Physicality and Embodiment

Some resources for physical, tangible and embodied computing / interaction that is a useful starting point for the week 6 group work:

Brygg Ullmer’s PhD defence (one of the first significant pieces of work on “tangible user interfaces”):

An early paper from Brygg Ullmer and Hiroshi Ishii on frameworks for tangible interaction design (

Chapter 2 from Paul Dourish’s book “Where the Action Is” gives an overview of the history of tangible interaction in relation to desktop computing and ubiquitous computing:

Eva Hornecker’s chapter on Tangible Interaction on the Interaction Design Foundation’s website (

The Tangible Media Group at MIT were the forerunners of tangible interface design in HCI and still are the world leaders – their website has a lot of projects documented ( while their Vimeo account has lots of videos of systems they have built (

The proceedings of the annual TEI conference (Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction) has hundreds of peer-reviewed publications on the design and study of people using physical computing systems. See here ( and go to ‘publication archive’, click on the year you want to read, and go to ‘table of contents’ to see the list of that year’s papers.

In 2013 the journal Transactions on Computer Human Interaction (TOCHI) published a special issue on theory and practice in embodied interaction (

Some initial useful search terms that might be useful for you!: “tangible interaction”; “tangible user interface”; “embodied interaction”; “whole body interaction”; “physical computing”; “natural user interface”; “tangibility”; “tangibles”.

People in the lab who have done work on tangibles in the past: Tom Bartindale, Diana Nowacka.

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