This project is
an earlier experiment with touchable interfaces, a model further explored
in Venus Villosa. The main idea was to combine physical computing and
interactive typography. My goal was to design a system that will emphasize
the physicality of the interactive experience, bridging the gap between
the visual field rendered on the screen and the tactile sensor on the
I sculpted and molded three different objects, sized to fit in the user’s
hands and poured in a soft resin product. The shapes and textures of
the different interfaces are intended to entice the user to rub and
squeeze the soft, skin like material.
Inside these objects, a bending sensor was inserted in a way that it
would pass on electrical information to an EZIO controller. Then the
EZIO sends the information to the computer through a standard Serial
Port. Macromedia Director then reads the signal and converts it into
numbers to which a set of behaviors is assigned.
The typography component is an animation of the phrase “It is
so ugly” that swells and throbs when the interface is squeezed.
The phrase “It’s so ugly” is reminiscent of “bruto-kaka”,
the most popular expression used by Venitian adults to reprimand children
when they touch something they are not supposed to.
The conflict between the natural curiosity, the instinct to explore
the world trough physical contact and the repression induced by the
internalized authority of the parental figure is also alluded to in
the design of the typography of the piece. The lumpish letterforms have
a fleshy texture that echoes once again, the relevance of the skin as
the interface through which our bodies explore the tangible world that