(Re)activate, (Re)direct, (Re)arrange: Exploring the Design Space of Direct Interactions with Flavobacteria

Clarice Risseeuw*, Holly McQuillan, Joana Martins, Elvin Karana

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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HCI designers increasingly engage in the integration of microbes into artefacts, leveraging their distinct biological affordances for novel interactions. While in many explorations the interaction between humans and microbes is mediated, scholars also highlight the potential of direct interactions, such as visualising mechanical distortions or fostering a sense of relationality with nonhumans through eliciting intimate encounters. Seizing upon this potential, our study delves into the realm of direct interactions involving Flavobacteria, recently introduced as a colour-changing interactive medium in HCI. We present a design space for direct interactions where humans can (re)activate, (re)direct, and (re)arrange Flavobacteria’s colourations, thereby fostering a personal and dynamic interplay between humans and microbes. With our work, we aspire to provide pathways and ignite inspiration among HCI designers to create living artefacts that cultivate active engagement and heightened attentiveness towards microbial worlds and beyond.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2024 - Proceedings of the 2024 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Sytems
EditorsF.F. Mueller, P. Kyburz, J.R. Williamson, C. Sas, M.L. Wilson, P.T. Dugas, U. Shklovski
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)979-8-4007-0330-0
Publication statusPublished - 2024
EventCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, Honolulu, United States
Duration: 11 May 202416 May 2024


ConferenceCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleCHI'24
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • Biological-HCI
  • Living Colour
  • Living Aesthetics
  • Human-Microbe Interactions
  • Flavobacteria
  • Direct Interactions


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