演講者：Dr. Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao （高新綠博士）
Sensor device miniaturization and breakthroughs in novel materials are allowing for the placement of technology increasingly close to our physical bodies. However, unlike all other technological media, the human body is not simply another surface for enhancement—it is the substance of life, one that encompasses the complexity of individual and social identity. Yet, technologies for placement on the body have often been developed separately from these considerations, with a dominant emphasis on engineering breakthroughs. My research involves opportunities for cultural interventions in the development of technologies that move beyond clothing and textiles, and that are purposefully designed to be placed directly on the body.
In my research, body craft is defined as existing cultural, historical, and fashion-driven practices and rituals associated with body decoration, ornamentation, and modification. As its name implies, hybrid body craft (HBC) is an attempt to hybridize technology with body craft materials, form factors, and application rituals, with the intention of integrating new technological functions with no prior relationships with the human body with existing cultural practices. With this grounding, HBC can support the generation of future techno customs in which technology is integrated into culturally meaningful body adornments.
In this talk, I will introduce three artifacts generated from the HBC framework and engineering approach: (1) DuoSkin, an on-skin interface fabrication process grounded in metallic temporary tattoo practices, (2) NailO, a fingernail mounted track-pad that doubles as a nail art sticker, and (3) Kino, on-body robots which are serve as jewelry pieces. Hybrid in design, these artifacts concomitantly serve as technological devices and body art. While they encompass the functionality of on-body technologies, they can be applied, worn, and experienced as body crafts. By incorporating cultural considerations into the design of on-body technologies, I explore opportunities for extending their lifetimes and purposes beyond mere novelty and into the realms of cultural customs and traditions. The technology of today is soon obsolete, yet cultural customs are passed on, and carried on, throughout generations.