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(Un)Balance _ Mindfulness through movement-based interactive experiences in XR

(Un)Balance _ Mindfulness through movement-based interactive experiences in XR

This paper aims at exploring the potential of movement-based interactive experiences in XR to train mindfulness, and more specifically four of its main facets: Awareness towards inner experiences, Awareness towards outer experiences, Relativity of thoughts and beliefs, and Openness to experience. It proposes to focus on balance as a central node between sensations of the body, perception of the world, emotions, and their respective stabilities. 

The research question is explored through a literature reviewing the current practices of mindfulness, the role of balance in sensations of the body and perception of the world, possible techniques in bringing one to attend to the sensations of the body and perception of the world through balance, and the notion of relativity of thoughts and beliefs in balance. This review is then used to guide the design of five prototypes of (Un)Balance, a movement-based interactive mindfulness experience in XR where participants are invited to explore the limits of balance through movement. Through a thematic analyses of the response of participants, four main themes emerge which are an openness to experience facilitated by VR and play, the interaction of different elements of XR experiences in allowing a flow of attention, the importance of balancing different sensory inputs in allowing general awareness, and the role of unpredictable patterns of response in facilitating sustained attention.

Those findings are finally applied in a proposal of design development of the experience (Un)Balance, its physical and virtual layers, as well as its experience protocol.

 

A: Introduction

The last 10 years have seen a rise of general interest in mindfulness practices, such as body scan meditation, yoga or Tai Chi. Also used in clinical contexts, here i am mainly interested in its use in everyday life by the general public of the western world, and its acceptance as a mean to reduce stress and improve general mental and physical well-being.

The increasing need for such practice could be attributed to the extensive exposure to digital media technology which many argues has a “damaging effect on our sustained and selective attention” (Gausby, 2015; King, 2016). By multiplying the amount of stimuli our world provides, it would divide of our attention, resulting in heightened stress levels and poor mental and physical well-being.

Nonetheless the practice of mindfulness techniques can be challenging for the novices, often leading to discouragement and early abandon of the practice. 

This paper aims at exploring the potential of movement-based interactive experiences in XR to train mindfulness in the beginner and and more specifically four of its main facets: Awareness towards inner experiences, Awareness towards outer experiences, Relativity of thoughts and beliefs, and Openness to experience. It proposes to focus on balance as a central node between sensations of the body, perception of the world, emotions, and their respective stabilities. 

Extended Reality (XR) refers to “all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables” (North of 41, 2018).

In this thesis I firstly review the literature on mindfulness, movement, balance and perception so as to understand the potential of movement-based interactive experiences in XR in training mindfulness. I then detail the design of a series of experiences prototypes which was guided by those initial understandings. These experiences prototypes are shared in two exhibition settings. I note that the experiences prototypes aim at testing the concept and not the specific usability nor technological aspects of the design. I then use a thematic analyses of my observations as well as the gathered feedback from participants to expose my findings on the proposed research question. Those findings are finally applied in a proposal of design development of the experience (Un)Balance, its physical and virtual layers, as well as its experience protocol.

 

B: Literature review

In this section I review the literature on mindfulness, the role of balance in sensations of the body and perception of the world, possible techniques in bringing one to attend to the sensations of the body and perception of the world through balance, and the notion of relativity of thoughts and beliefs in balance. I do so so as to guide the design of a series of experience prototypes of (Un)Balance.

 

B1: Mindfulness

Definition and practices

Mindfulness has been defined as “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment” (Kabat-Zinn, 2003). “Mindfulness techniques commonly involve developing awareness and acceptance of constantly changing experiential phenomena. These phenomena may include cognitions, emotions, bodily sensations, and external stimuli” (Baer 2003).

While being aware that contemporary psychology tends to describe mindfulness inconsistently (Bergomi et al. 2013), it is on those definitions that I will focus for the purpose of this paper. 

Mindfulness is rooted in ancient origins, notably in Buddhism (Allen et al. 2006; Baer 2003). Nevertheless, mindfulness techniques can also be practiced without the involvement of any tradition (Hayes and Shenk 2004; Kabat-Zinn 1990).

It can be trained through different practices or techniques such as guided meditation, yoga, praying, walking or Tai Chi.These aim at training mindfulness through encouraging episodes of heightened mindfulness (Salmon et al. 2009). It is believed that practicing mindfulness techniques frequently “lead to an overall diffusion of mindfulness throughout everyday life” (Garland et al. 2015). In the recent years, new forms of mindfulness training have been developed namely through the use of VR, and digital games.

To understand mindfulness, and how it is done, multitude attempts have been done to depict its facets (Park et al. 2013), with fluctuating differences (Bergomi et al. 2013). The Comprehensive Inventory of Mindfulness Experiences (CHIME) (Bergomi et al. 2014), has recently been created in an attempt to merge those conceptual views and provide a comprehensive measure of mindfulness as well as a clear depiction of its facets. 

The 8 facets are described as follow: 1- Awareness Towards Inner Experiences: “Ability to be aware of one’s own experiences such as thoughts, feelings and sensations” (Bergomi et al. 2013, 2014); 2- Awareness Towards Outer Experiences: “Clear perception and experience of external stimuli” (Bergomi et al. 2013, 2014);

3- Openness to Experience: “Non-avoidant (confrontational) attitude towards experiences that is characterised by openness and curiosity” (Bergomi et al. 2013, 2014); 4- Decentering: “Ability to experience non-reactively”(Bergomi et al. 2013, 2014); 5- Acceptance: “Encounter of experiences with an accepting attitude and without judgement, e.g., good or bad” (Bergomi et al. 2013, 2014); 6- Relativity of Thoughts and Beliefs. “The recognition that thoughts and beliefs do not possess universal truth but are completely subjective and might not always correspond to reality” (Bergomi et al. 2013, 2014); 7- Insightful Understanding: “Understanding that the quality of an experience is influenced by its subjective evaluation” (Bergomi et al. 2013, 2014); 8- Acting with Awareness. “Staying in the moment, being fully conscious of the here and now” (Bergomi et al. 2013, 2014).

All mindfulness techniques shall encompass the 8 facets listed above. 

Today mindfulness are being used throughout the eastern world, but also increasingly in the western world. 

Looking at general populations, there is clear rise of general interest in including moments of mindfulness in one’s everyday life. We can observe this through the multiplied use of guided meditation phone applications such as Headspace (2014) or the rise of the practice of yoga or Tai Chi. It is generally used in the aim of managing stress or improving general mental and physical well-being.

