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  2. Postdoc position on Designing Intimate Technologies through Dance

Postdoc position on Designing Intimate Technologies through Dance

The University of Twente is looking for a creative postdoc to investigate the interwovenness between people and intimate technologies through dance.

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Key takeaways

  • Hours 40 hr.
  • Salary indication € 3,420 - € 4,490
  • Deadline 10 Jun 2022

Digital information technologies become more and more intimately interwoven with our society and individuals' daily lives. Through developments in sensor technology and material sciences, technologies such as wearables, high-tech clothing, smart objects, and assistive technologies become embedded in our environments and on our bodies. This merging of cyber and physical worlds in combination with advances in Artificial Intelligence, gives rise to new questions about what it means to be human in a society where people and digital technologies become intimately connected.

We offer a fully funded 2,5-year postdoc position to study these questions by creating a dance performance with intimate technologies, using performing arts and theatre to 1) explore conceptual and technical aspects of how intimate technologies could change and shape our relation with ourselves and others, and 2) involve society in this exploration. This ‘research through design’ approach provides creative and tangible ways of exploring possible futures, without the need for developing full-fledged cyber-physical systems. In the project we will investigate the new physical, psychological, and social vulnerabilities that these technologies could give rise to, as well as desirable ways of engaging with them through technology. In this way we lay the foundations for intimate technologies that take into account human vulnerabilities, contributing to a caring and inspiring digital society.

The prospective candidate is expected to use a ‘research through design’ approach involving societal stakeholders, to create designs of intimate technologies that are used in a dance performance, and through this process obtain conceptual and technical insights resulting in high quality publications. Involvement in supervision of student projects in connection with the project is expected to a limited extent. The position comes with significant additional budget for acquiring materials and services needed to create the performance.

Research setting:
This position is part of the Human Media Interaction research group at University of Twente, and will be conducted in collaboration with the DesignLab. Designlab offers a platform for researchers with design-based questions, who wish to cooperate and translate science through design to society on a transdisciplinary level. Through its Responsible Futuring approach, DesignLab strives to enable creative collaboration and knowledge flow between engineers, social scientists, policymakers, and citizens.

On a national level, the postdoc will be part of the Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies (ESDiT) programme as ‘associate research fellow’. ESDiT is a ten year long international research programme of seven academic institutions in the Netherlands which has started in January 2020. The programme has the aim of achieving breakthrough research at the intersection of ethics, philosophy, technology / engineering and social sciences. A key objective is to investigate how new technologies challenge moral values and ontological concepts (like “nature”, “human being” and “community”), and how these challenges necessitate a revision of these concepts. This position will be associated with the research line “The human condition” and focus on concepts such as vulnerability, identity, embodiment, agency & autonomy, connection & intimacy, and responsibility. It will also make an important contribution to our efforts within the consortium to collaborate with artists to stimulate ethical reflection on socially disruptive technologies, and involving society in shaping these technologies.

Your profile

  • You have a multidisciplinary background, including expertise from some of the following or related fields: design, (performing) arts, philosophy & ethics, STS, psychology, disability studies, fashion, creative technology, human computer interaction, (wearable) robotics, computer science, artificial intelligence, or embedded systems;
  • You hold or will soon hold a PhD;
  • You have excellent communication, organizational and networking skills, take initiative, and have the capacity and interest to learn how to coordinate multidisciplinary collaborations;
  • You are a creative thinker who enjoys exploring novel avenues and ideas, and can translate these ideas into concrete research questions and design approaches;
  • You have good proficiency in English in speaking and writing;
  • Affinity with performing arts such as dance is preferred.

Our offer

  • You will be appointed for a period of maximum 2,5 years full-time within a very stimulating scientific environment. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues.
  • Your salary and associated conditions are in accordance with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities (CAO-NU);
  • Gross salary between € 3.420,- and €4.490,- per month depending on experience and qualifications;
  • Excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, a year-end bonus of 8.3% and a solid pension scheme;
  • Between 29 and 41 leave days in case of full-time employment;
  • Excellent support for research and facilities for professional and personal development.
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues, researchers and other university staff.
  • We are also a family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid) and career support for partners.
  • We offer a friendly and welcoming research environment, with attention to employee wellbeing.

 Preferred starting date of the position: September 1st  2022.

Information and application

Are you interested to be part of our team? Please submit your application June 10th 2022 at the latest via the ‘Apply now’ button below and include:

For further information about this position, please contact Dr. Birna van Riemsdijk (m.b.vanriemsdijk@utwente.nl).

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About the organization

The faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) uses mathematics, electronics and computer technology to contribute to the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). With ICT present in almost every device and product we use nowadays, we embrace our role as contributors to a broad range of societal activities and as pioneers of tomorrow's digital society. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

About the faculty EEMCS

Curious about what the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) stands for? Check out the EEMCS website for more information.

A job that matters

Create new opportunities for yourself, your colleagues and our society. Scientist or teacher, administrator or facilitator, thinker or doer, energetic leader or silent support – your work at the University of Twente matters. And you too!

How to apply

Step 1

When you see a vacancy that appeals to you, you can apply online. We ask you to upload a CV and motivation letter and/or list of publications. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail.

Apply now

Step 2

The selection committee will review your application and you will receive a response within 2 weeks after the vacancy has been closed.

Step 3

1st interview.
The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

Step 4

2nd interview.
In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills and your talents.

Step 5

The offer.
If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer.

Want to know more?

Riemsdijk, M.B. van (Birna)

Riemsdijk, M.B. van (Birna)
Associate Professor

Riemsdijk, M.B. van (Birna)
Associate Professor

Do you have questions about this vacancy? Then you can contact Birna for all substantive questions about this position and the application procedure. For general questions about working for the UT, please refer to the chatbot.

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