Temporality // Design Research // Material Properties of Computers
In interaction design, the computer can be understood as a design material that we can shape and give form to. But to be able to work with this material, we need to understand its properties. Many of the computer’s material properties are temporal and dynamic; i.e. they can change in time. One of the properties is the ability to change from one state to another and back again – this is reversibility. With this project we wished to explore possible temporal forms of reversibility by combining computers, sensor and actuators with other materials, such as textiles and plastic.
To explore how reversibility can be expressed in materials, we constructed various experiments and three design prototypes (see video). The prototypes were built with Arduino boards, electronics and conventional materials.
To challenge our design experiments, we held a design critique session with three experts within media studies and interaction design. This gave us an understanding of how the prototype’s states and transitions were experienced and how this differed from the programmed states and transitions. By working consciously with speed, pauses, acceleration, velocity, and rhythms it was possible to achieve radically different expressions within the same physical form and thus different experiences of reversibility.
This project was made in collaboration with Morten Winther.
First version of Kinetic Plastic and sketches
Samples with thermochromic ink - Left: Below 27 degrees Celcius (cooled state), Right: Above 27 degrees Celcius (heated state)