MovingStories Interdisciplinary Research Cohort

MovingStories Research: Science and Art Collaboration

The MovingStories research partnership explores the design of digital tools for movement, meaning and interaction. Human movement is ubiquitous but is also complex it is simultaneously expressive, communicative, functional and intelligent. MovingStories is an interdisciplinary research project that brings together scientists and artists in computing science, dance, music, theatre, machine learning, cognitive science, psychology, health, game design and virtual reality. Movingstories researchers work together to understand movement knowledge, and to integrate research methods from a diverse range of disciplines highlighting somatic movement expertise, and including arts, design, social science, computer science and engineering.

The movingstories research is interdisciplinary. Students will work together in a cohort to develop software, to create new digital tools for performance, health and computing science. Students in computing science, machine learning, dance, movement analysis, music (electroacoustic and electronic) and theater are welcome to apply to this research cohort.

This research partnership is led by Simon Fraser University and the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, and includes international partners including the Laban/Bartinieff Institute of Movement Studies based in New York, The University of Illinoiss eDream Center housed at the National Center for Super Computing Applications (NCSA), the University of Illinois Dance Department, the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, the University of British Columbia Department of Theatre. MovingStories is also working with Industry partners that explore movement interaction and design: H+Technologies that explores whole body movement interaction using vision-based gesture recognition for contemporary sensing such as mobile platforms and kinect and leap-motion, Credo Interaction that has created a software tool for choreography and human movement animation that is focused on graphics software development, and NZ Technologies that explores movement ergonomics using new depth cameras that enable mapping between vision-based sensors and point cloud technology to support health and well-being.

Because todays digital interaction relies so much on visual and textual modalities we need to develop more digital tools that create affordances for movement awareness and that support the activation of within-body awareness as well as between-body awareness. The interconnection between cognition and affect is crucial to facilitating meaningful experiences within interactive technologies.

Research will include usability testing in dance, music and performance settings, comparing movement sensor data (kinect, mobile accelerometers/gyroscope, mocap, biometric) for representing movement, examining appropriate motion feature extraction from sensor data, analyzing and testing appropriate machine learning techniques to recognize movement quality as defined by models such as Laban Effort/Shape analysis, validating higher level semantic and affective recognition of movement features that can combine personal, behavioural and social meaning constructs.

MovingStories interdisciplinary research will require experience design, interaction design and software engineering. The critical feature of our research is its integration of movement expertise in both the design and validation process and the interdisciplinary sharing of assumptions regarding movement, meaning and interaction at all stages of design. It is the intention to locate these initial explorations within socially relevant application areas that support well-being including creativity support tools, dance and music performance, mobile applications, health, domestic computing.

Faculty Supervisor:

Maria Lantin


Jose Castelan Ibarra



Interactive arts and technology





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