Digital Bricolage: hands-on experiences with digital interaction construction

Andrea Alessandrini

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    This research investigates the technologies, practices, and challenges of using design tools to support design students in the construction of interactive systems. The study try to be a first attempt to provide suggestions for the design of next design tools. Designing connections and communications for computational elements is a challenging part in constructing interactive system architectures. The goal of this study is to explore and describe the practices and technologies used in the construction of interactive system architectures in practice.
    This exploratory study examines interactive system architectures, designer tools, and practices with the objective to understand how hardware and software components are connected together by students. It describes and analyzes how connections are made and which components and technologies are used. The study was driven by three specific questions: (1) How do students make components communicate together? (2) Which types of connections do they use? (3) What issues do they encounter and how do they overcome them? Fieldwork observations and interviews were used to gather data to answer the research questions.
    Results of the research shows that design tools require an approach different from engineering. In design it is fundamental to soften technology to make it quick, imaginative, and easy in order to shape the user’s experience. Designers must be free to choose easily between hardware or software to obtain a particular behavior of their system. This control permits a more fluid control to the hardware–software balance according to user knowledge, objectives, and context. Design tools must permit a progressive and dynamic transition between components and behavior arrangements. Design tools must permit the transition between a centralized solution to a distributed solution enabling duplication and separation of components and behaviors dynamically according to system requirements.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages4
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2014
    EventFabLearn Europe 2014: Digital Fabrication in Education Conference - Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
    Duration: 16 Jun 2014 → …


    ConferenceFabLearn Europe 2014: Digital Fabrication in Education Conference
    Period16/06/14 → …
    Internet address


    • Interactive system architectures
    • Designer tools
    • Hardware-software balance


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