The making of performativity in designing [with] smart material composites

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

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As the material becomes active in disclosing the fullness of its capabilities, the boundaries between human and nonhuman performances are destabilized in productive practices that take their departure from materials. This paper illuminates the embodied crafting of action possibilities in material-driven design (MDD) practices with electroluminescent materials. The paper describes and discusses aspects of the making process of electroluminescent materials in which matter, structure, form, and computation are manipulated to deliberately disrupt the affordance of the material, with the goal to explore unanticipated action possibilities and materialize the performative qualities of the sample. In light of this account, the paper concludes by urging the HCI community to performatively rupture the material, so to be able to act upon it as if it was always unfinished or underdeveloped. This, it is shown, can help open up the design space of smart material composites and reveal their latent affordances.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI'18 Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-5620-6
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2018 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 21 Apr 201826 Apr 2018


Conference2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2018
Abbreviated titleCHI EA'18

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Affordance
  • Computational composites
  • Electroluminescent materials
  • Material-driven design
  • Performative qualities
  • Performativity
  • Smart materials


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