What can feminist materialization teach us about HCI design?

Materialization (or to materialize) is defined as “to invest or become invested with a physical shape or form”. Materialization is a process of transmutation: more alchemy than construction, with the results uncertain and in flux. We draw our inspiration from the Tangible Bits Group’s “painted bits” as graphical user interfaces; MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms; and Chris Jordan’s attempts at creating deeper emotional engagement with statistical data.

In this talk, I will share our recent projects in thinking through making: The Milking Machine, a material reimagining of a comparative search visualization; The Wheel of Hypersensitivity, transferring high-emotion issues out of the digital environment into a physical one of wood, metal, and coloured yarn; and a series of experiments in turning quantitative data into material builds, gathering new data and, after a time, adding a fresh layer of experience through augmented reality.

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