Meet Catharina Thiel Sandholdt – visiting PhD student from Experimentarium and Copenhagen University codesigning a family exhibition on health and movement

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My name is Catharina and I’m an industrial PhD-fellow at Experimentarium Science Centre and Department of Science Education, University of Copenhagen. For the next two months (February and Mars) I will be a visiting researcher at CODE.

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In my research, I’ve been part of developing a family exhibition on health and movement at Experimentarium, where we invited a group of families to participate in the development process. I’ve worked with different participatory design activities with the families, such as design game, lego and picture cards. I find it very interesting to explore, how data from everyday life can be translated into building blocks in a development process and generate new knowledge and new possibilities in design products.

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In the exhibition project I’ve been part of, the collaboration between researchers, exhibition developers and families resulted in an exhibition aiming at creating a shared family experience of health. The participatory design activities with families, made it clear that the exhibition should not repeat well-known health advices, but instead give an embodied experience of health. This is done through eight exhibits set in a whimsical everyday environment. Here families check in to the exhibition together using RFID-technology. They have a very physical experience of health with their pulse rising and their different body-skills – such as balance – set into action. The more traditional health knowledge is communicated through fun-fact quizzes that can be solved together.

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I’m looking forward to be part of the CODE environment and get loads of new inspiration and input to my research. I’m especially interested in how design anthropological methods can be applied in museum contexts? Can this type of encounters, with visitors and other stakeholders, be a tool when designing equitable and inclusive science exhibitions? And what this kind of approach brings, when designing informal learning environments that traditionally communicates content with right and wrong answers (e.g. laws of physics)?

Don’t hesitate to contact me for discussions, ideas or other inputs at catharinat@experimentarium.dk

Bio:

I originally graduated with a master in health sociology from Roskilde University in 2010. I’ve since then worked with health promotion as Project Manager in a project aiming at increasing the educational motivation for unemployed youth in Gentofte Municipality, Denmark. Since 2012 I’ve been employed at the Experimentarium.

For more on the exhibition my research is about, check out the PULSE exhibition at https://experimentarium.dk/

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About Eva Brandt, KADK

Eva Brandt is Professor at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, and holds a Ph.D from 2001. Eva is co-leading the Center for Research in Codesign (CODE). Since September 2014 she has been part of the main faculty for a two year international MA-program in codesign. The main part of her research is about how designers can stage open design processes (design labs) with many participants who both can inquire into existing practices and explore possible futures in common. She also contributes to theorizing about experimental design research driven by programs and experiments. She has been contributing to several books such as Design Spaces (IT Press, 2005), Rehearsing the Future (The Danish Design School Press, 2010), XLAB (The Danish Design School Press, 2011), Facilitating Change – Using Interactive Methods in Organizations, Communities and Networks (Polyteknisk Forlag, 2011), and Routledge International Handbook of Participatory Design (Routledge, 2013). Eva has been chairing the Nordic Design Research Conference in 2013.
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