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Hybrid Microgenetic Analysis
Using Activity Codebooks to Identify and Characterize Creative Process

Tacit knowledge is a type of knowledge often existing in one's subconscious or embodied in muscle memory. Such knowledge is pervasive in creative practices yet remains difficult to observe or codify. To better understand tacit knowledge, we introduce a design method that leverages time-series data (interaction logs, physical sensor, and biosignal data) to isolate unique actions and behaviors between groups of users. This method is enacted in Eluent, a tool that distills hundreds of hours of dense activity data using an activity segmentation algorithm into a codebook – a set of distinct, characteristic sequences that comprise an activity. The results are made visually parsable in a representation we term process chromatograms that aid with 1) highlighting distinct periods of activity in...

C&C 2019
Digital Ethnography
Crafting Resistive Heaters within Thermoreactive Composites

Hybrid practices are emerging that integrate creative materials like paint, clay, and cloth with intangible immaterials like computation, electricity, and heat. This work aims to expand the design potential of immaterial elements by transforming them into manipulatable, observable and intuitive materials. We explore one such immaterial, electric heat, and develop a maker-friendly fabrication pipeline and crafting support tool that allows users to experientially compose resistive heaters that generate heat spatially and temporally. These heaters are then used to couple heat and thermoreactive materials in a class of artifacts we term Thermoreactive Composites (TrCs). In a formal user study, we observe how designing fabrication workflows along dimensions of composability and...

DIS 2019
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A Conversation with Actuators
An Exploratory Design Environment for Hybrid Materials

An exciting, expanding palette of hybrid materials is emerging that can be programmed to actuate by a range of external and internal stimuli. However, there exists a dichotomy between the physicality of the actuators and the intangible computational signal that is used to program them. For material practitioners, this lack of physical cues limits their ability to engage in a "conversation with materials" (CwM). This paper presents a creative workstation for supporting this epistemological style by bringing a stronger physicality to the computational signal and balance the conversation between physical and digital actors. The station utilizes a streaming architecture to distribute control across multiple devices and leverage the rich spatial cognition that a physical space affords....

TEI 2019
Guardians of Practice
A Contextual Inquiry of Failure-Mitigation Strategies within Creative Practices

Failure, whether it be “complete-and-utter” or “a minor set-back”, occurs in a variety of different creative practices, yet how it is perceived, handled, and recovered from is a lesser explored design space. Failing to address these perceptions of failure can have psychological repercussions, discourage users from continuing a practice, and form cultural stigma such as those associated with STEM fields. However, mediating practices to develop a culture of resiliency and perseverance is key to sustaining a (lifelong) practice and reshaping pedagogical strategies. In this work, we outline the design space of “guardians”, or elements of a creative practice that mitigate the psychological effects of failure. Through a contextual inquiry, we contribute an inventory of failure-mitigation...

DIS 2018
Digital Fabrication
Hybrid Aesthetics
Design of New Media Practices within Digital Fabrication

Practices are emerging which blend both physical and computational techniques and materials. This thesis contributes a framework for understanding how to compose these hybrid elements into rich, reflective new media practices that expand the aesthetic repertoire and facilitate the adoption, sharing, and teaching of hybrid techniques.

DIS 2018
Digital Fabrication
Illumination Aesthetics
Light as a Creative Material within Computational Design

Recent digital fabrication tools have enabled new form-giving using a wide range of physical materials. However, light as a first class creative material has been largely ignored within the design of our electronic objects. Our work expands the illumination design space by treating light as a physical material. We introduce a digital design tool that simulates and visualizes physical light interactions with a variety of materials for creating custom luminaires. We further develop a computational design and fabrication process for creating custom secondary optics elements (SOEs), which provides additional handles for users to physically shape and redirect light to compose, fill, and evenly diffuse planar and volumetric geometries. Through a workshop study with novice electronic...

CHI 2017
Best Paper
New Media
Aesthetic Electronics
Designing, Sketching, and Fabricating Circuits through Digital Exploration

As interactive electronics become increasingly intimate and personal, the design of the circuitry is correspondingly developing a more playful and creative aesthetic. Circuit sketching and design is a multidimensional activity combining the arts, crafts, and engineering that broadens participation of electronic creation to include makers of diverse backgrounds. In order to support this design ecology, we present Ellustrate, a digital design tool that enables the functional and aesthetic design of electronic circuits with multiple conductive and dielectric materials. Ellustrate guides users through the fabrication and debugging process, easing the task of practical circuit creation while supporting designers’ aesthetic decisions throughout the circuit authoring workflow. In a formal user...

UIST 2016
Supporting Crafting Practice through Physical Computational Proxies

Advances in digital fabrication (DF) technologies are making it easier to produce high-fidelity replicas of digital designs. However, this push-to-print paradigm limits the creative opportunities that arise from “working through a material” which involves risk, uncertainty, and serendipitous discovery. We investigate how DF artifacts can function as static intermediary tools, which we term proxies, to support crafting practice. We focus on the wire-wrapping process, where physical wire is bent into complex shapes, and build DF fixtures to aid with construction and fabrication and explore how these proxies can provide users with different levels-of-assistance. In a user study, we evaluated how these proxies affect the making process and uncovered methodological distinctions between...

DIS 2016
Honorable Mention
Leveraging Theatricality for an Expressive Internet of Things

LiveObjects approaches expressive object design from the lens of art theory and creates a series of IoT data objects that utilize theatricality, or the perception of an object having presence, to provoke new interactions between objects, viewers, and space. This approach utilizes actuation, materials and everyday objects to express social data. We showcase how such objects can form unique expressive personalities, expose relational data, and perturb environments to form information spaces.

DIS Companion 2016
New Media
Designing Feel Aesthetics for 3D Printing

Digital fabrication has enabled massive creativity in hobbyist communities and professional product design. These emerging technologies excel at realizing an arbitrary shape or form; however these objects are often rigid and lack the feel desired by designers. We aim to enable physical haptic design in passive 3D printed objects. This paper identifies two core areas for extending physical design into digital fabrication: designing the external and internal haptic characteristics of an object. We present HapticPrint as a pair of design tools to easily modify the feel of a 3D model. Our external tool maps textures and UI elements onto arbitrary shapes, and our internal tool modifies the internal geometry of models for novel compliance and weight characteristics. We demonstrate the value...

UIST 2015
Digital Fabrication
Designing Expressive 3D Models for Digital Fabrication

MetaMorphe is a novel digital fabrication framework that uses a common web-programming metaphor to enable users to easily transform static 3D models into re-formed, re-made, and re-imagined customized personal artifacts.

C&C 2015
Digital Fabrication
Liquid Mediated Vision-Based Touch Surfaces

Fluid User Interfaces (Fl.UIs) are liquid-based touch surfaces that use computer-vision to detect and interpret a range of tactile user inputs. While Fl.UIs have less input resolution than digital touch screens, they provide an excellent low-cost solution for rapidly prototyping non-rectilinear screen designs as well as exploring novel surface interaction techniques. Fabricated on a laser cutter using low-cost materials, Fl.UIs use unique shape outlines to displace an internal colored liquid to regions-of-interest for a camera. This paper presents a set of software tools that help users rapidly design, fabricate and author interactions with Fl.UIs. The robust construction and an unpowered surface makes Fl.UIs well-suited for outdoor and public installations. The Fl.UIs prototyping tool...

TEI 2015