Breaking boundaries: Strategies for mentoring through textile computing workshops

Stacey Kuznetsov, Laura C. Trutoiu, Casey Kute, Iris Howley, Dan Siewiorek, Eric Paulos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

25 Scopus citations


With over 13.3 million children living below poverty line in the United States, there is a pressing need for engaging HCI research with children at the socio-economic margins. Drawing from design studio culture and art therapy literature, we explore wearable computing as a creative and tangible medium (similar to markers, paints, clays, etc.) for motivating 'at-risk' children in hands-on making and expressive instantiation of ideas. Working with a local outreach organization for 'at-risk' middle school girls, we conducted five weekly workshops during which participants ideated, designed and implemented personal wearable computing projects. These sessions inspired participants (age 10-12) who tend to be uninterested and uncooperative in educational activities to complete interactive projects and engage with workshop volunteers as mentors and peers. We present the challenges, merits and outcomes of our approach, proposing wearable computing as a healing outlet and a mentoring strategy for at-risk children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2011 - 29th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Conference Proceedings and Extended Abstracts
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450302289
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


  • At-risk children
  • Design studio culture
  • Wearable computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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