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Due Week 13

Rene Magritte – The Treachery of Images

This project explores the integration of the physical environment with the media environment through the limited palette of one physical sensor and one media effector. Using the concepts of productive information exploration and behavior design for interactive systems, create a tangible interaction where the audience manipulates a single knob and observes a video display OR listens to audio (only one medium is allowed). By interacting with a system that has a designed behavior, the user should create a productive interaction experience that explores a specific information space.

This project serves two purposes. First, it explores productive interaction through the lens of designed behavior. Second, it introduces the design domain of tangible interaction, where interaction moves off the computer screen and into embodied, tangible content and interactions in the physical world.


  • Any kind of media can be displayed/played back (text, video, voices, music, sounds, etc.), but you must limit it to only visual OR audio, not both.
  • The knob should have a physical attachment made to it, turning it into a physical, embodied system that has an implied affordance to the user (like a round doorknob implies turning). In other words, you need to build the knob into something and can’t use the knob as-is. There may not be any screen interface elements such as menus, pull-downs, etc.
  • Choose a specific topic or set of information as your domain.
  • Each student will design their own project. At the same time, students are encouraged to help each other and trade their particular expertise with each other.
  • You will need to use the shop, work with hand tools, and get your hands dirty!

You will use the NET Lab Toolkit which can be found here.

Previous examples: