HCI researchers have begun to more systematically study non-digital transient approaches for displaying information in public space, for example, in the form of chalk infographics. These approaches provide several benefits compared to digital displays, such as: ad-hoc deployment, barrier-free interaction, and being more sustainable. However, one limitation is their hyperlocal scale and impact. Speculating on urban robots as agents for scaling up physicalised displays, we describe the exploratory design and deployment of Woodie, a slow-moving robot that draws on the ground using conventional chalk sticks. We deployed Woodie for three weeks in a quiet laneway situated within a highly urbanised area. Data collected from observations, video logs and interviews revealed that Woodie successfully attracted people's attention and acted as a facilitator for collaborative, creative placemaking. Furthermore, Woodie provoked emotional responses and was perceived as a living being. Findings are interpreted to describe opportunities urban robots provide for the design of future pervasive urban displays.
This paper provides a materiality perspective to understanding lived experiences with a deformable domestic artefact, named transTexture lamp. The lamp is an interactive light with a deformable lampshade surface. We deployed transTexture lamps in the homes of three professional designers for two months with the aim of exploring possible interactions and engagements with the deformable lamp. Our findings show how participants experienced transTexture through pleasurable interactions and how they experienced deformation over time from reflections on these interactions. Analyzing the data through a materiality lens unpacked a creative process of drawing on the deformable lampshade surface, which results in the accumulation of substrates and transformations of deformations. These findings suggest opportunities for future material-centered interaction design research and practices in HCI.
Smart textiles development is combining computing and textile technologies to create tactile, functional objects such as smart garments, soft medical devices, and space suits. However, the field also combines the massive waste streams of both the digital electronics and textiles industries. The following work explores how HCI researchers might be poised to address sustainability and waste in future smart textiles development through interventions at design time. Specifically, we perform a design inquiry into techniques and practices for reclaiming and reusing smart textiles materials and explore how such techniques can be integrated into smart textiles design tools. Beginning with a practice in sustainable or "slow" fashion, unravelling a garment into yarn, the suite of explorations titled "Unfabricate" probes values of time and labor in crafting a garment; speculates how a smart textile garment may be designed with reuse in mind; and imagines how electronic and textile components may be given new life in novel uses.
As smart textiles are becoming more present in our lives, investigating and designing textile interfaces has started getting more and more attention. Still, very little research has been done on how to design interactive elements for non-wearable textile interfaces for the best recognition, perception, and interaction. In this paper, we present initial assumptions for designing such interfaces, which we derived from working intensively with our partners from the industry. These have been further explored with experts from the field during interviews, and finally tested in a user study. As a conclusion of the study, we define five design recommendations for textile interfaces and present several prototypes that demonstrate them in practice. Our recommendations cover tactile contrast between textures, heights, and shapes; minimal recognizable size of elements; perception of concave and convex shapes as interactive elements; indication of interaction through shape; and recognition of tactile symbols.