On the other hand, mindfulness is also becoming more and more accepted in western medicine as a therapeutic measure (Ekman et al. 2005), to help patients with specific psychological or physical disorders. Is is often used as a complement to classical medical or psychological approaches. Examples of those conditions are depression (Cash and Whittingham, 2010), anxiety disorders (Cash and Whittingham, 2010), chronic pain (Kabat-Zinn et al. 1985), or multiple sclerosis (Mills and Allen, 2000) or substance-abuse addiction (Bowen et al, 2009). 

The most popular practices wether used by general public or in clinical contexts are body scan meditation, yoga and Tai Chi. In body scan meditation, while the participant is static, usually sitted “ the attention is directed towards different areas of the body consecutively with an emphasis on noticing and experiencing any sensations, pain or muscle tension in each area” (Mirams et al, 2013). In yoga, the participant “accomplishes sequences of postures, that incorporate regulated breathing and focused attention on proprioceptive and interceptive sensations” (Salmon et al, 2009). Tai Chi is “a traditional Chinese mind–body practice that involves slow movements (i.e., movement of the body trunk and upper and lower limbs so as to form various postures systematically following one another), deep breathing, and visualisations”.(Lee et al, 2017)

It worth noting that several studies note that movement-based meditation such as yoga or Tai Chi correlate with more changes in measures of mindfulness than the practice of sitting meditation (Caldwell et al. 2010).

Limitations of current practices 

One of the major limitations of current mindfulness practices is the difficulty for beginners to access an initial entry point in mindfulness practice, such as the difficulty to 6 

attend to inner and/or outer experiences. 

When it comes to awareness of outer experiences a few VR guided meditation experiences such as ProvataVR (2016) or GuidedMeditationVR (2017) provide a VR meditation backdrop depicting relaxing scenes, most often a nature landscapes, in the aim to help with bringing a participant into a present moment through raising awareness of outer experiences. Research does provide evidence that guided meditation experience has a therapeutic potential in the treatment of anxiety and stress disorders (Tarrant et al, 2018).

Nevertheless, while this is true about awareness of outer experiences, the use of VR is more questioned when it comes to awareness of inner experiences. For example, VR-based experiences have long been used as distraction in pain management therapy (Hoffman et al, 2000), as VR tends to “draw the patient attention into a computer-generated world, leaving less attention available to process incoming pain signals”(Hoffman et al, 2011). 

A few experiences address this issue through mixing VR with body responsive technologies. We see for example Juno (2017), which integrates breath responsive technology, or PsychicVR (2017) which uses a brain-computer interface. These experiences seem more likely to provide mindfulness training as they both encourage awareness of inner and outer experiences.

According to my knowledge, the issue of difficulty for beginners hasn’t yet been addressed in the context movement-based mindfulness practices.

While this project won’t address it, it is worth noting that another limitation of current mindfulness practices, again mainly for novice practitioners, is the difficulty of self-evaluation. This has been addressed in MeditAid, “a wearable system integrating electroencephalography technology to identify different meditative states and provide feedback to support users in deepening their meditation” (Sas and Chopra, 2015). 

Mindfulness and (Un)Balance

Being aware of the current works in the design field to provide physical and/or virtual experience easing novices in the practice of mindfulness, I see an opportunity to explore the possibilities of movement-based interactive experiences in XR as a mean to provide more intuitive ways to introduce mindfulness practice, and more specifically movement-based mindfulness practice to novices.

Reflecting on the facets of mindfulness as described by Bergomi, I see a particular potential for movement-based interactive experiences in XR to help train the following: 1- Awareness Towards Inner Experiences; 2- Awareness Towards Outer Experiences; 3- Openness to Experience; 6- Relativity of Thoughts and Beliefs. This is what i will address in this paper as well as in the design of (Un)Balance.

 

B2: Role of balance in sensations of the body and perception of the world

“We are encased by flesh in a physical being that defines the limits of our ability to act upon the world, and provides the medium by which the world acts upon us” (Haugeland, 1998). 

Bodily sensations greatly contribute to our minds being embodied and embedded in the world. It is ‘how we experience our bodies and how our bodies experience the world’ (Eccleston, 2015). 

As embodied cognition emphasises, our bodies inform how we think and perceive the world. We actively experience the bodily senses, which receive stimuli from the environment. We construct reality through body action in and on the world. Shusterman puts it as “our bodies are our indispensable tool of tools, the necessary medium of our being, perception, action and self-presentation” (2006).

Embodied cognition, a movement in cognitive science sees “cognition as situated: of movement that is always of and for action” (Eccleston, 2015). Here “the mind is a product of physical being in interaction with the world” (Gover, 1996). Maxine Sheets-Johnstone adds the movement is essential in making the world perceivable and accessible for young children (2011). 

Shusterman on the other hand points out that “to improve our body awareness, we need to move and furthermore move in ways that shifts us out of our habitual movements and response patterns” (2006). 

In the context of mindfulness training, as seen in the practice of yoga and Tai Chi, the body in movement could therefor be seen as a tool to channel attention both 

Figure a: Guided meditation VR, 2018. Guided meditation VR.

Figure b: PsychicVR, 2018. MIT Media Lab.7 

towards the body (inner experience) as well as the world surrounding it (outer experience).

A central element in the practice of both yoga and Tai Chi is also balance. “Yoga entails moving the body mindfully through a series of poses, as well as balancing the body while in a single pose” (Shiffmann, 1996). In the context of (Un)Balance we will explore specifically how the action of balancing, which is an essential component of any movement, can train awareness of the body and its stability, as well as the world and its stability.

Balance is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady”. It is the action of “maintaining postural equilibrium _ centring and maintaining the body’s mass in relation to gravity” (Eccleston, 2015). Through balance, we control our bodily positions while moving, whether it be be walking, running, or dancing. It is a continuous and automatic activity which accompanies every movement of the body. It allows us “to take a stand in relation to the world” (Lopez et al. 2008).

The perception of balance is achieved by processing sensory input from the visual, vestibular and proprioceptive and haptic systems and their cortical integration. Proprioception (also referred to as sense of position) is, as first described by Sherrington, ”the ability to feel the position of the body in space and limbs of the body in relation to the rest of the body” (Sherrington, 1906).

Balance, in a psychological sense, “refers to more than just equilibrium: balance is the stable gravitational position in relation to the world, an egocentric sense of position within the world (where i am in relation to other objects), and a sense of agency (control over that position).” (Eccleston, 2016) It is also worth noticing that the vestibular system involved in the sense of balance, through interacting with other sensory systems, seems to also assist to body schema in general (Lopez et al. 2012) and ‘specifically to one’s sense of ownership over all or part of one’s body’ (Merritt and Tharp, 2013).

