Horizon CDT Research Highlights

Research Highlights

Exploring mixed-reality immersive performance making by combining theatre devising and human-computer interaction methods.

  Pavlos Panagiotidis (2022 cohort)

Lakeside Arts and Makers of Imaginary Worlds proposed the creation of a Digital Playground, a mixed-reality immersive performance for children and families. This practice as a research project focuses on developing a hybrid methodology to create such an event, combining established theatre-making methods with human-computer interaction tools to improve the implementation of immersive technologies in artistically meaningful mixed reality events. A key consideration will be to analyze how an interdisciplinary mixed reality performance-making methodology can fit in the current theatre-making and technologists' ecosystems regarding established practices and ideologies, and how we can overcome relevant unproductive tensions and prejudices. The research outcome will help groups of theatre makers and technology experts explore the narrative potential of immersive technologies in mixed-reality performances. 

Theatre devising is an established framework for collaborative performance creation, diverting from placing the playtext at the top of the performance-making hierarchy and providing the opportunity to incorporate novel elements in performance. Although established theatre-making methods such as Viewpoints can assist performance-makers in leveraging theatrical craftsmanship in performing, narrative devising, and liveness, they require additional mechanisms to explore the untried narrative potential of digital technologies.    

Human-computer interaction can provide such processes, including User Experience Design, Wizard of Oz methodology and Interactive Narrative Design. However, combining frameworks of theatre making and HCI design will require a deep understanding of the particulars of both fields, exploring points of convergence and identifying areas of tension and ideological deviation. The research insights will emphasize the relevance of theatre-making and human-computer interaction methods, bridge methodological gaps, and support the future creation of engaging and meaningful mixed-reality artistic events.