Editorial for the special issue on 'tangible and embedded interaction'

E. Hornecker, A. Schmidt, B. Ullmer

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


With technological advances, computing has progressively moved beyond the desktop into new physical and social contexts. As physical artifacts gain new computational behaviours, they are able to be re-programmed, customised, re-purposed, and to interoperate in rich physical, social and technical ecologies. They also become more complex, and require intense design effort in order to be functional, usable and enjoyable. Designing such systems requires interdisciplinary thinking. Their creation must not only encompass software, electronics and mechanics, but also the system’s physical form and
behaviour, its social and physical milieu, aesthetics and more. In these new contexts, tangible interaction presents a philosophy and strong interaction design alternative for many kinds of physical artifacts that incorporate or
prospectively relate to digital behaviours. In the process, from technical and also
conceptual perspectives, computationally-mediated interaction becomes embedded both into physical artefacts and within users’ tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-248
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Arts and Technology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • systems design
  • computing

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