Special Issue "Tangible and Embodied Interaction"

A special issue of Informatics (ISSN 2227-9709).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (16 July 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Caroline Hummels

Department of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology, De Zaale 2 Bldg 32, 5612 AJ Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Interests: tangible and embodied interaction; IoT; sensemaking; aesthetics; ethics; transformative qualities; multi-stakeholder design; design for health and wellbeing
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Patrizia Marti

Department of Social, Political abd Cognitive Science, University of Siena, Siena, Italy Industrial Design Department, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +39 0577 23 47 43
Fax: +39 0577 23 47 54
Interests: experience design; interaction design; tangible interaction; human-robot interaction; educational technologies; inclusive design

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Informatics welcomes submissions on the topic of tangible and embodied interaction (TEI). Computers are, nowadays, woven into the fabric of our everyday social life, including our physical environment, making “the computer” go way beyond the traditional desktop machine supporting us to perform our work; it helps us to pursue our lives. Physical appliances have gained computational behaviours, which has opened up the field of tangible and embodied interaction (TEI). Tangible interaction aims at direct engagement with our digital world through physical artefacts (Ishii et al., 2012). Paul Dourish extended this concept towards Embodied Interaction, which includes the physical as well as the social world (2001). The apparent lines between the physical and digital, the material and immaterial, the personal and social seem to be blurring slowly but certainly. New developments like the Internet of things, shape changing interfaces and augmented reality are boosting the value and development of the field of TEI.

Over the last few decades, TEI has moved from a more conceptual level, like Durrell Bishop’s Marble Answering Machine (1992) towards experienceable, publicly and even commercially available designs like Reactable and the newly related Rotor (Jordà., 2008). However, there is still extensive terrain for TEI to conquer to be completely interwoven into our everyday life. It will require a close cooperation between different fields including informatics, hardware and sensor technology, human computer interaction, interaction and product design, computer-supported cooperative work, social and cultural computing, social sciences, humanities and art amongst others.

We encourage authors to submit their original research articles, work in progress, surveys, reviews, and viewpoint articles in the TEI field. This Special Issue welcomes applications, theories, models, and frameworks—whether conceptual, analytical, prescriptive, predictive, design-related, or otherwise—that are concerned with (but not limited to) the following topics as they relate to TEI:

  • Aesthetics
  • Business and industrial applications
  • Case studies
  • Choreography of interaction
  • Cultural practices
  • Embodiment
  • Internet of things
  • Physical / digital hybrids
  • Somaesthetic design
  • Design guidelines, methods, and processes
  • Embodied Cognition
  • Ethics
  • Future visions
  • Human perception
  • Information Behaviour
  • Innovative systems
  • Interaction designs
  • Interactive Spaces
  • Key challenges
  • Novel interactive use
  • Philosophical & social implications
  • Production products and tools
  • Sensemaking
  • Sensors and actuators
  • Shape changing interfaces
  • Social practices
  • Standardization
  • Tangible tools
  • TEI paradigms
  • Theoretical foundations, frameworks, and concepts
  • Toolkits and software architectures

Prof. Dr. Caroline Hummels
Prof. Dr. Patrizia Marti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Informatics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Hiroshi Ishii, Dávid Lakatos, Leonardo Bonanni, and Jean-Baptiste Labrune (2012). Radical atoms: beyond tangible bits, toward transformable materials. Interactions 19, 1, January 2012, 38-51.

Dourish P., (2001). Where the action is: The foundations of embodied interaction. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Jordà, S. (2008). On Stage: the Reactable and other Musical Tangibles go Real. International Journal of Arts and Technology, 1-3/4: 268-287.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle How The Arts Can Help Tangible Interaction Design: A Critical Re-Orientation
Informatics 2017, 4(3), 31; doi:10.3390/informatics4030031
Received: 7 July 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
PDF Full-text (888 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
There is a long history of creative encounters between tangible interface design and the Arts. However, in comparison with media art, tangible interaction seems to be quite anchored into many of the traditional methodologies imported from human–computer interaction (HCI). How can the Arts
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There is a long history of creative encounters between tangible interface design and the Arts. However, in comparison with media art, tangible interaction seems to be quite anchored into many of the traditional methodologies imported from human–computer interaction (HCI). How can the Arts help tangible interaction design? Building on Søren Pold’s Interface Aesthetics, a re-orientation of the role of the artist towards a critical examination of our research medium—tangible interaction—is proposed. In this essay, the benefits of incorporating artistic research and its methodologies into our field are described. With these methodologies it is possible to better assess experiential aspects of interaction—a relevant attribute which traditional HCI approaches cannot afford. In order to inform our community, three examples of critical artworks are comparatively studied and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tangible and Embodied Interaction)

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