The Mobile Experience Lab was set up at OCAD University in 2006 and draws its inspiration from how human mobility—through public spaces and through technologies—alters the human-machine relationship, our social and cultural relations and our subjectivity. We imagine mobility as an historic, deep desire articulated through a range of technologies that are always already embodied and that remind us to heed our collective memories of age-old human-technology interfaces.
Our research includes experimentation with devices and attention to their phenomenology, as well as their normative and innovative uses. We broadly interpret a range of devices as mobile, that includes not only communication and telephonic devices, but portable computational and biometric devices. We focus on devices of everyday life, and how they already or might be enabled to enhance our creativity, healthfulness and power in our own lives.
Our research is firmly committed to interdisciplinary practice informed by art and design methods, and critical inquiry into science and technology and computational practices. Our interventions seek to be applicable to a range of knowledge practices and to participants, and recognize the value of deep and rigorous collaboration.
This experimental model enables us to engage in otherwise unrecognized practices of mobility and mobile augmentation. A critical approach enables our researchers and participants to exploit technologies to better understand their augmenting and embodied roles. As well, it enhances our ability to explore and exploit everyday devices, to take power via technology, to understand our augmented selves and to intervene in practices of art, health, diverse abilities, and social and community action.