Marije Kanis

Interaction designer | researcher

My design and research is about people and their needs, creating and studying tangible technologies, realizing futuristic scenarios, and challenging how we understand and experience interactivity, our technological environment and how these could potentially have positive social and mental effects.

This interest has been explored in most of my previous work that includes developing and investigating playful, socio-technical interactive experiences in a variety of contexts such as in the world of interactive theatre (with company Made inda Shade), attraction parks (with Efteling, Dutch fairytale park), games (with Electronic Arts) and television (with Dutch Broadcast channel NCRV).

More recently, I worked as a researcher in the Human Connectedness group at Media Lab Europe, research partner of the MIT, exploring the theme of the future of human relationships as mediated by technology. My projects iBand -a wearable device for gesture augmented social networking- and Wanderful Alcove –an interactive play space in which participants can wield magic wands- are an exploration in ways technology could contribute to social interaction in physical space.
As I am interested in understanding the deeper theoretical and methodological issues surrounding the design of technologies that support people and their needs, my most recent work investigated how mobile and ubiquitous technologies can support desired social interactions and mediate positive emotions and behaviour, resulting in a PhD from Brunel University. Apart from developing a measuring instrument and theoretical framework surrounding these issues, this work resulted in the development of lightweight mobile technologies for positive disclosure, called PosiPost, to investigate the pleasures people enjoy in everyday life, and explore how these positive expressive technologies could possibly contribute to social wellness, or even happiness. The empirical findings of my studies testify to the social and emotional benefits of sharing (mundane) pleasures with lightweight technology, such as increasing social interest in others and reducing feelings of depression.

My work has been published and exhibited worldwide. See here if you are interested in viewing a sample of my publications.


Contact information

  • Marije Kanis