09/2017 - 11/2017


  • Joep Frens


  • Thomas van Hemert
  • Teun Keusters

Key learning points

  • Rich interaction
  • Design process



IoT: Growing System Approach

During this course, I learned about applying rich interaction in growing systems, taking an explorative direction in designing our future products in a home context. We introduce a system that utilizes embodied interaction to control our internet connected devices. By means of tags on each device and a rich interaction controller, users can secure their devices with our vault and gain access when required. We create a connection between these protected devices and other elements of the house using a modular growing system. When a breach of any kind occurs to these protected devices, our system warns its users through the elements connected to its system. As an example, we show how lighting control can be implemented. A separate controller controls brightness and color of lights in the house. When this controller is physically added to the vault, a breach to the system will show through the lights, by flashing red.


My interest in designing for rich interaction is derived from my experiences with designing for elderly, specifically their lack of technology acceptance. Although personally I was born and raised with technology, and generally prefer efficiency over alternative methods of interaction, usability in my designs is a number one priority. My perspective on rich interaction is based on functionality, which may seem limiting but in my opinion has a potential crucial role in aforementioned usability, when applicable for the specific target group. Reflecting on a more elaborate experience with the subject, I can see potential applications in different scenarios, beyond technology-replacing tangible interfaces for elderly. Although I am not confident that any of the concepts from this course could become feasible products, this experimental and perhaps somewhat extreme approach to rich interaction does present qualities regarding feedforward, interaction and feedback. Persuading or inviting a user to perform an action on a product, and having him or her understand its function is crucial to any product, be it physical or digital. I can understand and appreciate a physical manner of providing such cues and feedback, in order to achieve a more natural and integrated interaction with future electronic devices, in both a home context and beyond.

Furthermore, the relatively high focus on literature forced a scientific approach, with thoroughly thought through design choices and applications of previous work and research. Practice in such research can naturally be applied in my education related projects, but can provide crucial information in commercially focused projects as well. Information in general is key in all design, and information from validated scientific sources will always be a major part of that.