The Exertion Games Lab (exertiongameslab.org) at RMIT University (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, rmit.edu.au) in Melbourne, Australia, is seeking exceptional PhD candidates to research the future of digital play.
The Exertion Games Lab is looking for candidates who value an
interdisciplinary design studio environment. You will be highly
motivated, willing to learn a variety of skills, extremely creative as
well as technical, and also have highly developed analytical and
communicative skills. Prior research experience (publications, etc.)
is desirable and so are hardware prototyping abilities (Arduino, etc.)
and programming skills. We are looking at potential for creativity,
excellence and drive.
We are interested in the following PhD topics:
* Digital Water Play: The candidate will prototype three digital water
play systems and examine users’ interactions to derive an
understanding of digital technology’s opportunities to facilitate
novel bodily water play interactions in surfing, SCUBA diving and
pools. An interest and experience with water activities, interactive
technology, hardware prototyping (including actuators) and aquatic
culture is required. This project will be undertaken with Dr. Florian
‘Floyd’ Mueller & Dr. Sarah Jane Pell (www.sarahjanepell.com)
* Flying robotic play companions: The candidate will prototype three
interactive sports systems with flying robotic companions and study
their use in order to understand what designers can learn from
designing interactive systems with quadcopters to support physical
exertion. These projects will utilize the lab’s Qualisys motion
capture system, the Xsens capture suit and crazyflie mini quadcopters.
A passion for robotics including hard- and software design for
quadcopters, motion capture and an understanding of sports-related
theory is required.
* Extreme sports: The candidate will prototype three interactive
extreme sports systems and study their use in order to understand what
designers can learn from extreme sports activities when it comes to
designing interactive systems. We envisage skydiving, wingsuit and
kiteboarding but will be also inspired by the candidate’s experience.
An interest and experience with extreme sports, hardware prototyping
and extreme sport culture is required.
* Sex toys: The candidate will contribute an understanding of the
potential of interactive technology to support bodily play, in
particular bodily sexual play, by designing and studying the use of
three novel prototypes to contribute towards our understanding of
bodily play. An interest and experience with bodily interaction design
and hardware prototyping is required.
You will need to have a three-year Bachelor and a Master’s degree.
Typical backgrounds are game design, interaction design,
human-computer interaction, computer science, industrial design,
electrical engineering, human movement, sports science, performing and
media arts but we are curious to hear what you can contribute. All
nationalities are encouraged to apply. The PhDs in the Exertion Games
Lab take 3 years. All applicants will need to apply for and be
accepted to the PhD program in Media and Communication at RMIT
University, see www.rmit.edu.au/mediacommunication/researchdegrees and
http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=uwpmk8bd4bkbz. Start date is 2nd of
March 2015. All positions are supervised by Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller
(Digital Water Play together with Sarah Jane Pell) and will conclude
with a thesis. Scholarships are available according to the Australian
Postgraduate Award rate of approx. AUD 25,000 per year and the
Exertion Games Lab also provides a Macbook Air with 27” display. The
Exertion Games Lab also hosts weekly presentation, writing and reading
group activities to support the candidate. We are also offering space
to research and design in an open plan lab environment in the Design
Hub, Australia’s newest interdisciplinary design research centre at
Expression of interest: 15 Oct 2014.
First, applicants will apply with an expression of interest by the
date above to the email below. After the internal interview with the
Exertion Games Lab, the candidate will need to apply to the general
RMIT University admissions office by 31 Oct 2014. This two-step
process ensures that we are able to endorse your application.
The Exertion Games Lab is a new lab that researches the future of
gaming and play in order to understand how to design better interactive
experiences. Our research is focused on the merging of play,
technology and the active human
body, drawing from research streams such as interaction design, human-
computer interaction and computer games research.
The culture in the Exertion Games Lab is one of interdisciplinary
work. At the Exertion Games Lab, we do not just philosophize and write
about the future, we actively invent it. We emphasize the development
of working prototypes in order to fully understand what play is, why
we play, and how we will play in the future. We do this because we
believe playing and gaming is a fundamental part of what makes us
humans who we are, and an understanding of this brings us closer to
our vision of a better world filled with interactive technologies that
support human values.
Please submit your application (CV, brief research outline
corresponding to position number (in the form of a paper incl.
references), transcript of latest academic results and portfolio URL)
by email to Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller (exertiongameslab at
Looking forward to reading your applications!
The Exertion Games Lab
* We should also mention that you will be doing your PhD right in the
heart of the world’s most livable city, Melbourne: