Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 10, Issue 2–3, pp 144–147 | Cite as

Material light: exploring expressive materials

Original Article


The control of material appearance has become richer than before, giving designers new expressive freedom. Designers need tools and techniques to handle this freedom when designing products. We present a simple but powerful technique to explore material expression in the conceptual phase of the design process. Colours and patterns are projected on foam and paper models to enable designers to quickly visualise and judge materials in context of the products shape.


Foam modelling 3D graphics Material studies Conceptual design Tangible interaction Augmented prototyping 



I would like to thank Jouke Verlinden for his feedback, Edwin Branbergen and Inge van Bruinessen who helped to build and test the prototypes.


  1. 1.
    Stappers PJ (2005) Creative connections: user, designers, context, and tools. J Pers Ubiquitous Comput (this issue)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Zijlstra E (2002) Future materials for architecture & design. Materia, RotterdamGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Keller AI, Stappers PJ, Hoeben A (2000) TRI: inspiration support for a design studio environment. Int J Des Comput 3:1–17Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Piper B, Ratti C, Ishii H (2002) Illuminating clay: a 3-D tangible interface for landscape analysis. In: Proceedings of CHI’2000, pp 355–362Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Raskar R, Welch G, Low K, Bandyopadhyay D (2001) Shader lamps. In: Eurographics workshop on rendering, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Verlinden JC, de Smit A, Peeters AWJ, van Gelderen MH (2003) Development of a flexible augmented prototyping system. J WSCG 11(1):496–503Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Matkovic K, Psik T, Wagner I, Gracanin D. Dynamic texturing of real objects in an augmented reality system, Technical report vrvis.
  8. 8.
    Fitzmaurice G, Ishiii H, Buxton W (1995) Bricks: laying the foundations of graspable user interfaces. In: CHI’1995, pp 442–449Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ID-StudioLab, Faculty of Industrial Design EngineeringDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations