From Mundane to Smart: Exploring Interactions with ‘Smart’ Design Objects

Dhaval Vyas, Alexander Kröner, Antinus Nijholt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    In addition to functional and technological features, the role of augmented objects should also be seen in terms of how effectively they fit into the everyday practices of users and how they enhance users’ experiences. In this article, the authors introduce a low-tech, internet-of-things technology called CAM (Cooperative Artefact Memory) that is used as a collaborative tool in design studio environments. CAM works as an object memory technology and allows industrial and product designers to collaboratively store relevant information onto their physical design objects, such as sketches, collages, storyboards, and physical mock-ups in the form of messages, annotations and external web links. In the context of this study, CAM serves as an important probing device to understand designers’ interaction and experiences with augmented design objects, in their natural environment. The authors carried out a small-scale field trial of CAM in an academic design studio, over three student design projects. In this article, they discuss the findings of their field trial and show how CAM was used by the participants, how it was integrated into the design process and how it was appropriated for different purposes. The authors also found that CAM supported coordination and awareness within the design teams, yet its serendipitous and asynchronous nature facilitated creative and playful interactions between team members. In general, the results show how CAM transformed mundane design objects into “smart‿ objects that made the creative and playful side of cooperative design visible.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)63-88
    Number of pages26
    JournalInternational journal of mobile human computer interaction
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2016


    • EWI-25366
    • HMI-HF: Human Factors
    • Cooperative Artefact Memory
    • IR-98697
    • Design Objects
    • Design Studio
    • Internet of Things
    • METIS-314905
    • Twitter
    • n/a OA procedure


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