Rapid prototyping products mapping live-data streams into tangible user interfaces

DS 87-9 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 9: Design Education, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Carulli, Marina; Bordegoni, Monica
Series: ICED
Institution: Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Section: Design Education
Page(s): 199-208
ISBN: 978-1-904670-97-1
ISSN: 2220-4342


The very rapid evolution of digital technologies and the “Internet of Things” phenomenon are today some of the most important issues that product designers have to face. Consequently, today designers need to understand and manage these new technologies in order to exploit their potential into innovative products. Therefore, it is recommendable that designers focus their activities on the design of the meaning and on the user interaction of products, in order to create smart products that are easy-to-use and enjoyable. In order to address all these issues, the authors set up an experimental workshop in which students with different backgrounds in design-related disciplines were asked to collaborate to the design of a domestic product that allows new tangible interaction with live-data streams. In addition, students were asked to develop the functioning prototype of their design solution, by using rapid prototyping and physical computing techniques. The students were able to develop working prototypes of products that are capable of communicating information derived from real-time data streams. Some of the most representative results of this workshop are presented in the paper.

Keywords: Design education, 3D printing, User centred design


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