The sense of balance therefor relies on informations regarding the body as well as the world, and their respective stabilities, and is intrinsically linked to our perception of both. Through attending to the sense of balance, we would both attend to inner and outer experiences. It therefor appears relevant to explore the design of movement-based interactive XR experiences involving the sense of balance.

Balance and openness to experience through play

It is the curiosity of the toddler and the urge of exploring the surrounding environment that lead him to learn how to stand and therefor master his/her sense of balance.

“Babies explore_ they move and act in highly variable and playful ways that are not goal-oriented and are seemingly random. In doing so, they discover new problems and new solutions. This exploration makes intelligence open-ended and inventive.” (Eccleston, 2016) This attitude is also called play. 

I see a parallel between play and the facet of mindfulness called Openness to Experience which is characterised by a “Non-avoidant (confrontational) attitude towards experiences that is characterised by openness and curiosity” (Bergomi et al. 2013, 2014). While movement-based mindfulness practices such as yoga or Tai Chi train participants in executing precise movements, which complexity can prevent the beginner to embrace an openness of experience, I see potential in non-goal orientated games and experiences to train this facet of mindfulness in the beginner while retaining the movement aspect of these practices.

I also note that in virtual environment design, the term immersion is defined as “a feeling of being present within a virtual world”. (Pierce et al, 2017) I therefor see potential in a mixed-reality experience to encourage the participant be in the present, with a curious and playful attitude.

It therefor appears relevant to explore non-goal oriented experiences in XR to encourage openness to experience.

 

B3: Attending to the sensations of the body and perception of the world through balance

While the sense of balance plays a key role in our perception of the body and the world, it operates automatically. This means that it does not require constant attending, but momentary attention does happen (Eccleston, 2016). In this section I will explore how extend those moments of attention. 

How could (Un)Balance bring participants to attend to the sensation of stability of the body and perception of the stability of the world?

Firstly it is necessary to explain the basics of the process of attention. As stated above, when we experience the world, we construct reality through body action in and on the world. We often are under the impression that we grasp this reality in full detail but this is an illusion. The brain has evolved mechanisms to only select the informations that are the most important. One of those mechanisms is attention. One can think of attention as a form of mental currency that the brain has to choose very carefully has to spend. Nobody has an unlimited amount of attention. Our brain has enough power to attend on one element at a time. (Nikos Konstantinou, 2015).

Channel attention through bringing the sense of balance to its limits

Being embodied, also means being limited. While the sense of balance operates automatically, when we live experiences pushing balance to its limits we attend to it. Experiences could be negative, such as falling or filling fizzy, or experiences associated with activities requiring a high level of balance control, such as surfing or ballet dancing. (Eccleston, 2016)

Therefor one way to bring attention towards the sense of balance and the sensations in the body and perception of the world it involves, could be to create experiences which would push the sense of balance to its limits. In the context of (Un)Balance, this could be a physical device requiring a higher level of balance control, such as an unstable floor.

This is a technique which already used in the practice of yoga, “where a large the skill lies in sensing just how far to move into a pose. If one does not move far enough, there 8 

is no challenge for the muscles; however, going too far may result in pain or injury.” Therefore, the practice of yoga involves learning to listen to the sensations of the body while willingly pushing it to its limits (Shiffman, 1996). Another way to push the participant’s sense of balance to its limits would to encourage the participant to explore the limits of balance willingly, through play for example.

Attending to the sensations of the body through amplifying the sense of balance

Channel attention through augmenting bodily sensations in balance

Another approach to channel attention towards a specific sensation is to amplify it. 

Augmenting a sense can be done through amplifying a sensory input, such the apparel worn by Rebecca Horn in her performance “Unicorn”. The effect on the wearer is described as “extended up into space and down through the head, the mythical hybrid feels the pull of gravity and must concentrate on balance, pace and head position” (Horn, 1970). Here the apparel amplifies the senses of balance and gravity through using the very sensory systems involved in these senses naturally, such as the proprioceptive system. It does so in a linear way.

Augmenting a sense can also be done trough using a different sensory input than the one(s) usually normally involved. It can also be referred as feedback. For example a sound feedback can be used to augment proprioception (Kurihara et al, 2012).

In the context of balance, bodily sensations involved are the sensation of weight shifting as well as muscle tensions. The heaviest parts of the body being the pelvis and the head, a lot of those muscle tensions happen in the torso, linking the two. Could part of the experience of (Un)Balance consist in an apparel (physical and/or virtual) augmenting the sensations of weight shifting and muscle tensing in the torso? Should it do so using the proprioceptive system only, or should it also use visual, sound and/or haptic sensory inputs?

Attending and Predictive Processing (PP)

Predictive Processing has a specific characterisation of attention, which it sees as the mechanism for optimising precision (Velasco, 2017).

Its central idea is that the brain uses observations to make hypothesis about the world in the form of predictions. These predictions go top-down (from higher-order areas down to sensory sheets) and get updated by the error from perception bottom-up. The aim of the PP organism is to reduce error over time (by making better predictions, by learning from the world and by transforming the world). In order to do this, it tries to reduce uncertainty. The measure it has of uncertainty is the variance of the error of its own predictions. The inverse of variance is precision, and the PP organism tries to maximise precision over time in order to attain its overall goal of reducing error over time.

According to PP, attention is the mechanism for optimising precision. If a new unexpected sensory input appears (generating a lot of error) more resources will be directed to tackle that source of error and explain the error away with better predictions, therefor channelling the attention towards that sensory input (Velasco, 2017).

In the context of (Un)Balance, and a previously discussed component augmenting the sensations of weight shifting and muscle tensing through additional sensory input, if the latter has an identifiable pattern in the way it responds to the participant’s movement, the participant’s PP organism will quickly find out the pattern behind the source of uncertainty, make better predictions, and eventually divert attention away from this new sensory input. This means, that for apparel amplifying the sense of balance to continuously drive the subject’s attention towards the body what is needed is a sensory input that doesn’t follow a pattern that is easy to predict. The response of the apparel to the participant’s movement should not be entirely linear nor predictable.

Figure d: Rotary switch feedback, 2012. Kurihara, Y.

Figure c: Unicorn, 1970. Rebecca Horn.9 

 

B4: Relativity of thoughts and beliefs in balance

One of the facets of mindfulness is “the recognition that thoughts and beliefs do not possess universal truth but are completely subjective and might not always correspond to reality” (50,49). Here I will explore how the relativity of thoughts and beliefs plays out in the perception of balance of the body and stability of the world.

Emotions and relativity of perception of balance 

Movement has a bidirectional relationship with emotions (Darwin, 1982, James, 1932; Laban and Ullmann, 1971; Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, 2011). She says ‘What is kinetic is affective, or potentially affective; by the same qualitative measure, what is affective is kinetic, or potentially kinetic.’

