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Workshop 8: Mindfulness & Technology.

Date: 9.30am – 1pm, Tuesday 14th June, 2016

Venue: RMIT Design Hub, Level 10, Pavilion 4

Designers have always been motivated by a desire to solve real-world problems and this imperative extends into the design of technology for the ‘betterment’ of people’s lives. Such intentions are admirable, but the instrumentality with which design and technology is approached and deployed can be problematic. In seeking mindfulness, technology can be part of the problem in distancing from what surrounds us, severing our states of being present in the moment. This has led some to believe that the only way to be mindful is to switch off one’s mobile device(s) as an act of resistance to their intrusiveness and distraction brought about by their ubiquity. If we were to take a ‘middle ground’, could we consider ways that technology could disrupt ‘mindlessness’, to trigger, remind or invite us towards being more mindful?

This workshop was an opportunity to propose, ponder and create what other relationships are possible between technology and mindfulness. Participants were encouraged to bring something that helped them be mindful or that brings awareness to their surroundings and the present moment. This could be a physical artefact, an interaction with a digital device, images of a particular place or practice, and/or stories, sketches and images that describe how they come to be mindful or aware

This workshop was facilitated by Simon Bowen (Open Lab, Newcastle University, UK) and Yoko Akama (School of Media and Communication, RMIT).

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