Interaction Design with Functional Plastics

Project: Research council

Project Details


This fellowship will design, deploy and evaluate a new kind of design platform based on functional plastics - cheap conducting or semi-conducting polymer materials that can be arranged or printed to build circuits, transistors, sensors, displays and many other electronic components. This class of materials is particularly interesting because it provides opportunities to cheaply build electronic capabilities that are tightly coupled or even merged with product design materials which give prototype devices their form and aesthetic, integrated to an order of magnitude more than the current 'circuit board plus silicon' approaches. This will allow designers to manipulate materials of form and function together, supporting the design of electronically functional prototypes, yet based on familiar personal fabrication tools such as printing, laser cutting, or even hands-on sculpting. To achieve this vision, the fellowship will create inexpensive and open hardware and software interfaces which are legible in the range of opportunities that designers can take advantage of, yet remain opaque to the complexity of the underpinning science. Importantly for HCI, this will shed light on new ways of conceptualising the boundaries and distinctions between physical and digital design.
Effective start/end date1/10/1931/03/22


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

RCUK Research Areas

  • Information and communication technologies
  • Human-Computer Interactions


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