César Torres

12 Feb, 2015

César Torres


In collaboration with Tim Campbell and Eric Paulos.
Fluid User Interfaces (Fl.UIs) are liquid-based touch surfaces that use computer-vision to detect and interpret a range of tactile user inputs. While Fl.UIs have less input resolution than digital touch screens, they provide an excellent low-cost solution for rapidly prototyping non-rectilinear screen designs as well as exploring novel surface interaction techniques. Fabricated on a laser cutter using low-cost materials, Fl.UIs use unique shape outlines to displace an internal colored liquid to regions-of-interest for a camera. This paper presents a set of software tools that help users rapidly design, fabricate and author interactions with Fl.UIs. The robust construction and an unpowered surface makes Fl.UIs well-suited for outdoor and public installations. The Fl.UIs prototyping tool encourages these uncommon "screens" emerging in complex environments (i.e. urban spaces, benches, tables, fountains, sidewalks).

The Design Exchange

TheDesignExchange is a graduate research project directed by Celeste Roschuni, a PHD candidate in mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. TheDesignExchange is under development by a multidisciplinary team of both graduate and undergraduate students in order to create an interactive web portal to facilitate the capture, analysis and widespread use of design research methods. Our team aims to create a robust structure within which to collect and document the many design methods in use today, their origins, how they are used, and exemplars of their use. We hope that the site will also help designers make informed decisions about when to apply those methods in the design process. The portal supports the entire life-cycle of the design process—from observation through analysis and synthesis to realization and evaluation – providing educators and practitioners alike with a versatile library of proven tools.

About César

I'm César, a 2nd year PhD student in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department at UC Berkeley and you have stumbled upon the site where I post my latest projects and experiments. I am currently advised by computer-scientist-artist Eric Paulos and am part of the Tactical Hybrid Ecologies Group. My current research projects explore digital fabrication technologies as exciting, critical new media. You can find me at the Berkeley Center for New Media in Sutardja Dai Hall.

I recently received my BS in Computer Science and BA in Art Practice from Stanford University where I conducted research with the Stanford HCI Group and was advised by Scott Klemmer and Ranjitha Kumar in the CS Department, and Gail Wight in the Art and Art History Department. I am also the coordinator for the weekly Berkeley Institute of Design Seminar Series. Email me if you'd like to present.

So, let's talk media. Send me a note at! If you want to find out more, check out