The link of balance and emotions is also bidirectional. Impaired postural control affects our emotional states (Dros et al, 2011; Perekakis et al, 2012) and emotional states such as fear or anxiety, also impact our balance, and perception of the world and its stability (Eccleston, 2016). This is illustrated by the embodied metaphor (Lakoff and Johnson, 2008) ‘being imbalanced’ often used to refer to emotional imbalance. 

This highlights that our perception of the world and in particular its stability is relative to our emotional states. 

Relativity of perception of balance in XR

As the sense of balance is achieved by processing informations from the visual, vestibular and proprioceptive systems as well as memory, the impairment of one of those systems does affect our balance and therefor perception of the world.

For example the sensation of self-motion “is a common visual illusion which allows inferences concerning visual-vestibular interaction” (Dichgans and Brandt, 1978). One can experience self-motion while looking at the clouds, or while sat in a static train looking at another train in motion on the opposite track. A suggested explanation of self-motion sees these illusions as “inferences based upon the conscious or unconscious assumption of a stable environment, so that when the environment does in fact move, the observer infers that he himself is moving” (Dichgans and Brandt, 1978). An interesting example of “inverted self-motion” are the sea legs which refers to the illusion of self-motion felt on dry land after spending time at sea. This could be induced by an assumption to be standing on a rocking surface while this one is static. (Stevens and Parsons, 2002).

Similarly, an impairment of the vestibular system can provoke vertigo, “the sensation of self-motion when no self-motion is occurring” (Bisdorff et al, 2016) which one usually experiences as “the perception of a body moving (or being moved) out of one’s control” (Eccleston, 2016) and/or “the experience of spatial impermanence” (Eccleston, 2016).

The systems involved in the sense of balance are therefor not only responsible for our ability to stand on the world, but also for our perception of its stability.

I see in the illusion of an unstable world in VR an opportunity to artificially introduce the participant to the idea of relativity of thought and beliefs in regard to balance. For example, (Un)Balance could bring the participant to question the stability of the world, through using VR to immerse him/her in a world with a rocking horizon while his/her vestibular system would be reporting a static world.

 

B5: Articulating the principles of design for mindfulness through movement-based interactive experiences in XR

Here I want to review the potential principles of design for mindfulness through movement-based interactive experiences in XR which emerged in the above literature review. Those principles will then be used to guide the design of the preliminary prototypes of (Un)Balance, each composed of multiple components.

As previously stated, those principles will focus on four facets of mindfulness: Awareness Towards Inner Experiences, Awareness Towards Outer Experiences, Openness To Experience and Relativity of Thoughts and Beliefs.

(Un)Balance shall explore three ways to bring participants to attend to the body and the world through balance. Firstly, one or more components of the experience shall bring the participant’s sense of balance to its limits through requiring a higher level of balance control (such as an unstable floor), as well as encouraging an exploration of those limits. Secondly, one or more components of the experience shall attempt to augment the sensations of weight shifting and muscle tensing while balancing. Finally, one of the later components shall explore the principle of Predictive Processing by responding to the participant’s movement in a non-predictable pattern, in the aim of not only bringing attention to the bodily sensation but also sustain it.

(Un)Balance shall also explore the possibility to artificially introduce the participant to the idea of relativity of thoughts and beliefs through bringing him/her to question the stability of the world through the illusion of an unstable world in VR. 

Finally, (un)Balance shall encourage openness to experience, curiosity and a non-judgemental attitude through a non-goal oriented experience inviting exploration of movement and balance, as well as through the use of VR, known for triggering openness through immersion.

 

C: Methodology 

In this section I will describe the methodology used to explore my thesis question: Can movement-based interactive experiences in XR train mindfulness and how ?

Since these experiences had to be firstly designed and developed, the core of my approach is Research through design (Rtd). “Rtd adopts both method and process from design practice” (Zimmerman et al. 2007). In this research method the design of the artefact becomes a way of gaining new knowledge and understanding. Koskinen, Zimmerman, Binder, Redstrom and Wensveen (2013) see “the construction of the artefact as a key means in constructing knowledge”. Therefor, the design of the presented preliminary prototypes of (Un)Balance has in itself been a tool to explore my thesis question. A literature review, summarised in the above section, also helped guide the design of those preliminary prototypes. 

The resulting five experiences prototypes were then exhibited in two different similar settings: two of them were exhibited in June 2018 in London during a Work In Progress show of the M.Arch Design for performance and interaction, the three others were exhibited in September 2018 in Linz, Austria, as part of the Living Lab at the Ars Electronica Festival. During those two exhibitions around 120 participants in total experienced one of the designs, with a minimum of 20 for each specific design. These participants were aged from 4 to 65 year old. Some had experienced VR previously, some didn’t. Each of them expressed the will to experience one of the designs, and remained in the experience for 3 to 10 minutes.

The exhibition setting, namely the difference in age in the participants as well as the necessity to act fast to avoid queues forming, didn’t allow for structured interviews post-experience, but still enabled gathering of informal feedback in the aim of a qualitative research. The later happened through two different means. Firstly a participant observation method, where I took notes on post-its of behaviours and eventual spontaneous comments while the participant was experiencing the designs. Secondly I asked an average of two open questions to participants post experience. These questions were part of the following set:

– During the experience, did you attend more than usual to your sense of balance? If yes, do you know component of the experience triggered this heightened awareness?

– During the experience, would you say that you were attending more to the sensations of your body or to the stability of the world around you? Did this evolve in time during the experience ?

– During the experience, were you more aware than usual of your emotions?

– Did you feel rather shy, curious or anxious? Did the evolve in time?

– Does your body feel different now? Do you perceive the world differently now?

I took also note of each relevant piece of feedback on an individual post-it. 

My observations were then compiled with the participant’s feedback and processed through a thematic analyses where I ordered the collection of post-its in clusters in order to make relevant themes helping the exploration of my thesis research emerge.

 

D: Prototypes 

In this section I will describe the 3 preliminary prototypes of experiences I designed and then exhibited in participatory exhibition settings. As each of those experiences uses two to three components (physical or virtual) out of a set of five. I will start by describing the design of those and the effect expected for each of them. I will then describe the three preliminary prototypes of experiences. For each of them I will describe the experience protocol as well the effect expected.

 

D1: Experiences components

 

Component 1: Unsettling platform 

and climbing harness

Description

The component 1 is a 2.20mx2.20m tilting platform functioning as an unstable floor. It pivots around its centre point and is cushioned with foam blocks. It responds in a linear way to the movements of the participants. The participant also wears a climbing harness, securing him from the centre point of the platform. 

