I, Birgitta Cappelen, am an Associate Professor in Interaction Design at the Institute of Design at Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO). I have a broad education and experience in the field, among other things, I have a Master in Industrial Design from AHO, and was one of the first to work with Interaction Design at AHO. In addition, I have a BA degree from the University of Oslo with a curriculum consisting of History of Ideas, Philosophy, Computer Science, Media and Communication Studies, with MA courses in Media Aesthetics, Semiotics and Interactive Media. I also have a BA-level in Business Administration from the Norwegian Business School (BI).
Since 1985 I have worked continuously with Interaction Design (user interface design), on a number of technological platforms, in a variety of technologies and applications areas; For many years I worked with the development of large strategic, financial and trading systems in manufacturing, banking, retail, publishing, electric power and stock trading on a variety of platforms (DOS, UNIX, Windows, Web, mobile, etc.). So I have a lot of experience with “big data” and complex systems. From the early 1990s, I also worked with multimedia (audio and video as media elements in the user interface), among others in museums and adventure centres.
Together with two partners I founded three companies within design, technology and business development (New View 1993, Interaction Design 1997 and Creuna 2001). Creuna is currently operating in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
Since 1998 I have worked in the field of “Tangible Interaction” (physical and tactile media) primarily in a research context. I was a research fellow at Arts and Communication (K3), Malmö University, and as researcher at the Interactive Institute’s Narrativity and Communication Studio in Malmö and at Design Scienses at Lund University’s Ingvar Kamprad Design Centre (IKDC).
My work within tactile media consists largely of investigating the potential of hybridizations. Hybridizations between Design and Art, between art installations, toys and furniture, audiences, users, and creators, products and services, hardware and software, use and abuse, etc. I calls what I create ”fields”, not ”things”, ”objects”, ”products” or ”Art”. Fields filled with potentiality.
The key to most of my work in tangible media is cross-media co-creation. Since 2000 I have worked with composer Fredrik Olofsson and musicologist Anders-Petter Andersson in the group MusicalFieldsForever. We have exhibited our interactive, tactile sound installations a number of places, e.g. at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in London, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde, Rooseum in Malmo, Museum of Modern Art and the House of Culture in Stockholm, the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture (DogA) in Oslo, in Copenhagen, Berlin and Japan. Read more about MusicalFieldsForver.
At AHO I have taught Service Design, Tangible Interaction, Sensorial and Musical interaction and e-textiles.
From 2011 until 2017 I mainly work in the research project RHYME, which is a continuation of the work I have done within tangible media. The RHYME project goal is to improve health and quality of life through the use of tangible, musical, sensorial, social and collaborative media. Improved health for families with children with multi-functional and severe disabilities. RHYME is a joint project between AHO, the Norwegian Academy of Music / Centre for Music and Health, and the University of Oslo / Department of Informatics. The research project is funded by the Norwegian Research Council through the VERDIKT programme.
Read more about the RHYME project at RHYME.no.
We are currently working on taking this research further to new user groups (e.g. persons with dementia) where we aim to develop a new paradigm of welfare technology, what we call vitalizing welfare technology. Further we work on a wider variety of cultural expressions and interaction and therapeutic practices. From music and music therapy focus, to also including more sensorial and cultural expressions and occupational therapy and physiotherapy perspectives and knowledge into the design of health promoting technology and services.