FEBRUARY 14 - 19, 2021

ONLINE, Anywhere on Earth


Studios will take place online between Sunday, February 14, 2021 and Sunday, February 21, 2021.

StudioDate & Time
S1: Material Meets the City: Exploring Novel and Advanced Materials for the Smart Urban Built EnvironmentSunday, February 21, 14:00-18:00 (UTC+1)
S2: Tangible Body Maps of Felt-Sensing ExperienceGroup A: Friday, 19th of Feb, 09:00-13:00 (UTC+1)
Group B: Sunday, 21th of Feb, 17:00-21:00 (UTC+1)
S3: TactJam: a collaborative playground for composing spatial tactonsSaturday, February 20th, 15:00-21:00 (UTC+1)
S4: Design for Playfulness with Interactive Soft MaterialsFriday, February 19th, 17:00-21:00 (UTC+1)
S5: Interactive Machine Learning for Embodied Interaction Design: A tool and methodology*Hackathon format*
Between Wed, February 10th and Sun, February 14th. 
S6: From “Explainable AI” to “Graspable AI”Friday, February 19th
17:00-21:00 (UTC +1)


Studios have always played a major role in TEI conferences, and we want this year to be no different. Six Studios have been selected to take place at TEI 2021. Studios will take place between Sunday, February 14, and Sunday, February 21, 2021. The exact timing and planning of each Studio will be decided by its organizers, based on the location of the participants. For most Studios, you can simply sign up when registering for the conference, though some Studios require participant submissions (e.g., a position statement). See the Studio descriptions to learn more. Each Studio will have a participation fee of €30. Studio 3 requires an additional fee for materials. Details about this can be found further down this page as well.


S1: Material Meets the City: Exploring Novel and Advanced Materials for the Smart Urban Built Environment

Linda Hirsch, Eléni Economidou, Irina Paraschivoiu, Tanja Döring, Andreas Butz

Participation Fee: €30

Studio Website

Contact Organisers

In this hands-on Studio, we explore a set of novel materials to conceptualise applications for the smart urban built environment. This Studio aims to bring together individuals with diverse backgrounds and expertise to ideate, conceptualise and discuss novel and advanced material experiences in the urban realm.

As attendee, you will have the opportunity to gather a deeper understanding and a hands-on experience of experimenting with real samples of conventional materials enhanced with advanced properties. Specifically, we will provide samples of translucent and capacitive concrete, translucent wood and wood-based 3D printable filament. We will also share our experiences and learnings of designing with these novel materials. At the end of the Studio, we will discuss the applicability of existing theoretical frameworks to specific contexts in the urban built environment, focusing on the use cases for the presented materials as well as challenges and speculations for interaction instances in the smart urban built environment. Grab a seat to this Studio by telling us about your favourite urban material.

S2: Tangible Body Maps of Felt-Sensing Experience

Claudia Núñez-Pacheco

Participation Fee: €30

Studio Website

Contact Organisers

You are invited to participate in our TEI studio Tangible Body Maps of Felt-sensing Experience, where we will explore the potential of projective tools (body maps and their tangible manifestations) in conjunction with techniques that examine inner experiences, such as Focusing and Active Listening. We will explore such methods in the context of evaluating our experiences with technology, particularly from first and second-person perspectives.For this studio, we will use readily available materials to generate projective artefacts, which will act as starting points to access subjective meaning. 

Participants will be introduced to the somatic technique Focusing, where they will learn a tool to access their tacit meaning by paying attention to their bodies and emotions. Additionally, they will experiment with ways to articulate experience by using tangible materials as projective artefacts of the self. To further understand the nuances of body maps and their tangible manifestations, participants will also be introduced to the Active Listening technique, which will be practised in pairs.

This call is open for those interested in exploring evaluation tools emerging from somatic and experiential traditions. This studio will be conducted over Zoom during two different time zones for participants to choose according to their convenience.

S3: TactJam: a collaborative playground for composing spatial tactons

Dennis Wittchen, Georg Freitag, Bruno Fruchard, Paul Strohmeier

Participation Fee: €30

Material Fee: €80

Studio Website

Contact Organisers

In this studio, we focus on designing vibrotactile patterns (tactons) for the whole body. These tactons enable conveying non-visual information to users that can be beneficial in many scenarios where overloading the user with visual information should be avoided (e.g., driving). While one can design tactons with various comprehensive tools, we adopt a more hands-on approach and propose to design them using an instrument-like device we call TactJam. Such a device is easy to master and does not require any knowledge in tactile feedback.

This studio is made for any person interested in designing tactons to be experienced on the whole body. We do not restrict applications from a certain population of the HCI community, but rather hope that many researchers or hobbyists from diverse backgrounds would attend.

The aim of this studio is to organize collaborative ideation sessions focused on the design of tactons. Using the TactJam devices, all attendees will be able to design and feel the tactons they came up with, but also from all others. We hope to generate discussions on various strategies to create such patterns, as well as ideal placement of the actuators on the body based on users’ sensibility.

By the end of the studio, attendees will know about tactons and their uses in general. They will have experienced and designed novel vibrotactile patterns using a simple instrument-like device, and would have shared their creative process with others. The authors will keep the library of tactons created and report the results of the ideation sessions on the studio’s website.

