Discovery Project (2020) Australian Research Council ARC

Designing digital aquatic play to foster Australians’ engagement with water

A design-led research project situated at the Exertion Games Lab.

Principal Investigators: Florian 'Floyd' Mueller & Sarah Jane Pell

From the beach to the pool, aquatic play is key to Australians’ quality of life and advances physical, mental and social wellbeing. This project harnesses our increasing use of interactive technology (such as wearables) to develop the world’s first design theory on interactive aquatic play. The project creates and evaluates three inspirational aquatic play prototypes, advancing confidence in water skills, self-expression through movement and employment of safe practices to enrich Australian’s physical engagement with water. Digital media developers, government interventions and wellbeing groups can use the derived design knowledge to leverage digital technology and aquatic interactivity to foster Australians’ physical engagement with water.

Drawing on Australia’s strong affinity with water while harnessing Australians’ increasing use of interactive technology, this research provides the world’s first design understanding for interactive aquatic play in order to foster Australians’ physical engagement with water. This understanding will: help developers create play and sports equipment for self-expression through movement to promote physical activity in and around water, supporting the digital media and sports industry; aid researchers in evaluating technology-augmented water-based exercise programs in uses such as rehabilitation; and guide community groups, government organizations and wellbeing advocates in utilizing digital technology to create compelling interventions to advance confidence in water skills and employ safe practices around water. This research provides the first design understanding of how to harness Australians’ increasing use of digital technology to support physical engagement with water so that more Australians profit from the physical, mental and social wellbeing benefits associated with water-based activity.

FOR: 080602 - Computer-Human Interaction, 190205 - Interactive Media
SEO-8: 970112 - Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design

For more information see ARC: Discovery Projects 2020 Announcement

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