Frank Feltham is a lecturer in Industrial Design at RMIT University and the coordinator of the Honours Projects 1 and 2. His work explores the interrelationship between information technologies and the human as a physical and social agent. These design explorations are focussed on movement-based and tangible (or physical) interfaces that extend our traditional screen-based engagement by giving physical form and mobility to digital information. He questions the role technology plays in our lives looking for alternative approaches to its usage addressing issues such as creative expression, mindfulness, wellbeing and health. His practice involves crafting interactions by building high resolution functional prototypes that are used as co-design and evaluative tools with stakeholders and participants.
Frank has supervised a range of projects in the honours year project stream including and encourages his students to find their “voice” within a design cycle of making and evaluating. Examples of this work include:
- Gesture based DJ Mixers and controllers
- Tangible Interfaces to creatively improve reading and literacy for children with dyslexia
- Mobile movement based sound generators for social dance and public art
- Haptic devices for communicating with touch – talk to Shawn about this
- Motion based devices to improve sight impaired movement and location
Education and background
Frank has an honours degree in industrial design from Swinburne University and
Spent 15 years in exhibition, interior and furniture design practices working for such clients such Audi, The Jewish Museum, State Trustees, Mercedes Benz, Qantas and Volkswagen. In 2009 he completed a Masters in Design at SIAL Sound, RMIT University, examining physical to digital sound-making with primary school aged children. Currently he is extending this work with the development of the Slow Floor walking interface, to encourage kinaesthetic awareness and movement expression through auditory feedback whilst walking in mindful ways. This work is as part of a PhD with the Design Lab at the University of Sydney.
Projects and outcomes of note
- The Sonic Blocks, a system of timber toy blocks that are embedded with switching technologies to physically build digital sound. The Sonic Blocks were featured as part of Artplays spring program for children in 2008
- The Masters thesis was published by VDM Verlag, you can find it here.
- The Musical Staircase development prototype in 2010 for the City of Melbourne.
- The Aesthetics of Slow, featuring the Slow Floor, DABLAB Gallery, University of Technology Sydney 2011.(Feltham, 2011)
- FELTHAM, F., LOKE, L., HANNAM, J., VAN DEN HOVEN, E. & BONGERS, B. The Slow Floor: Increasing creative agency while walking on an interactive surface. TEI 2014, 2014 Munich, Germany. ACM Press.
- Feltham, F. and L. Loke (2012). The Slow Floor: towards an awareness of bodily movement through interactive walking surfaces The 2nd International Body In Design Workshop, OzCHI 2012, L. Loke and T. Robertson. Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia.
- Feltham, F., Y. Hur, et al. (2011). The Experiential Move: An Approach to Reflective Design for Embodied and Movement Based Interaction. The 1st International Body In Design Workshop, OzCHI 201, L. Loke and T. Robertson. Australian National University, Canberra: 9 -12.
- Hur, B. and F. Feltham (2009). Urban Kinesic: a Gestural Interface for the Expression of Emotions through Bodily Movements. Proceedings of the 21st Australian conference on Computer-Human Interaction: OZCHI 2009, Melbourne, Australia, ACM Digital Library.
- Feltham, F. (2008). Do the Blocks Rock: a Tangible Interface for Play and Exploration. Proceedings of the 20th Australia conference on Computer-Human Interaction: OZCHI 2008, Cairns QLD Australia, ACM.