams through a framework that guides the design and evaluates the usefulness of embodied design techniques for children