- Name: Dr Antonella Mazzoni (2010 cohort)
- CDT: AHRC & EPSRC Media and Arts Technology CDT
- University: Queen Mary University of London
- Research area: Experiential design of new entertainment experiences
- Thesis title: Mood Glove – Enhancing mood in film music through haptic sensations for an enriched film experience
- Current role: User Experience Researcher, Chirp, London
Before joining the AHRC/EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Media and Arts Technology at Queen Mary University of London, Antonella had completed a BSc in Computer Science, where she had designed and built an interactive musical tabletop for her final year project.
Antonella has a scientific background and had always been attracted to the arts, and was specifically interested in stretching her engineering skills towards art practices in order to experiment and design new entertainment experiences. The MAT interdisciplinary PhD programme provided the perfect opportunity for her to do this.
Her research blended cinematic storytelling and haptic technology, and focused on enriching audiences’ cinematic experience through the design of expressive haptic sensations directed at augmenting moods in the film score.
During the first year of the PhD programme, Antonella completed a research placement with arts collective and creative studio Seeper, where she collaborated on the creation of a multi-sensory environment for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at a special-needs school.
Antonella has written a number of publications for conferences and journals. She has also exhibited her work at many national and international venues, sometimes involving holding interactive public engagement sessions and observing audience reactions, which she found very enriching due to her interest in experiential design.
Antonella admits that she sometimes found it challenging to control and carry out such a big project independently, and it could be difficult at times to accept that certain tasks were taking much longer than originally planned, which meant working even harder to stick to schedules and deadlines.
Her advice to others considering embarking on a PhD programme is as follows:
“To undertake a PhD is a huge commitment, but totally worth it! It will shape your mind and change the way you experience the world around you and approach future challenges. Make sure you choose a research project you are passionate about – it will help you get through the more challenging times and finish!”
Antonella is now a successful User Experience Researcher at a start-up company in London, having gained the skills to conduct rigorous research and in a cross-disciplinary way from the MAT programme. The outcomes of her PhD have proven that there is interest and a requirement for conducting multidisciplinary research, especially within emerging technologies. It has also highlighted the requirement for new methodologies for arts-sciences projects.