Wednesday 14 February 2024, 1 - 4pm

Location: School of Digital Arts (SODA) at Manchester Metropolitan University

Event Type: In-person

Price: Free, please register your place


What are the criteria when designing image or sound or audio-visual interfaces with a view on improving wellbeing and how do we evaluate success?

Join us for an intriguing exploration into the world of audio-visual interfaces and their profound impact on wellbeing.

This event is a unique opportunity to delve into the design and evaluation of interfaces, focusing on criteria for improvement and success. How do artistic elements contribute to wellbeing, and what is the route to a meaningful impact?

Immersion and Expression
Screenshot of VRoar, the Voice Controlled VR app by Adinda van ‘t Klooster and Nick Collins, 2023, app is available here.

Event Schedule

13:00 – 13:10


Dr. A. van ’t Klooster

Dr. Adinda van ’t Klooster is a senior lecturer in interdisciplinary digital art and teaches across various courses at SODA. She has spent much of her career as an artist using live interactive audiovisual technologies to create immersive interactive interfaces, including light and sound installation, interactive audiovisual performance and interactive sculpture. She has also explored the creation of sound controlled Virtual Reality interfaces, including the AudioVirtualizer (2019) and the voice controlled VRoar (2023).

13:10 – 13:30

Sound and wellbeing

Dr. Neil Spencer Bruce

Dr. Neil Spencer Bruce is a lecturer in Sound Design (Soundscapes) and has an extensive background as a musician, composer, sound artist and audio engineer. Neil specialises in sound creation, field recording and immersive sound world building. His research centres on immersive audio, psychogeography, perception, place sound mapping, and sonic storytelling, focusing on urban spaces, in particular London’s Soho, and themes of isolation, infrastructure, and liminal spaces.

13:30 – 13:50

Voice controlled VR art interfaces

Dr. Adinda van ’t Klooster

Van ‘t Klooster’s current research focusses on voice-controlled VR art interfaces. Her VRoar Art game allows the user to see their vocal expression directly affect graphics in a variety of fun ways, as will be demonstrated by Pippa Anderson afterwards. In a next project they hope to combine forces to further explore how these patterns relate to wellbeing and how such an interface can be designed specifically to improve wellbeing.

13:50 – 14:05

Demonstration of the VRoar Interface by voice specialist Pippa Anderson

14:05 – 14:25

Restoring the voice

Pippa Anderson

Pippa Anderson’s experience bridges practice and academia. Her research is focused on multidisciplinary collaboration in specialised performer clinics, advocating a holistic, person-centred approach to vocal recovery as the optimal solution. With over two decades of experience as a performing arts educator, she supervises MA students studying vocal pedagogy at the Voice Study Centre while practising as a freelance voice practitioner, employing creative vocal expression in various arts-based projects.

14:25 – 14:45

Musical Moments – understanding wellbeing from an ‘in the moment’ perspective

Dr. Robyn Dowlen

Dr. Robyn Dowlen is a Teaching and Research Associate at the University of Manchester who has an extensive background in the field of culture, health, and wellbeing. Robyn’s research centres on developing methods and approaches for capturing ‘in the moment’ experiences in a dementia context, exploring how music and other creative activities can support meaningful moments of connection for people with dementia and those who support them.

14:45 – 15:00

Panel discussion and Q+A with audience

15:00 – 16:00

Refreshments & Networking