The research context
My doctoral research explores the role of digital jewellery to support a sense of self during micro-transitions in the context of living in/between two countries. My research offers a focus on atypical personal interactions in order to address a range of questions and potentially open up our expectations and experiences of the digital. It is a practice-led research with the focus on craft explorations, autobiographical expriences and dialogue with people.
Drawing from my experiences of travelling back to Greece for short breaks and reflecting on my sense of self in two different places (UK and Greece), I noticed changes in each different place and significantly the dynamics of these adjustments occurring during the flight journey itself. The research was framed to understand and investigate both if/how this context is experienced by others and if/where there are opportunities for digital jewellery to support fluctuations and changes to sense of self during such journeys. To add depth to my explorations of digital jewellery and my experience of being between two countries, I worked closely with a small group of participants who share similar experiences with me.
The participants were three female interaction design researchers born in different places in the world, but who at the time where the research was undertaken lived and worked in the UK and periodically (approx. 2 – 3 times per year) travelled back to their countries of origin for short breaks. I worked with these participants firstly because they had the experience of living in two different places and travelling between them and secondly to enable a particular level of discourse around the potentials of digital technology to support transitions to sense of self in this context (Microcosmos, (Topoi, (Togetherness, Travelling with the Sea.
In the research, I adopted a Research Through Design approach rooted in craft practice and participatory design. I conducted self-reflective practices to explore from my personal experiences what it means to experience this context of transition and I organised co-design workshops and meetings with a small group of particpants for a period of 2 years. A innovative method of Staged Atmosphere was developed for this context during the Aircraft workshop where I used performance and design probes as a stimulus for conversations around a sense of self and personal significance and ideas for digital jewellery. I designed novel examples of digital jewellery and to trigulate the data and open a discource in relation to the resulting pieces developed within the study, I adopted the Delphi Technique with a group of experts in the field.
I used magazines as a documentation tool throughout the study and I shared my research in conferences and research publications.