Design for new haptic interactions in the internet of touch

25 nov 2016 – Utrecht

A wealth of interconnected devices is penetrating our daily lives at an increasing rate. While many of these devices communicate with us through visual and auditory interfaces, a new wave of second skin connected devices — like smartwatches — unlocks a new interaction paradigm: touch.

Our sense of touch is a complex sense, capable of detailed information processing — the various vibration notifications received through wearables for example. However, touch can also be a rich source of affect, and emotional experiences. Some of the most emotion-laden experiences in our lives involve touch: the soothing feeling of a warm bath, the desirable feel of an exquisite dress, a relaxing massage, or a hug from a loved one.

Design for new haptic interactions in the internet of touch

Tapping into the affective aspects of our sense of touch could provide a whole new way for interacting with technology. Exactly how this should be achieved is still an open question. The social nature of touch offers one possibility: can we somehow emulate the intense feeling of a human touch through technology? And if so, how should such a touch feel, and how should it make us feel?

In this workshop we will explore the new interactions that emerge from the more and more connected world. How to use haptics as a design material. However haptics are the most important design material we will look also to other 'beyond-screen-interactions' and look into the model for designing for the new stubborn things.

Expect in this workshop both a lot of insights from research and experience, and a hands-on design session to make your own haptic device and design the interactions, including prototyping. A shorter version of the workshop took place at Thingscon (Berlin and Amsterdam), SXSW and Darefest (Antwerp). In this long edition we will dive deep into design and prototyping.

About Iskander Smit

Iskander Smit has a background as Industrial Design Engineer and have been working as creative and strategist in digital services. Currently he is working at in Amsterdam, where he is responsible for research and development and leading He has a longtime track record for designing and thinking on the internet of things and one of the thought leaders in the Netherlands on IoT. Since 2009 Iskander is member of Council Internet of Things and in 2013 co-founder of the Behavior Design AMS meetup.

About Gijs Huisman

Gijs Huisman is a PhD candidate at the Human Media Interaction group of the University of Twente. In his work he focusses on the use of haptic technology for social communication. He will share his insights from research on how touch perception works and how touch can be mediated through technology.

About Aduén Darriba Frederiks

Aduén Darriba is an interactive media artist and researcher in wearable technology. His research is focussed on body-worn haptic interfaces combined with touch sensitive garments. As an artist, his work is a mixture of performance and interactive installations. Known works are the Smoke Dress together with fashion designer Anouk Wipprecht, Plastap under the alias Studio Aan and Disparity commissioned by Microsoft Research. He has a background in Information Technology and holds a Master of Art in European Media and graduated With Honors from the Utrecht School of the Arts.

Practical details

The workshop starts at 9:00 and ends at 16:00
Location Hooghiemstra, Utrecht
Tickets Tickets cost € 150. Tickets include lunch. No vat applicable.
Language This workshop is in English
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Conditions Tickets can not be canceled, but are transferable. Read the information for participants »


See the list of participants »


Travelling by public transport: From Utrecht Central Station take bus 5 to Voordorp or bus 55 to Maartensdijk and get off at the Kleine Singel. Walk back to the canal and keep right (Wittevrouwensingel). After about 75 meters you will see the Hooghiemstraplein.

By car or motorcycle: Hooghiemstra is accessible from the A2 (exit Maarssen) and the A27 (exit Veemarkt). For further detailed instructions (also about parking), please refer to the website of Hooghiemstra.


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