Intention

The component 1 is a tool to bring his/her senses of movement and balance to their limits, through modifying the expected haptic response of a floor to his/her movements. The limited surface also contributes to impose a spatial limit to movement possibilities. The presence of the harness shall diminish a possible fear of falling through securing the participant while unsettled.

As explained in the above research, it is expected that designing an experience bringing the sense of balance to its limit will encourage an accentuated awareness of this sense in the participant as well as an awareness of the environment itself (here the platform). Through diminishing a possible fear of falling, the harness shall encourage an openness to experience, a playful exploratory attitude.

 

Component 2: Balance augmentation apparel

Description

The component 2 is a vest strapped closely to the body. Three tubes half filled with lead bids are placed on the upper part of the back. The total weight of the beads are 1.5kg. As the participant moves, the beads shift within the tubes, displacing an additional weight left and right of the body. The beads sliding inside the tubes also create a sound feedback of these shifts of weight. The response of the vest to the participant’s movements is linear.

Intention

The component 2 is designed to augment the bodily sensations of weight shifting and muscle tensing in the participant in movement, through amplifying those sensations as well as adding a sound feedback. It is expected to bring the attention of participant towards the bodily sensations involved in balancing such as weight shifting and muscles tensing.

 

Component 3: Minimal virtual world 

Description

The component 3 is a virtual world designed in Unity 3D and transformed into a VR experience using the HTC Vive, one HTC Vive trackers and the steamVR for Unity 3D plug-in. The tracker is placed on the platform, allowing to track its position and rotation angle. The design is a minimal landscape placing the participant on a virtual platform of the same dimensions as the physical one, which responds to the movements of the later in a linear way. A ground plane is placed 4 meters bellow the platform, and a fog is animated coming closer and further to the platform, allowing to see the horizon from time to time. The colour scheme is minimal, shades of grey and a pale Cyan, known for helping relaxation.

Intention

The component 2 is firstly designed to allow the participant to be immersed in a VR environment, sheltering the physical surroundings of the exhibition. As seen above, the immersive qualities of VR environment are prone to encourage openness to experience in the participant.

The changing qualities of the environment (closeness of the fog) intend to draw a part of the participant’s attention towards outer experiences, in opposition to inner experiences.

 

Component 4: Virtual balance augmentation 

Description

The component 4 is a an additional feature to the virtual world of component 2. An additional HTC Vive tracker is placed on the front of the participant torso, allowing to track the position of the participant’s torso, as well as rotating angles in real time. It allows the participant torso to become an emitter of spherical particules. These particules are attracted by a so-called virtual gravity, which is influenced equally by the changing rotation angle of the platform, and tilts of the participants torso. The influence of the gravity on the particles’ behaviour fluctuates throughout the experience, making the particles respond more or less to the participant’s movements.

Intention

The component 4 is firstly intends to augment the participant’s bodily sensation of weight shifting as he/she moves and balances, through a visual sensory input. The fluctuation of the level of response of the particles to the participant’s movements forms a non-predictable pattern aiming at not only bringing attention to the bodily sensation but also sustaining it.12 

 

Component 5: Shifting horizon illusion 

Description

The component 5 is an alternative virtual world to component 2. Here, I am still using Unity 3D, the HTC Vive, one HTC Vive trackers and the steamVR for Unity 3D plug-in. The virtual world is a landscape scenery. The tracker is placed on the platform, allowing to track its position and rotation angle. The virtual world is a monochrome landscape scenery, providing strong angles as visual perception reference points. A layer of fog hovering a meter above sea level. The participant is placed on a platform of the same shape and dimensions as component 1. As the participants makes the platform tilting angle change, not only the virtual platform on which he/she stands tilts, but also the fog of the virtual environment, making the whole horizon sway.

Intention

The component 5 is intended to artificially introduce the participant to the idea of relativity of thoughts and beliefs through bringing him/her to question the stability of the world through the illusion of an unstable world in VR. 

 

D2: Pilot experiences

 

Experience A

Description

As per figures e-1 and e-2, in this experience the physical world is composed of component 1 and 2. No virtual world is involved in this experience.

Intention 

My intention with this experience using only physical components, is to bring the participant to attend to the physical sensations of balance, as well as to the stability of the environment through movement. The absence of a virtual experience will help me to assess the effect of this tool on the level of openness to experience in the participants.

Experience protocol

1- The participant manifests interest in experiencing one of the designs.

2- I briefly introduce the concept behind the experiences, in different levels of depth depending on the audience (namely depending on the age of the individual)

3- I invite him/her to get prepared for the experience.

4- I help the participant to put the climbing harness, while having a casual chat aiming at making him/her feel at ease. 

5- I help the participant put on the physical balance augmentation apparel. 

6- I invite the participant to move a little and acknowledge the effect and feedback of the component 2.

7- I invite the participant to step on the platform while i stand steady in its centre, and join me so I can attach the climbing harness to the rope.

8- I explain the experience further, mentioning that it is a non-goal oriented game, simply inviting participants to explore the limits of balance.

9- I indicate that while it isn’t required, the participant can hold on to the rope if needed.

10- I indicate that I am now leaving the platform and he/she can begin to explore.

11- The participants stays in the experience without a limit of time

12- When the participant manifests a will to stop the experience, I undo the climbing hook and invite him/her to step aside the platform to undo the rest of the equipment.

13- While undoing the equipment, I ask one or two questions from the stated list.

 

Experience B

Description

As per figures f-1, f-2 and f-3, in this experience the physical world is composed of components 1 and 2. The virtual world is component 3.

Intention 

My intention with this experience is to bring the participant to attend to the physical sensations of balance, as well as to the stability of the environment through movement in XR.

Experience protocol

1- The participant manifests interest in experiencing one of the designs.

2- I briefly introduce the concept behind the experiences, in different levels of depth depending on the audience (namely depending on the age of the individual)

3- I help the participant to put the climbing harness, while having a casual chat aiming at making him/her feel at ease. I also ask wether she/he have been in VR before, and if not, I introduce what to expect.

4- I help the participant put on the physical balance augmentation apparel. 

5- I invite the participant to move a little and acknowledge the effect and feedback of the component 2.

6- I invite the participant to step on the platform while i stand steady in its centre, and join me so I can attach the climbing harness to the rope.

7- I explain the experience further, mentioning that it is a non-goal oriented game, simply inviting participants to explore the limits of balance.

8- I indicate that while it isn’t required, the participant can hold on to the rope if needed.

9- I put the VR headset on the participant.

10- I indicate that I am now leaving the platform and he/she can begin to explore.

11- The participants stays in the experience without a limit of time

12- When the participant decides to undo the headset, I undo the climbing hook and invite him/her to step aside the platform to undo the rest of the equipment.

