PhD research Joris Weijdom

Joris Weijdom studies the impact of artistic improvisation techniques on design practices in mixed reality environments. His aim is to develop new pedagogies combining several disciplines.
The PhD research by Joris Weijdom studies the impact of artistic structured improvisation techniques in collaborative mixed-reality environments (CMRE) in art- and engineering design practice and education. His aim is to stimulate invention and innovation in an early stage of the process.

Joris combines theory and practice from the performing arts, human-computer interaction and engineering to develop CMRE configurations, strategies for its creative implementation and an embodied immersive learning pedagogy.

About the research

Mixed-reality experiences merge real and virtual environments in which physical and digital spaces, objects and actors co-exist and interact in real-time. CMRE's enable creative- and learning processes through full-body interaction with spatial manifestations of mediated ideas and concepts, as live-puppeteered or automated real-time computer-generated content.

It does so by employing large-scale projection mapping techniques, motion-capture and augmented- and virtual reality technologies in various inter-connected configurations.

Multiple research areas now support the idea that embodiment is an underpinning of cognition, suggesting new discovery and learning approaches by full-body engagement with the virtual environment. Improvisation and immediate reflection on the experience itself, which are common creative strategies in artist training and practice, are considered central when inventing something new.

Study also finds that engineering education values creativity in design processes, but often disregards the potential of full-body improvisation in generating and refining ideas, reversely artists lack the technical know-how to utilize mixed-reality technologies in their design process. These findings are combined and explored in this research.

This research is a collaboration between the University of Twenthe, Utrecht University and HKU University of the Arts Utrecht. It has been partly financed by a scholarship from the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

About Joris Weijdom

Joris Weijdom is researcher and designer of mixed-reality experiences focusing on interdisciplinary creative processes and performativity. His expertise covers embodied design and learning methodologies for higher art education, particularly in theatre- and media studies, using mixed reality technologies in a performative context.

Joris founded the Media and Performance Laboratory (MAPLAB), enabling practice-led artistic research on the intersection of performance, media and technology from 2012 until 2015. He teaches several BA and MA courses at the HKU University of the Arts Utrecht.

This research is part of the professorship Performative Processes