Many of us daily encounter shadow and reflected light patterns alongside macro-level changes in ambient light levels. These are caused by elements - opaque objects, glass, mirrors, even clouds - in our environment interfacing with sunlight or artificial indoor lighting. Inspired by these phenomena, we explored ways of creating digitally-supported displays that use light, shade and reflection for output and harness the energy they need to operate from the sun or indoor ambient light. Through a set of design workshops we developed exemplar devices: SolarPix, ShadMo and GlowBoard. We detail their function and implementation, as well as evidencing their technical viability. The designs were informed by material understandings from the Global North and Global South and demonstrated in a cross-cultural workshop run in parallel in India and South Africa where community co-designers reflected on their uses and value given lived experience of their communication practices and unreliable energy networks.
In recognition of food’s significant experiential pleasures, culinary practitioners and designers are increasingly exploring novel combinations of computing technologies and food. However, despite much creative endeavors, proposals and prototypes have so far largely maintained a traditional divide, treating food and technology as separate entities. In contrast, we present a “Research through Design” exploration of the notion of food as computational artifact: wherein food itself is the material of computation. We describe the Logic Bonbon, a dessert that can hydrodynamically regulate its flavor via a fluidic logic system. Through a study of experiencing the Logic Bonbon and reflection on our design practice, we offer a provisional account of how food as computational artifact can mediate new interactions through a novel approach to food-computation integration, that promotes an enriched future of Human-Food Interaction.
Slab-based ceramics are constructed by rolling out flat sheets of clay, cutting out a pattern, and then folding the cut clay to build a three-dimensional design. Slabforge is an open-source web-based software application that supports slab-based ceramics. It enables users to design a range of simple 3D forms and then generate flat patterns and matching 3D-printable slump molds that support the construction of those forms. This paper discusses the development of the software in the context of our own ceramics practice and then describes the results of a study in which students in an introductory ceramics course used Slabforge to create tea sets. We use both of these experiences to motivate a critical reflection on the relationships between materials, craft, digital fabrication, and software, introducing three themes of friction that we encountered during the course of this project.
Fluid fiber, with fluid flowing in a tube, is an attractive material to flexibly and dynamically display digital information. While it has recently attracted attention from the HCI field, there is currently little knowledge about this material, limited to controlling the position of the droplets to present representational information like letters and numbers. To develop a broader and deepened understanding of this material and its potential for display design, we conducted a study based on a design workshop where art and design practitioners engaged in creation practice with a toolkit we designed and developed. The toolkit includes hardware components for controlling bubbles and droplets and a GUI design tool for arranging the fluid layout. Our research reveals the structural and expressive affordance of such a fluid fiber for displaying information, highlighting the unique value of fluidity as an intuitive form to express life, emotion, movement and changes.