Wearable Rhythms: Materials in Play

  • Amy WintersEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10289)


This paper will consider a future of wearable fluidic materials through a frame of embodied making and imagination. It will be presented through the design, construction, and reflection of a design case study: ‘Wearable Rhythms.’ This exploration is undertaken by drawing upon the rhythm of natural, elemental materials such as water and air. The aim of the study is to develop material-led design thinking to support soft, haptic, palpable, affective, tactual and computational experimentation. We conclude by considering how the experiment can provide new capabilities, both embodied and speculative, for design researchers to explore the invention of emerging technologies for Wearables.


Rhythm Play Elemental Material imagination Soft robotics Human-material interaction Speculative design Temporal Currents Ephemeral 



The author would like to thank Laurence Symonds for support with electronics prototyping and coding.


  1. 1.
    Lewis Research Group.
  2. 2.
    Whitesides Research Group: Research > Soft Robotics.
  3. 3.
  4. 4.
  5. 5.
    Overvelde, B., Albert, D., Oliveri, G., Commandeur, N., Li, Y., Platform, S.: Soft Robotic Matter – AMOLF.
  6. 6.
    The Faboratory at Purdue University.
  7. 7.
    Coelho, M., Zigelbaum, J.: Shape-changing interfaces. Pers. Ubiquit. Comput. 15, 161–173 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Case Study 2: Bending SPA Design for Hand Rehabilitation Glove.
  9. 9.
    Yao, L., Steiner, H., Wang, W., Wang, G., Cheng, C., Ou, J., Ishii, H.: Second skin. In: Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI EA 2016 (2016)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Merleau-Ponty, M.: Phenomenology of perception, p. 144. Routledge, London (2002)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Robles, E., Wiberg, M.: Texturing the “material turn” in interaction design. In: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction - TEI 2010 (2010)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hekkert, P., Karana, E.: Designing material experience. In: Karana, E., Pedgley, O., Rognoli, V. (eds.) Materials Experience: Fundamentals of Materials and Design, pp. 3–13. Butterworth-Heinemann, Amsterdam (2014) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Schön, D.: The Reflective Practitioner, p. 49. Basic Books, New York (1983)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Polanyi, M., Sen, A.: The Tacit Dimension, p. 4. University of Chicago Press, Chicago (2009)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Winters, A.: Building a soft machine: new modes of expressive surfaces. In: Design, User Experience, and Usability: Technological Contexts, pp. 401–413 (2016)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Klemmer, S., Hartmann, B., Takayama, L.: How bodies matter. In: Proceedings of the 6th ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems - DIS 2006 (2006)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wilde, D., Tomico, O., Lucero, A., Höök, K., Buur, J.: Embodying embodied design research techniques. Aarhus Ser. Hum. Centered Comput. 1, 4 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Pajaczkowska, C: Making known, the textiles toolbox- psychoanalysis of nine types of textile thinking. In: Jefferies, J., Wood Conroy, D., Clark, H. (eds.) The Handbook of Textile Culture, p. 79. Bloomsbury Academic, London (2015)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wakkary, R., Odom, W., Hauser, S., Hertz, G., Lin, H.: Material Speculation: Actual Artifacts for Critical Inquiry.
  20. 20.
    Vallgårda, A., Winther, M., Mørch, N., Vizer, E.: Temporal form in interaction design. Int. J. Design 9, 1–15 (2015)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Worbin, L.: Designing dynamic textile patterns, Göteborg: Chalmers University of Technology, p. 258 (2010)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Berzowska, J.: Programming materiality. In: Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction - TEI 2012 (2012)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Winkler, C., Steimle, J., Maes, P.: MetaSolid. In: CHI 2013 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems on - CHI EA 2013 (2013)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Rozendaal, M., Heidingsfelder, M., Kupper, F.: Exploring embodied speculation in participatory design and innovation. In: Proceedings of the 14th Participatory Design Conference on Short Papers, Interactive Exhibitions, Workshops - PDC 2016 (2016)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sengers, P., Boehner, K., Mateas, M., Gay, G.: The disenchantment of affect. Pers. Ubiquit. Comput. 12, 347–358 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Schön, D.: The Reflective Practitioner, p. 79. Basic Books, New York (1983)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Sennett, R.: The Craftsman, p. 149. Penguin Books, London (2009)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Bachelard, G.: Air and dreams, p. 7. Dallas Institute Publications, Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, Dallas (1988)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Bachelard, G.: Water and Dreams, p. 105. Pegasus Foundation, Dallas (1983)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
  31. 31.
    Blur Building, diller scofidio + renfro.
  32. 32.
    Rudomin, I., Diaz, M., Hernández, B., Rivera, D.: Water, temperature and proximity sensing for a mixed reality art installation. In: Maybury, M., Stock, O., Wahlster, W. (eds.) INTETAIN 2005. LNCS, vol. 3814, pp. 155–163. Springer, Heidelberg (2005). doi: 10.1007/11590323_16 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Döring, T., Sylvester, A., Schmidt, A.: A design space for ephemeral user interfaces. In: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction - TEI 2013 (2013)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Soft Robotics Toolkit.
  35. 35.
    Nawaz, A., Mao, X., Stratton, Z., Huang, T.: Unconventional microfluidics: expanding the discipline. Lab Chip 13, 1457 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Saggiomo, V., Velders, A.: Simple 3D printed scaffold-removal method for the fabrication of intricate microfluidic devices. Adv. Sci. 2, 1500125 (2015)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Bartels Mikrotechnik GmbH - Flow Controlled Micropump.,english/
  38. 38.
  39. 39.
    Graphic Equalizer Display Filter - MSGEQ7 - COM-10468 - SparkFun Electronics.
  40. 40.
  41. 41.
    Yoshida, R., Okano, T.: Stimuli-responsive hydrogels and their application to functional materials. In: Ottenbrite, R.M., Park, K., Okano, T. (eds.) Biomedical Applications of Hydrogels Handbook, pp. 19–43. Springer, New York (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Pink, S.: Situating sensory ethnography: from academia to intervention. In: Doing Sensory Ethnography, pp. 7–22 (2009)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Royal College of ArtLondonUK

Personalised recommendations