Abstract

In this essay, we report on our survey of the design and HCI literature and other sources we have conducted in order to create an inventory of notions of digital materials past, present and future. We provide some thoughtful speculations and implications for design of digital artifacts with focus on emerging materials based on this survey. Our inventory includes state-ofart technologies and art and design projects covering the topics of organic user interfaces, smart materials, transitive materials, and so forth, as well as theoretical perspectives on materials in interaction design (Blevis, 2007; Löwgren and Stolterman, 2004). We construct design implications to include specific application scenarios of new material and interface technologies based on speculations for each theme of material perception that we uncover in our survey. These include (i) reducing the use of disposable materials—how to reduce material consumption as personal lifestyles, (ii) creating mechanisms of innovative, appropriate interaction—how to reduce energy consumption by means of the use of digital artifacts constructed with new display technologies, (iii) fostering ownership of sharable resources—how to promote the feeling of ownership or security in sharing public resources, (iv) updating things through the use of new materials—how to renew old objects by adding new technologies instead of replacing them with new ones, and (v) using materiality for engagement and expression— how to promote peoples’ attachment to artifacts by means of preserving sentiments and histories in the qualities of materials as a critical motivation for sustainable behaviour. We provide specific examples that reflect on how such themes can foster sustainable design practice with new material and interface technologies by expanding the perception and understanding of the materiality of digital artifacts.

Keywords:

Design, Material, Materiality, Digital Artifacts, Sustainable Interaction

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Jul 7th, 12:00 AM

Conceptualizations of the Materiality of Digital Artifacts and their Implications for Sustainable Interaction Design

In this essay, we report on our survey of the design and HCI literature and other sources we have conducted in order to create an inventory of notions of digital materials past, present and future. We provide some thoughtful speculations and implications for design of digital artifacts with focus on emerging materials based on this survey. Our inventory includes state-ofart technologies and art and design projects covering the topics of organic user interfaces, smart materials, transitive materials, and so forth, as well as theoretical perspectives on materials in interaction design (Blevis, 2007; Löwgren and Stolterman, 2004). We construct design implications to include specific application scenarios of new material and interface technologies based on speculations for each theme of material perception that we uncover in our survey. These include (i) reducing the use of disposable materials—how to reduce material consumption as personal lifestyles, (ii) creating mechanisms of innovative, appropriate interaction—how to reduce energy consumption by means of the use of digital artifacts constructed with new display technologies, (iii) fostering ownership of sharable resources—how to promote the feeling of ownership or security in sharing public resources, (iv) updating things through the use of new materials—how to renew old objects by adding new technologies instead of replacing them with new ones, and (v) using materiality for engagement and expression— how to promote peoples’ attachment to artifacts by means of preserving sentiments and histories in the qualities of materials as a critical motivation for sustainable behaviour. We provide specific examples that reflect on how such themes can foster sustainable design practice with new material and interface technologies by expanding the perception and understanding of the materiality of digital artifacts.

 

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