Material Programming: A New Interaction Design Practice

Anna Vallgårda, Laurens Boer, Vasiliki Tsaknaki, Dag Svanæs

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


We propose the notion of material programming as a new practice for designing future interactive artifacts. Material programming would be a way for the interaction designer to better explore the dynamics of the materials at hand and through that familiarity be able to compose more sophisticated and complex temporal forms in their designs. As such it would blur the boundaries between programming and crafting these new smart and computational materials. We envision a material programming practice developed around physical tools (e.g. Fig 1) that draw on bodily skills and experiences (Fig 2) while enabling actions performed directly on the material with immediate effects (no program vs. execution mode). Finally, the tools would enable one layer of abstraction and as such encompass the potential of the computational materials but not that of possibly adjacent computers, which could run more complex algorithms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference Companion Publication on Designing Interactive Systems : DIS '16 Companion
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date4 Jun 2016
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-4315-2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2016


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