13- While undoing the equipment, I ask one or two questions from the stated list.

 

Experience C

Description 

As per figures g-1, g-2 and g-3, in this experience the physical world is composed of components 1 and 2. The virtual world is composed of components 3 and 4.

Intention 

My intention with this experience is to bring the participant to attend to the physical sensations of balance, as well as to the stability of the environment through movement in XR. It also aims at sustaining the attention towards the body through unpredictable patterns of response.

Experience protocol

1- The participant manifests interest in experiencing one of the designs.

2- I briefly introduce the concept behind the experiences, in different levels of depth depending on the audience (namely depending on the age of the individual)

3- I help the participant to put the climbing harness, while having a casual chat aiming at making him/her feel at ease. I also ask wether she/he have been in VR before, and if not, I introduce what to expect.

4- I help the participant put on the physical balance augmentation apparel. 

5- I invite the participant to move a little and acknowledge the effect and feedback of the component 2.

6- I invite the participant to step on the platform while i stand steady in its centre, and join me so I can attach the climbing harness to the rope.

7- I explain the experience further, mentioning that it is a non-goal oriented game, simply inviting participants to explore the limits of balance.

8- I indicate that while it isn’t required, the participant can hold on to the rope if needed.

9- I put the VR headset on the participant.

10- I indicate that I am now leaving the platform and he/she can begin to explore.

11- The participants stays in the experience without a limit of time

12- When the participant decides to undo the headset, I undo the climbing hook and invite him/her to step aside the platform to undo the rest of the equipment.

13- While undoing the equipment, I ask one or two questions from the stated list.

 

Experience D

Description

As per figures h-1, h-2 and h-3, in this experience the physical world s composed of component 1. The virtual world is composed of components 3 and 4.

Intention 

My intention with this experience is to bring the participant to attend to the physical sensations of balance, as well as to the stability of the environment through movement in XR. The absence of component 2 will help me to assess the effect of this particular tool on the above.

Experience protocol

1- The participant manifests interest in experiencing one of the designs.

2- I briefly introduce the concept behind the experiences, in different levels of depth depending on the audience (namely depending on the age of the individual)

3- I help the participant to put the climbing harness, while having a casual chat aiming at making him/her feel at ease. I also ask wether she/he have been in VR before, and if not, I introduce what to expect.

4- I invite the participant to step on the platform while i stand steady in its centre, and join me so I can attach the climbing harness to the rope.

5- I explain the experience further, mentioning that it is a non-goal oriented game, simply inviting participants to explore the limits of balance.

6- I indicate that while it isn’t required, the participant can hold on to the rope if needed.

7- I put the VR headset on the participant.

8- I indicate that I am now leaving the platform and he/she can begin to explore.

9- The participants stays in the experience without a limit of time

10- When the participant decides to undo the headset, I undo the climbing hook and invite him/her to step aside the platform to undo the rest of the equipment.

11- While undoing the equipment, I ask one or two questions from the stated list.

 

Experience E

Description

As per figures i-1, i-2 and i-3, in this experience the physical world is composed of component 1. The virtual world is component 5.

Intention 

My intention with this experience is to bring the participant to attend to the physical sensations of balance, as well as to the stability of the environment through movement in XR. It also intends to bringing him/her to question the stability of the world trough the illusion of an unstable world in VR. 

Experience protocol

1- The participant manifests interest in experiencing one of the designs.

2- I briefly introduce the concept behind the experiences, in different levels of depth depending on the audience (namely depending on the age of the individual)

3- I help the participant to put the climbing harness, while having a casual chat aiming at making him/her feel at ease. I also ask wether she/he have been in VR before, and if not, I introduce what to expect.

4- I invite the participant to step on the platform while i stand steady in its centre, and join me so I can attach the climbing harness to the rope.

5- I explain the experience further, mentioning that it is a non-goal oriented game, simply inviting participants to explore the limits of balance.

6- I indicate that while it isn’t required, the participant can hold on to the rope if needed.

7- I put the VR headset on the participant.

8- I indicate that I am now leaving the platform and he/she can begin to explore.

9- The participants stays in the experience without a limit of time

10- When the participant decides to undo the headset, I undo the climbing hook and invite him/her to step aside the platform to undo the rest of the equipment.

11- While undoing the equipment, I ask one or two questions from the stated list.

 

E: Analyses and findings 

In this section, I will expose and discuss the four main themes of findings which emerged through the thematic analyses: openness to experience facilitated by VR and play, interaction of different elements in allowing the attention to flow, importance of balancing different sensory inputs in allowing general awareness, and the role of unpredictable patterns of response in triggering sustained attention.

 

E1: Openness to experience facilitated by VR and play

Out of the four experiences exhibited, only Experience 1 does not use VR. Most participants in Experience 1 tended to experience what one of them qualified as ‘stage freight’, where they would barely move or be able to get truly engaged with the experience. In the context of an exhibition, an audience is very likely to form around the experience zone, which triggered inhibition and distraction. 

In opposition, participants in the other experiences (all using VR) seemed much less inhibited. The great majority would move and laugh openly, behaving in ways which they most likely wouldn’t if they were fully aware of a potential audience surrounding them. The complexity of the virtual world (as seen with Experience 2 or 3) did not seem to affect this tendency.

Therefor both observation and participant’s feedback confirm that the sole immersion in a VR world facilitates openness to experience, which is one of the key facets of mindfulness. 

This study being only conducted in exhibition settings, it is hard to tell wether the immersion in a VR world would have such a strong effect if the experience was conducted in a more sheltered environment.

While most participants didn’t report attending to specific emotions during the experiences, most of them acknowledged feeling anxious prior to the experience and at the beginning. Some of them did express as they stepped on the platform “Scary!” or asked “Did anyone ever fall?”. Nonetheless while acknowledging a certain anxiety, this did not keep them from fully engaging in the experience. 

The non-goal oriented characteristic of the experiences did encourage openness to the experience, as no movement or behaviour was as such right or wrong. Guided by curiosity most participants did truly engage and explore, while accepting and not-judging their more and less anxious state.

 

E2: Interaction of different elements of the experience in allowing the attention to flow

I observed that in experiences not involving component 2 nor 4, participants tended to move using mainly the lower part of their body, meaning legs and feet, only using the upper part, torso, head and arms to counter balance. This could be attributed to an awareness towards the points of contact of the body with the unstable environment.

In opposition, in experiences involving component 2 and/or 4, participants tended to move using their lower and upper part of the body successively, in sequences of 10 to 30 seconds. After a certain time some of them would start exploring movement involving both upper and lower body simultaneously. Most would also explore different qualities of movements (rotating or bending at different speeds, using different forces, with different amplitudes).