S4: Design for Playfulness with Interactive Soft Materials

Seçil Uğur Yavuz, Paula Veske, Barbro Scholz, Michaela Honauer, Kristi Kuusk

Participation Fee: €30

Studio Website

Contact Organisers

In the frame of the ACM International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI), we invite you to participate in the virtual Studio on Interactive Soft Materials to Design for Playfulness.

E-textiles or electronic textiles is a constantly changing field which has been introducing new possibilities of making textiles responsive, interactive and connected for many different applications, ranging from smart wearables to spaces. While the e-textile field has been exploring the possibilities of playful applications, other soft materials that show interactive attributes can also be considered as possible sources for pleasurable play experiences. However, in the design field, there is a lack of a material-oriented design perspective in designing for interactive, playful experiences.

The one-day studio will briefly introduce embodied and somaesthetic design methods. In the workshop, participants will explore playful aspects of soft materials and surrounding technologies. The Studio aims to discover and develop playful aspects of interactive soft materials together in a multi-disciplinary group while participants create their own ideas around it. In the end, we will start expressing, sketching, and prototyping our ideas depending on each participant’s individual background, their skills, and available resources. While at the same time being open for a limited number of interested persons to join our self-directed research and tinkering activities online, and to contribute to our ongoing discussion.

S5: Interactive Machine Learning for Embodied Interaction Design: A tool and methodology

Nicola Plant, Clarice Hilton

Participation Fee: €30

Studio Website

Contact Organisers

Interactive Machine Learning for Embodied Interaction Design: A 5-day Virtual Hackathon.

This hackathon will bring together artists, dancers and designers, to explore designing movement interaction and create prototypes using new interactive machine learning tool InteractML (interactML.com), a plug-in for Unity3D software, developed by the organising team and other colleagues at Goldsmiths, University of London. Participants will gain instruction on the use of our tool and an insight on the interactive machine learning method the tool is built on. Hackathon sessions will also aim to equip participants with embodied ideation design strategies to enable them to design compelling movement interfaces that hold the potential to engage full body interaction within immersive media.

Together we will develop working prototypes of immersive creative applications using the tool for movement interaction, to be showcased at the end of the hackathon. The hackathon will pose an emphasis on exploring methodologies that aim to support creators’ understanding of movement feature data in relation to machine learning models as a learning goal and reflection on how working with machine learning models could hold the potential to inform creators’ understanding of their own movement. For more information and to register please visit the studio website.

S6: From “Explainable AI” to “Graspable AI”

Maliheh Ghajargar, Jeffrey Bardzell, Alison Smith-Renner, Peter Gall Krogh, Kristina Höök, David Cuartielles, Laurens Boer, Mikael Wiberg

Participation Fee: €30

Studio Website
Contact Organisers

Intelligent systems promise to support diverse use situations, improve task performance and accuracy, increase transparency, and broaden participation in computing. However, an interaction modality of intelligent systems that has been less explored is Tangible Embodied Interaction (TEI). This studio brings together designers, artists and HCI researchers around topics of tangible and explainable AI/ML. In the studio, we will map opportunities that TEI in its broadest sense, including TUI, embodied interaction, and physical computing can offer to the design of intelligent systems. We use the phrase Graspable AI, referencing two senses of the word “to grasp”: taking something into one’s hand and when the mind comprehends an idea

This studio focuses on three successive approaches to Graspable AI: 

Graspable forms are synthesized and unified wholes capable of conveying a meaning, a message or a state (classifying, learning or explaining) manifest in physical forms; they are often self-explanatory, intuitive, and relatable. This studio will explore how such forms of ML/AI models can become basic units of analysis for “graspable” AI.

Graspable forms over time: In a learning system, meaningful units change over time, increasing complexity of the outcomes and predictions. We ask how temporality influences the tangible forms of algorithms, considering metaphors of biological growth, emergence, and structure-preserving transformations.

Graspable forms in the world: Design criticism suggests that artifact form structures and integrates diverse dimensions of design, including intentionality, user experiences, and the sociocultural contexts in which the artifact was  produced or consumed. We ask how tangible forms, as they undergo change and transformation, acquire and shape meanings in the world. 

We invite interested participants to submit a position paper (2–4 pages, excluding the references) in the ACM Extended Abstracts Submission Template (Word or LaTeX) or as visual artifacts. Possible contributions can be included but not limited:

  • Theoretical considerations: using TEI theoretical frameworks to analyze, interpret and/or frame explainable AI.
  • Case studies at any stage: proposed, preliminary, or completed case studies that explore TEI with AI/ML systems. 
  • Prepared data: any physicalizations of data, preparations of data, or data sets.
  • Methods/approaches: new/adapted methods, design tactics, or approaches to making data more graspable.
  • Design collections: annotated and visual collections of artifacts, design concepts, critical writing about specific designs or aspects of designs.
  • Demonstrations/Performances: visual stories, illustrations, physical objects and videos (e.g. dance or music performances, short movies, animations) which visualize or perform the concept of Grapable AI, or whose graspability is relevant to the studio three main topic areas that are mentioned above.

Note: Participation is open to everyone with or without accepted position papers.