Productive frictions: moving from digital to material prototyping and low-volume production for design research

R. Wakkary, H. Lin, A. Desjardins, S. Mortimer, L. Low, K. Doyle, P. Robbins

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)
    1 Downloads (Pure)


    In this paper we discuss the low-volume production of an interaction design research product known as the tilting bowl. The form of the tilting bowl was designed with 3D modeling tools and utilized digital fabrication for rapid prototyping. The final form was produced in a small number of glazed ceramic forms with embedded electronics and actuators. We focus on the lessons we learned from the challenges and design opportunities that arose in moving from digital processes to ceramic processes. We reflected on these lessons and developed thematic notions we refer to as frictions. These include shifting constraints, naïve expertise, manual automation, and dynamic materiality. The contributions of this paper are new design insights into the combination of digital and material processes for studio based prototyping and low-volume production and adds to the emerging relevance of digital fabrication, physical fabrication, and physical materials to interaction design and HCI research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDIS 2016 - Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems: Fuse
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-4031-1
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2016
    Event11th ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS 2016) - Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
    Duration: 4 Jun 20168 Jun 2016
    Conference number: 11


    Conference11th ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS 2016)
    Abbreviated titleDIS 2016
    Internet address


    • Ceramics
    • Design research
    • Fabrication
    • Materials
    • Prototyping
    • Rapid prototyping
    • Research product
    • Slip-casting


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