While exploring movements involving mainly the lower body, some participants would notice out loud “Oh, I had forgotten about this”, referring to the sound feedback of the component 2.

This highlights the possible role of the interaction between components 1, 2 and 4, in making the attention flow from the environment and its points of contact with the feet, up to the upper part of it, and back.

It also reveals that the physical balance augmentation apparel mainly influenced the attention of the participant through sound feedback making him aware of his/her movements more than the actual physical sensations relating to balance some as the sensation of weight shifting or muscles tensing. The development of component 2 could therefor introduce more weight in the design as well as making it sit closer to the body allowing for a haptic sensory input.

 

E3: Importance of balancing different sensory inputs in allowing general awareness

Participant’s feedback concurred in highlighting that participants were much more aware of the environment in B and E than in experiences C and D. After experiences B and E, participants would be able to describe the world surrounding them and the way it evolved in time. In Experience C and D, they would have either not acknowledge it at all, or noticed that it “suddenly turned blue” when the progression of the fog was spread through 1 or 2 minutes. 

This is consistent with the observation of the direction of participants gazes in different experiences.

Also more participants would report a heightened awareness of physical sensations relating to moving or balancing in experiences not using component 4.

This could be attributed to the much higher number of visual informations provided in experiences C and D through particles. The attention of the participant seemed consumed by those, leaving no space to acknowledge the surrounding world (even when this one was transforming) nor the sensations of the body. This highlights the impor20 

tance of the amount of visual informations provided, and the necessity to balance them between the environment and the body, in order to allow successive awareness of the body and the world. Overall, as stated in the above part, there is a necessity to highly reduce the amount of visual informations in response to movement to allow the participant to attend to other sensations and perceptions.

 

E4: The role of unpredictable patterns of response in allowing sustained attention

I observed a more sustained attention towards the general experience in experiences using component 4. Participants would notice “look when i do this, they flow this way” “oh it also responds to the floor” “why are they moving so slowly now” “they are moving with me again”. This seems to denote that while the component 4, and its visual input, does not necessary help to channel awareness towards the body, its unpredictable patterns of response do help to sustain the attention of the participant towards the general experience.

 

F: Design development 

In this section, I will describe the future development of the design of (Un)Balance, a non-goal oriented game inviting participant to explore the limits of balance through mindful movement, and how it is informed by the findings described above. I will firstly detail the physical and virtual layers of the experience and then the protocol of the experience.

 

F1: Description of physical layer

The physical world of the experience (Un)Balance will be composed of developed versions of components 1 and 2. 

In the physical world, the participant will firstly be standing on the tilting platform, and secured through a climbing harness. While the tilting platform shall have the same behaviour and response to the participant’s movements, the design will be improved to prevent it from sliding on the floor. It was noticed during the exhibition times that some powerful movements of the participants, such as jumping, could cause the platform to slide out of place.

Secondly, the participant will be wearing a physical balance augmentation apparel, which while using the beads, shall be improved to make the tubes soft and allow them to sit much closer to the torso, enveloping it. This aims at increasing the haptic sensation of the device, allowing it to increase its ability to bring the attention of the participant towards sensations in the body.

The tubes shall also be made out of a variety of materials, allowing the beads to give both a linear and non-linear response to the movements of the participant. As highlighted in the above section, a non-linear and less predictable response is believed to help the participant sustain attention towards the provided sensation.

The experience in itself shall be set in a quiet space allowing for the sound emitted by the physical balance augmentation apparel to be clearly perceived by the participant.

 

F2: Description of virtual layer

The virtual world shall include developed qualities of components 3, 4 and 5.

The virtual experience in general shall use a calming and enticing visual language while limiting as much as possible the amount of visual informations provided to allow for a balance between awareness of the environment and awareness of the body. 

The virtual environment shall provide a few reference points, using knowledge in feature detection in human visual perception, as done in component 5 to help participant orientate themselves in the environment. It shall use the same colour scheme as component 2, in shades of grey and a pale Cyan, known for helping relaxation. The horizon of the environment shall sway very slowly, creating a subtle sensation of self-motion.

This virtual environment shall be designed in Unity 3D, and transformed into a VR experience using the HTC Vive, six HTC Vive trackers and the steamVR for Unity 3D plug-in.

One tracker will be placed on the physical platform, allowing to track its position and rotation angle. The participant is standing on a virtual platform of the same dimensions as the physical one, which is following the rotations of the latter in real time. 

The other 5 trackers are placed on the participant’s ankles, writs and front of the torso. An intangible volume follows the participant’s position in space, allowing him/her to be embodied in the virtual environment.

The volume gets deformed and attracted towards a virtual gravity affected by the tilt of the platform and the tilt of the participant’s torso. This aims at augmenting the participants awareness of his/her sensation of balance. The volume responsiveness to this virtual gravity evolves through time, making it more or less predictable at different times. The aim is to help the participant to sustain attention towards his/her body sensation of balance.

 

F3: Experience protocol

1- The participant manifests interest in experiencing (Un)Balance.

2- He/she is briefly introduced to the concept behind (Un)Balance by an experience assistant.

3- The experience assistant helps the participant to put the climbing harness, while having a casual chat aiming at making him/her feel at ease. He also asks wether she/he have been in VR before, and if not, introduces what to expect.

4- The experience assistant helps the participant put on the physical balance augmentation apparel. 

5- He/she invites the participant to move a little and acknowledge the effect and feedback of the apparel.

6- He invites the participant to step on the platform while he stands steady in its centre, and join me so I can attach the climbing harness to the rope.

7- He explains the experience further, mentioning that it is a non-goal oriented game, simply inviting participants to explore the limits of balance.

8- He indicates that while it isn’t required, the participant can hold on to the rope if needed.

8- He puts the VR headset on the participant.

9- He indicates that he is now leaving the platform and he/she can begin to explore.

 

G: Discussion 

This paper aimed at exploring the potential of movement-based interactive experiences in XR to train mindfulness in beginners, and more specifically four of its main facets: awareness towards inner experiences, awareness towards outer experiences, relativity of thoughts and beliefs, and openness to experience. It proposed to focus on balance as a central node between sensation in the body, perception of the world, emotions, and their respective stability. 

It did so through a literature review which guided the design of five prototypes of (Un)Balance, a non-goal oriented game in XR where participants are invited to explore the limits of balance through movement. Through a thematic analyses of the response of participants, four main themes emerged helping to answer the research question. The result is a description of the future design development of the experience (Un)Balance, its physical and virtual layers, as well as its experience protocol.

I will now summarise the findings of this paper as well as their implications for the design of mindfulness experiences.

