Affordances of Shape-Changing Interfaces: An Information Perspective on transformability and Movement

Marianne Graves Petersen, Majken Kirkegård Rasmussen, Johan Trettvik

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

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Affordances is an important term in the field of ShapeChanging Interfaces (SCI). But the field is challenged by a multitude of vaguely defined concepts around affordances such as dynamic, spatial, or tactile affordances. In line with
this, Alexander et al [1] recently pointed to lack of theory as one of the grand challenges for SCI. This paper proposes a re-analysis of Gibson for resolving the conceptual cacophony in the field of SCI. Essential to the ecological approach to affordances, is that perception is dynamic and people pick up information through exploring objects and environments over time. From this perspective, affordances of Shape-Changing Interfaces become a matter of providing
Information – through the design – regarding a) the interfaces’ ability to transform its shape and b) how movement suggests level of animacy. Through analyzing scholarly SCI prototypes, from this perspective, we provide an initial set of design strategies for affordances of shapechanging interfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDIS '20: Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference
Number of pages13
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-6974-9/20/07
ISBN (Electronic)9781450369749
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventACM SIGCHI 2020 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems: More than Human Centred Design - Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 6 Jul 202010 Jul 2020


ConferenceACM SIGCHI 2020 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems
LocationEindhoven University of Technology
Internet address


  • Affordances
  • Design
  • Information
  • Perception
  • Perceptual learning
  • Shape-changing interfaces

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