Material That Matter

Although the tangible representation allows the physical embodiment to be directly coupled to digital information, it has limited ability to represent change in many material or physical properties. Unlike malleable pixels on the computer screen, it is very hard to change a physical object in its form, position, or properties (e.g. color, size) in real time. Nowadays there are new (smart) materials that can change this situation and potentially influence the future of tangible technology. This thesis by Andrea Minuto will introduce you to a vision called Smart Material Interfaces (SMIs), which takes advantage of the new generation of these engineered materials. They are capable of changing their physical properties, such as shape, size, and color, and can be controlled by using certain stimuli (light, potential difference, temperature and so forth).

Author used the material property itself to deliver information. He did this through various experiments and contexts. To facilitate the reading, he built a path within the structure of this thesis. It leads from the introduction through all the studies and all the experiments he made. This thesis is divided into parts that try to reflect his experience. Beside the initial part (A wide perspective Part i) and the conclusion (Conclusions and future Part v) there are three main parts. In Design (Part ii) he created the message through the design of an interface. In Experience (Part iii) he created a learning path for children, experiencing SMIs as part of their own stories. In Growth (Part iv), he delegate the duty of creation to older students, preparing the terrain where to build their own message for them.

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