Firstly, it was found that practicing mindfulness through play, and more specifically in non-goal oriented games, with the use of VR, greatly encouraged openness to experience. Guided by curiosity most participants do truly engage and explore, while accepting and not-judging their more and less anxious states. The VR element plays a key role here, where the immersion in the VR world no matter its complexity, brings the participant in the present moment and helps him/her to attend to the general experience, in opposition to distraction of the surroundings. It therefor seems relevant in the context of movement-based mindfulness practice to introduce experiences using play and VR.

I also observe that the specific use of XR, involving different senses, has the ability to help the beginner in mindfulness to channel his/her attention towards different elements of a general experience, such as the perception of stability of the world or the bodily sensations happening while moving in different specific body parts. This could therefor be key in introducing beginners to mindfulness, as most tend to struggle to channel their attention in the present moment.

Nonetheless it is noted that in designing mindfulness experiences in XR, one should be particularly careful as to the amount of visual informations provided in the virtual world, to allow for the participant to not solely attend to the visual experience, but also to the haptic, sound and proprioceptive sensory inputs. This is relevant to the design of mindfulness in XR, but also any other experience involving physical and virtual means.

A very promising element of the study in the context of mindfulness practice in XR is the introduction of the Predictive Processing framework, which as to my knowledge hasn’t been explored yet in experiences available to the public. Unpredictable patterns of response do certainly help to sustain the attention of the participant towards the general experience. With (Un)Balance, i explore unpredictable patterns of response of a virtual world to movements, but the exploration of this concept in physical senses augmentation through haptics for example could be just as relevant.

The literature review exposed in this paper unveiled the question of a potential in introducing a parallel between relativity of experience influenced by emotional states, and relativity of perception of the world and/or body in XR, using visual illusions. Unfortunately the presented explorations in (Un)Balance do not as of yet make create clear insight on the interaction between both. Nevertheless the bidirectional relationship between anxiety and balance, leads me to think that it would be particularly relevant to explore to explore this idea further in the design of mindfulness experiences for patients suffering from anxiety disorders, as it might train “the recognition that thoughts and beliefs are completely subjective and might not always correspond to reality” (50,49).

While this paper focused primarily on exploring how movement-based interactive experiences can train mindfulness, it appears that the relationship between movement and mindfulness isn’t mono-directional. Where non-goal oriented movements do help the participant to grasp some essential facets of mindfulness, the state of mindfulness does also seem to encourage the participant to explore his own movements and their limits. This was observed as participants in (Un)Balance, while being generally mindful of their balance, would be guided by curiosity to explore new movements, unusual coordinations of body parts using different speeds and forces. It would be argued that mindfulness experiences through facilitating an acute awareness of sensations of the body and perception of the environment, could be become a choreographic tool for the non-dancer. The exploration of new movement in the adult, while not being common, is said to be key in improving our cognition, our ability to perceive the world as well our awareness of the self and sense of agency.

All in all, there appears to be relevance in exploring mindfulness through non-goal oriented movement-based interactive experiences in XR. A further step could be to integrate electroencephalography technology to identify different meditative states and provide quantifiable analyses of the efficiency of such experience to bring participants into heightened states of mindfulness.

Another further approach could look at the repeated practice of an experience such as (Un)Balance, in opposition to a one off experience. This would allow the observation of not only a possible heightened state of mindfulness but also how those moments influence states of mindfulness in everyday life.

 

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Shusterman, R., 2006. Thinking through the body, educating for the humanities: A plea for somaesthetics. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 40(1), pp.1-21.

Stevens, S.C. and Parsons, M.G., 2002. Effects of motion at sea on crew performance: A survey. Marine Technology, 39(1), pp.29-47.

Tarrant, J., Viczko, J. & Cope, H., 2018. Virtual Reality for Anxiety Reduction Demonstrated by Quantitative EEG: A Pilot Study. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, p.1280.

Velasco, P.F., 2017. Attention in the Predictive Processing Framework and the Phenomenology of Zen Meditation. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 24(11-12), pp.71-93.

Zimmerman, J., Forlizzi, J. and Evenson, S., 2007, April. Research through design as a method for interaction design research in HCI. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 493-502). ACM.

Pierce, M.B., Young, P.A. & Doherty, S.M., 2017. Engagement and Competence in VR and non-VR Environments. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 61(1), pp.2082–2085.

 

I: Projects 

Guided meditation VR, 2017, Guided meditation VR. [ONLINE] Available at:https://guidedmeditationvr.com/ [Accessed 20 September 2018]

Horn, R., 1970. Tate online. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ViewWork?workid=22&tavview=work [Accessed 20 September 2018]

Headspace, 2014. Headspace. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.headspace.com [Accessed 20 September 2018] 

Juno, 2017. JunoVR. [ONLINE] Available at:http://junovr.com [Accessed 20 September 2018]

ProvataVR, 2016, Provata. [ONLINE] Available at:https://provatahealth.com/vr-health [Accessed 20 September 2018] 

PsychicVR, 2017. MIT Media Lab. [ONLINE] Available at:

https://www.media.mit.edu/projects/psychicvr/overview [Accessed 20 September 2018]

 

J: Figures 

Figure a: Guided Meditation VR. 2018. Guided meditation VR. [ONLINE] Available at: https://guidedmeditationvr.com [Accessed 20 September 2018] 

Figure b: PsychicVR. 2016. MIT Media Lab. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d5NlojMPE0 [Accessed 20 September 2018] 

Figure c: Unicorn. 1970. Rebecca Horn. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.marthagarzon.com/contemporary_art/2012/07/rebecca-horn-body-art-performance-installations/ [Accessed 20 September 2018] 

Figure d: Rotary switch feedback. 2012. Kurihara. 

Figure e1: Experience A, exhibition setting. 2018. By author.

Figure e2: Experience A, explanatory diagram. 2018. By author.

Figure f1: Experience B, exhibition setting. 2018. 2018. By author.

Figure f2: Experience B, explanatory diagram. 2018. By author.

Figure f3: Experience B, virtual environment. 2018. By author.

Figure g1: Experience C, exhibition setting. By author.

Figure g2: Experience C, explanatory diagram. 2018. By author.

Figure g3: Experience C, virtual environment. 2018. By author.

Figure h1: Experience D, exhibition setting. 2018. By author.

Figure h2: Experience D, explanatory diagram. 2018. By author.

Figure h3: Experience D, virtual environment. 2018. By author.

Figure i1: Experience E, exhibition setting. 2018. By author.

Figure i2: Experience E, explanatory diagram. 2018. By author.

Figure i3: Experience E, virtual environment. 2018. By author.

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