This February 14-17, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) will be home to TEI 2016: the tenth annual conference on Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interaction. The department of Industrial Design at TU/e, one of the Netherlands’ premiere design institutions, is known for its focus on interactivity ingrained in products, systems, and services. TEI brings together people in a variety of fields: design, human-computer interaction, interactive art, technologies, and more. Carnegie Mellon’s School of Design is sending faculty and students to present, lead workshops, and participate in TEI16.
Mark Baskinger, Associate Professor and director of the first-year program, is co-chairing the Studios & Workshops section at TEI16 with Joep Frens, faculty at TU/e and former Nierenberg Chair. Together, they will lead a conference-wide workshop called “Futuring Interactions” with three tracks aimed at embodying design thinking and research through making.
Austin S. Lee, Assistant Professor in CMU’s School of Design, will run a workshop called “MeMod” with Dhairya Dand, currently of oDD (futurist factory X lab). Using technologies like sensors and tangible programming to augment physical objects, the toolkit will enable a more personalized experience of the Internet of Things (IoT). Workshop participants will leave with a concept, prototype, and tools for expanding their exploration of the IoT.
Together with researchers from Disney Research Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII), industrial design senior Zachary Schwemler will facilitate a Studio-Workshop called “Stereo Haptics: Designing Haptic Interactions Using Audio Tools”. With a toolkit of open-source software and off-the-shelf hardware, participants will design and generate haptic interactions, illusions, feedback, and content.
School of Design Master’s students Dixon Lo, Sarah-Marie Foley, Raghavendra Kandala and Rachel Ng, a Master’s student at HCII, will be presenting a project from Lee’s Designing for Interactions course taught in the fall semester of 2015. Entitled “Expressing Intent”, the project and corresponding paper takes an alternate perspective to the typical servile relationship between humans and smart machines, especially in the context of the IoT. They argue that imparting animistic needs and values to these smart objects would open up new spaces for rich object-object interactions, object-human interactions, and human-object interactions. Dixon Lo will also be presenting a project called “Click”. Click allows a user to create computer programs by physically manipulating smartphones, which represent modular blocks of code.
Here at the School of Design, all research focuses on “design for interactions as an agent of change”, a stance that posits design as a method for envisioning and shaping desirable futures. The School of Design’s innovative research is situated in a culture of deep thinking and emphasis on student education. Kandala cites this forward-looking perspective and combination of theory with craft as allowing students to “think about interactions that could/should exist 5-10 years from now”, which is where conferences like TEI position their conversations.