This is How We Do It

Much of the knowing employed in skilled craft practice is difficult to communicate solely through written or verbal description. Consequently, the reflection and development of a craft practice in this manner may miss important nuances of practitioners’ skills and experiences.

In the This is How We Do It project, we created digital technologies to sonify (using audio to perceptualize data) a group of craft practitioners' gestures to explore how we can aid their reflection in and on their craft, and consequently develop it.

Over a number of workshops, the design of these sonifications was iterated based on how the practitioners responded to them. We found that direct sonification of gesture (sounds generated directly from motion sensor data) helped practitioners understand and reflect upon their own and each other’s practice, encouraged discussion and enabled modification of craft technique.

This is How We Do It was a collaboration with Thomas Smith, Simon Bowen, Bettina Nissen and John Bowers, Peter Wright and Patrick Olivier from Newcastle University; and Arno Verhoeven from Edinburgh College of Art.


Smith, T., Bowen, S., Nissen, B., Hook, J., Verhoeven, A., Bowers, J., Wright, P. & Olivier, P. Exploring Gesture Sonification to Support Reflective Craft Practice. In Proc. of CHI '15, ACM, 67-76. Download