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Two Honorable Mentions and a Best Paper at DIS 2016

Since 1995, the biennial ACM SIGCHI Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) is the premier, international arena where designers, artists, psychologists, user experience researchers, systems engineers, and many more, come together to debate and shape the future of interactive systems design and practice. This year the Conference was held in Brisbane, Australia.

The DIS 2016 theme of “fuse” is about exploring the range of new possibilities along the human and technology spectrum – the blurring of any clear divides between analog and digital, atoms and bits, materiality and virtuality, art and design, academy and industry. From mobiles to wearables, bearables, and even injectables, technology is finding its way to be carried by us, on by, and inside us. At the same time do we welcome more and more robots and humanoids into our lives – from Furby, Roomba, Siri, to Jibo.

UC Berkeley received two Honorable Mention Awards and a Best Paper Award. Read more about them below:

Honorable Mention:

Skintillates: Designing and Creating Epidermal Interactions

Joanne Lo, Jung-Lin Lee, Nathan Wong, David Bui, Eric Paulos

Beyond phones, watches, and activity tracking devices, a new ecosystem of functional and fashionable wearable technologies can easily, safely, and economically be designed, prototyped, and integrated directly on the skin. At only 38μm thick, these Epidermal Electronics offer entirely new levels of flexibility, comfort, customization, and integration of interactive electronics directly on the largest organ of the human body — the skin. In this paper we present a low cost fabrication method and set of design rules that can enable users to fabricate thin, flexible, wearable multifunctional electronics called Skintillates that easily attach to a user’s skin and seamlessly integrate into daily life. We introduce a range of fashionable and functional applications and designs for Skintillates within the landscape of existing wearable technologies. We highlight novel elements of our design including the first multilayer electronic tattoo and evaluate the durability and flexibility of these radically thin new epidermal electronics.

Joanne Lo is a BCNM DE and PhD student in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. She’s advised by Eric Paulos and a member of his Hybrid Ecologies Lab. Joanne is focused on to coming up with novel long-term research ideas with research engineers, to investigate fabrication methods that can be deployed and tested by the Maker’s community, and with product engineers to development large-scale manufacturing methods.

ProxyPrint: Supporting Crafting Practice through Physical Computational Proxies

Cesar Torres, Eric Paulos, Wilmot Li.

Advances in digital fabrication (DF) technologies are making it easier to produce high-fidelity replicas of digital designs. However, this push-to-print paradigm limits the creative opportunities that arise from “working through a material” which involves risk, uncertainty, and serendipitous discovery. We investigate how DF artifacts can function as static intermediary tools, which we term proxies, to support crafting practice. We focus on the wire-wrapping process, where physical wire is bent into complex shapes, and build DF fixtures to aid with construction and fabrication and explore how these proxies can provide users with different levels-of-assistance. In a user study, we evaluated how these proxies affect the making process and uncovered methodological distinctions between novices and experts. We discuss how approaches such as ProxyPrint that are designed aware of the medium can create more engaging making tools that embed tacit knowledge, encourage creativity, and engage users in ways that can sustain crafting practice.

Cesar Torres is a BCNM DE and PhD student in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. His advisor is Eric Paulos and he’s part of Paulos’ the Hybrid Ecologies Lab. His current research projects explore digital fabrication technologies as exciting, critical new media.

Best Paper:

Indeterminacy and Resistance in Making: Probing the Potential of Post-Anthropocentric 3D Printing

Laura Devendorf, Abigail De Kosnik, Kate Mattingly, Kimiko Ryokai.

The growth of small scale manufacturing technologies associated with the “maker movement” has captured the attention of artists, innovators, educators, and policy makers. This paper critically examines how one core
technology of the maker movement, a 3D printer, materializes assumptions about makers and their preferred ways of working with machines and materials. We describe how existing designs can be seen as anthropocentric,
framing the human maker as visionary and commander of passive machines and materials. We then present an alternative system for 3D printing, called Redeform, which explores how a post-anthropocentric framing of makers as
collaborators with machines and materials changes the design of 3D printers. We place our system within a lineage of performances that have explored relationships between humans and nonhumans since the 1950s. In doing so, we
explore and speculate on the opportunities for operationalizing post-anthropocentric theories within the specific context of the maker movement.

Laura is a BCNM DE and PhD student in the School of Information. Her advisor is Kimiko Ryokai. She’ll be joining the faculty of the University of Colorado at Boulder as an assistant professor in the ATLAS Institute. Her work explores relationships with technology and the poetics of technology that doesn’t quite work. I design, develop, and study interactive systems that leave room for the user to be challenged in order to provoke curiosity and enchantment with the everyday.

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