Shape-changing interfaces toolkit

Project collaborators:
Kristoffer Winge
Rune Haugaard
Justin Lacko


In the first half of 2015 I worked with two students from Aarhus University in the testing and development of an Android-based app for controlling different shape-changing interfaces. My role in the project was to test how a designer/architect could use the app to control different sensors and outputs. The app was connected to a physical electronic controller that could be connected to a multitude of switches and outputs. A pressure sensor was attached to a fan so that by pressing down on the sensor, the fan would rotate faster. The app had the ability to "record" my actions on the different switches so that I could replay my movements.

The objective of this project was to understand how the prototyping phase of an interactive project could be simplified/streamlined through the use of a toolkit. The most advantageous part of using such a system is that much of the code has already been written, and that the system is a self-contained plug-and-play solution for designers who may not have a strong grasp of programming languages.

The project was the principal subject of a joint thesis by Kristoffer Winge and Rune Haugaard ("Research Through Toolkit Design: Uncovering Design Considerations for Shape-Changing Interfaces Toolkits," Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University, 2015)

Toolkit with assorted inputs and outputs

Switches on the left controlled various outputs to the top centre and right