Physical Playlist: Bringing Back the Mix-Tape

  • Daniel BurnettEmail author
  • Adrian Gradinar
  • Joel Porter
  • Mike Stead
  • Paul Coulton
  • Ian Forrester
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9299)


To those of a certain age the concept of the mix-tape holds fond memories, and generally not of the musical content they contained, but rather the emotional and physical connection they represented with either its creator or recipient. They provided an embodiment of the time and effort it its creation and thus presented the same qualities of other handmade gifts. The advent of digital content, and particularly the mp3, for storage and streaming meant that audio content could be shared more quickly and easily than ever before. However, the creation of a digital playlist does not embody the same qualities present in a mix-tape and thus has not gained the same cultural significance. This research re-imagines the mix-tape for digital content as physical customizable jewellery that can once again embody values not generally attributed to digital content. Through a discussion of the design process and the results of preliminary evaluation, the potential benefits on the user experience of sharing digital content through physical objects have been highlighted.


Tangible Embodied NFC Customizable Jewellery 



The research presented in this paper has been made possible through the support of a number of organizations most notably the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) project The Creative Exchange at Lancaster University and BBC Research and Development at Media City UK.


  1. 1.
    Coulton, P., Omer, R., William, B.: Experiencing ‘touch’ in mobile mixed reality games. In: The Fourth International Game Design and Technology Workshop and Conference, GDTW 2006, pp. 68–75. Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool (2006)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Csikszentmihalyi, M., Halton, E.: The Meaning of Things Domestic Symbols and the Self. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1981)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Frayling, C.: Research in art and design. Royal College of Art Research Papers 1(1), 1–9 (1993)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Frohlich, D., Murphy, R.: The memory box. Pers. Ubiquit. Comput. 4(4), 238–240 (2000)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hallnas, L., Redstrom, J.: Slow technology – designing for reflection. Pers. Ubiquit. Comput. 5(3), 201–212 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hallnas, L., Jaksetic, P., Ljungstrand, P., Redstrom, J., Skog, T.: Expressions: towards a design practice of slow technology. In: Proceedings of IFIP INTERACT 2001: Human-Computer Interaction 2001, Tokyo, pp. 447–454 (2001)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hemment, D., Thompson, B., de Vicente, J., Cooper, R. (eds.): Digital Public Spaces. FutureEverything (2013)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Odom, W., Banks, R., Durant, A., Kirk, D., Pierce, J.: Slow technology: critical reflection and future directions. In: Proceedings of the Designing Interactive Systems Conference, DIS 2012, pp. 816–817. ACM, New York (2012)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Stevens, M.M., Abowd, G.D., Truong, K.N., Vollmer, F.: Getting into the Living Memory Box: family archives & holistic design. Pers. Ubiquit. Comput. 7, 210–216 (2003)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Burnett
    • 1
    Email author
  • Adrian Gradinar
    • 1
  • Joel Porter
    • 1
  • Mike Stead
    • 1
  • Paul Coulton
    • 1
  • Ian Forrester
    • 2
  1. 1.ImaginationLancaster, Lancaster UniversityLancasterUK
  2. 2.Dock House, MediaCitySalfordUK

Personalised recommendations