Designing New Physical Interactions

Sowmya Somanath
Tentatively In-Person

People are profoundly shaped by the physical world, the objects within it and the physical interactions that unfold. Within this world, we create things, use our bodies to express ourselves and interact with a variety of machines to accomplish everyday activities. In my research, I am passionate about studying and designing technologies that help retain the richness and situatedness of the physical world and enrich and extend people’s physical interactions with the world. 

My students and I create a variety of physical and tangible ways for people to engage in everyday activities and use a number of emerging technologies such as 3D printers, wearables and autonomous vehicles. In this talk, I will share lessons learned from some of our projects that fit within three high-level themes: a) engaging in making-based activities, b) communication with physical technologies, and c) transitioning into and out of technology facilitated physical interactions. I will conclude by highlighting some future research directions we will be pursuing related to these themes and look forward to discussing with the DFP researchers potential opportunities for collaboration. 

Link to Creative Experiences Lab website:

Link to Victoria Interactive eXperiences with Information (VIXI) lab website:

Event directions

FSC 2330 (directions here)