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Social activities with offline tangibles at an interactive painting exhibit in a children's cultural centre

Clarke, Loraine and Hornecker, Eva (2015) Social activities with offline tangibles at an interactive painting exhibit in a children's cultural centre. In: British HCI 2015. ACM, New York, NY, pp. 82-90. ISBN 9781450336437

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This paper describes an empirical study of a tangible interactive painting installation at a children's cultural centre. The study focuses on how social interactions are related to features of the interactive installation. The findings concern awareness and communication within groups, mediation of control through physical objects, how groups used tangibles outside of their turn with the installation to plan, negotiate and build up anticipation of their engagement with the exhibit. Interactions within groups as well as between the active 'operator' at an exhibit and the rest of the group are presented providing insights as to how the exhibit relates to the social context. Finally, we discuss how the findings could be used for future design of group interactive exhibits that aim to (1) support social engagement such as planning, sharing experiences and discussions, (2) engage children with the exhibit topic outside of their interaction with the system and (3) foster children's anticipation of their interaction with the exhibit. Providing offline tangibles was found to extend engagement with the exhibit and support social interactions.