Gavin Wood |

Gavin Wood

I am currently working asa senior research assistant in the Social Computing group, at Northumbria University. Up to July 2016, I worked in Open Lab, working in the digital health and well-being with, Madeline Balaam and team.

I have previous worked in the computer games industry where I led the technology side of a small independent studio working on AA games for Nintendo Wii, PlayStation and Xbox.

As well as working on titles such as: Fast and the Furious- Tokyo Drift - working in the games industry was also opportunity to work on different styles of games such as the design of PSP Board Games for Sony. I continue to be interested in games design, but my interests are now widened to include playful design, pervasive play, and playful interaction. With a particular focus on card-based interactions, mobile gaming, and young people. Whilst in the lab, I've be fortunate to work with Matt Wood on Talk About Sex, and Teresa Almeida on Labella (see publications below).

I am grateful to Open Lab, for finding me a position at Microsoft Research Lab, Cambridge, where I worked as part of a team tasked with creating new concepts for mobile devices, with specific responsibility for aspects of the user interface and system level software. The device experience created by the team is being used to inform future directions for the company’s product road-map.

Follow my publications here


Expressy: Using a Wrist-Worn Inertial Measurement Unit to Add Expressiveness to Touch-Based Interactions
Wilkinson G, Kharrufa A, Hook J, Pursglove B, Haeuser H, Hammerla N, Wood G, Hodges S, Olivier P, ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 20162832-2844
'I'm a rambler, I'm a gambler, I'm a long way from home': The Place of Props, Music, and Design in Dementia Care
Morrissey K, Wood G, Green D, Pantidi N, McCarthy J, DIS '16 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems1008-1020
Understanding the Sociality of Experience in Mobile Music Listening with Pocketsong
Kirk DS, Durrant A, Wood G, Leong TW, Wright P, 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems DIS 201650-61
Understanding the Sociality of Experience in Mobile Music Listening with Pocketsong
Kirk D, Durrant A, Wood G, Leong T, Wright P, Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS 2016)50-61


Talk about sex: Designing games to acilitate healthy discussions around sex
Wood M, Wood G, Balaam M, CHI PLAY 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play795-798


The Dept. Of Hidden Stories: Playful Digital Storytelling for Children in a Public Library
Wood G, Vines J, Balaam M, Taylor N, Smith T, Crivellaro C, Mensah J, Limon H, Challis J, Anderson L, Clarke A, Wright PC, 32nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems1885-1894
The dept. of hidden stories: playful digital storytelling for children in a public library
Wood G, Vines J, Balaam M, Taylor N, Smith T, Crivellaro C, Mensah J, Limon H, Challis J, Anderson L, Clarke A, Wright PC, SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems1885-1894


TimelyPresent: Connecting families across continents
Kim H, Monk A, Wood G, Blythe M, Wallace J, Olivier P, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies1003-1011
Combining Moving Bodies with Digital Elements: Design Space Between Players and Screens
Garner J, Wood G, Pijnappel S, Murer M, Mueller F, Proceedings of The 9th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment: Matters of Life and Death17:1--17:10


Magic Land: the design and evaluation of an interactive tabletop supporting therapeutic play with children
Pykhtina O, Balaam M, Wood G, Pattison S, Kharrufa A, Olivier P, DIS 2012: Proceedings of the Designing Interactive Systems Conference136-145
Enabling Self, Intimacy and a Sense of Home in Dementia: An Enquiry into Design in a Hospital Setting
Wallace J, Thieme A, Wood G, Schofield G, Olivier P, ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing (CHI'12)2629-2638


TouchBridge: augmenting active tangibles for camera-based multi-touch surfaces
Ladha C, Ladha K, Hook J, Jackson D, Wood G, Olivier P, ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces (ITS)271-272

Associated Projects

  • Department of Hidden Stories
    Department of Hidden Stories is a card-based and mobile phone app-based alternative reality game designed to transform the Library into a gaming space where children can use books as a resource for creating their own stories, narratives and sharing...
    August 30, 2011
  • Playful design
    The sociologist Johan Huizinga argues that play is the basis for all ritual, myth, art and wisdom, and as our working lives become entwined with our social lives the boundary between work and play is increasingly blurred. This space offers unique oppor...
    August 30, 2011
  • Tales of I
    Tales of I is a installation developed in collaboration with an adult mental health and learning disability development unit. Many residents of the unit have chronic dementia, and the room is intended to help trigger pleasant memories. Tales of I c...
    August 30, 2011
  • Embodied Selves in Transition: Disabled Young
    Currently, we do not know much about what it is like for young people with physical disabilities to transition into adolescence, how a physical disability can interact with their changing body and complicate societal assumptions about how an adolescent...
    August 30, 2011
  • OpenMovement
    OpenMovement is a collection of opensource hardware sensors and software tools for research use. The sensors all feature a MEMS triaxial accelerometer as a base sensor but also contain other sensors for context. There are two types of OpenMovement sens...
    August 30, 2011
  • Talking Memory Box
    The ‘Talking Memory Box’ was developed to allow people to digitally record, store and playback stories. It was designed for families and schools, allowing people to record and share stories and experiences that are associated with both people and an
    August 30, 2011
  • Bespoke: Increasing Social Inclusion through Community Journalism and Bespoke Design
    Digital technologies are often not affordable by the poor or usable by older people and people with disabilities. This can lead to these groups being excluded from the digital and social world, as they cannot benefit from the connections to other peopl...
    August 30, 2011
Copyright 2018 Open Lab