Pictorials at TEI leverage the power of visual communication for physical design objects, documenting tangible research methods and results.

Abstract submission deadlineSeptember 25, 2020*
Pictorials submission deadlineOctober 2, 2020*
Notification of acceptanceNovember 13, 2020
Camera-ready deadlinetba
Conference datesFebruary 14-17, 2021

* Deadline times are midnight Anywhere on Earth (AoE)

General information

We are very pleased to announce that TEI2021 will continue with the Pictorials track. Pictorials were first introduced at DIS2014 with the aim of supporting the presentation and communication of research ideas, design practice, methods, provocations, insights, and contributions in a more visually rich format. Since then it has been successfully implemented in DIS and C&C conferences and was for the first time implemented in TEI in 2020. 

We warmly invite you to submit a pictorial for TEI 2021. The theme for TEI2021 is The Art of Interaction, inviting all participants and in particular, artists to speculate on a vision of how art impacts, inspires and shapes our research practice. 

Currently, TEI 2021 is planned to be held physically in Salzburg, Austria. Of course, if the circumstances require it, there will be an alternative way to present the research and to meet with the TEI community. So please do not hesitate to submit. We will find ways to run the conference in a way that best fits the future situation.

What are Pictorials?

Pictorials are papers in which the visual components (e.g. diagrams, sketches, illustrations, renderings, photographs, annotated photographs, and collages) play a major role in conveying ideas and research contributions in addition to the accompanying text. Pictorials leverage the power of visual communication with the effective use of visual languages and high-quality images. They may have a practical or theoretical nature or both.

Through Pictorials, researchers, practitioners, industry professionals, artists, designers, and students from various disciplines, including engineering, interaction design, computer science, product design, media studies, and the arts are encouraged to express and unpack their design practices and projects in visually rich ways.

Pictorials are meant to contribute to knowledge in themselves rather than document concepts, methods, and processes, we already know. Visual components can be contributions to design knowledge in and of themselves, as a form of making, but they should also be accompanied by a narrative that helps the TEI audience understand what the knowledge contribution is. It is this scaffolding that transforms a Pictorial into research and guarantees that it can be treated as an argument in research discourse. At the same time, the textual narrative should be just that – a scaffolding to support the contribution of the visual content.

What to submit?

We welcome submissions related to the rapidly developing field of tangible, embedded, and embodied interaction as well artistic research projects thatspeculate on a vision of how art impacts, inspires and shapes our research practice. In this broad context, submissions may cover diverse topics that include (but are not limited to):

  • Design decisions and methods employed to create new interactive techniques and tools.
  • Artistic explorations or practice-based research in or through tangible computational media technologies to support new human-machine interactions.
  • Perspectives on tangible, embedded, and embodied interaction ranging from arts to science and from design to education.
  • Other insights, lessons learned, practices or processes of designing and evaluating tangible, embedded, and embodied interaction technologies.

IMPORTANT NOTE: COVID-19 introduced a variety of complexities to the research community in terms of the deployment and study of research artifacts and interactive experiences. Since for instance, collaborative design activities or workshop-dependent prototyping   may have faced limitations, we would like to emphasize that Pictorials will be reviewed in light of such limitations, and reviewers will take these into account when assessing the contribution of the Pictorials.

Some important points to consider when preparing your pictorials:

  • Does your work require a Pictorial format, or would it be clearer in a more conventional textual form?
  • Is the contribution that is presented original and complete? If not, you may want to consider a WIP submission instead.
  • Is the production value for the images and/or diagrams of high quality?
  • Are images/diagrams emphasized over text as the primary means of communicating the research contribution?
  • Are the implications for the TEI research community clear? These may be descriptive, analytic, generative, synthesis-oriented, and even manifestos.
  • Does every image used in the Pictorial play a meaningful role and clearly present the idea on its own or with the support of text?
  • Does the placement of images and text compose a good narrative?

Submission guidelines

Format Requirements

Pictorials must be submitted in the TEI2021 Pictorials format (see below) and not exceed 12 pages, excluding references. The first page of the submission should include the submission’s title, author(s) and their affiliation(s) (leave blank for double-blind review), and a written abstract of no more than 150 words succinctly describing the background and context of the pictorial as well as its contribution to the TEI community. Further written parts known from other conference formats such as Introduction, Conclusion, Discussion, Acknowledgements, and References are optional. The main part of the submission should be an annotated visual composition and we encourage submissions to use the format creatively.

We strongly advise you to use the InDesign template to compose your Pictorial. If you do not have access to InDesign, please use the Word or Powerpoint templates. All submissions should be anonymous and submitted via the TEI2021 Precision Conference (PCS) system.

InDesign template
PowerPoint template
Word template

Since Pictorials are very specific in their way of presenting contributions, they have not been transferred to the new ACM workflow yet. There are numerous people working on the Pictorials format and how to transfer it to the new workflow. A big thank you to all of them for their efforts, especially to Sabrina Hauser, Laura Devendorf and other past Pictorials chairs.

Review and Selection

Submissions will be reviewed in a double-blind process, and authors must ensure that their names and affiliations do not appear on the submitted papers. The author and affiliation sections of the template must be left blank. In case of acceptance, authors will be asked to provide a camera-ready copy that includes this information, along with any recommended improvements as suggested by the reviewers.

Furthermore, all references should remain intact. If you previously published a paper and your current submission builds on that work, the reference – with authors – should appear in the references. Submission should NOT have blank references (e.g., “12. REMOVED FOR REVIEWING”). We encourage authors to refer to their previous work in the third person. Further suppression of identity in the body of the paper, while encouraged, is left to the authors’ discretion.


Confidentiality of submissions will be maintained during the review process. All rejected submissions will be kept confidential in perpetuity. All submitted materials for accepted submissions will be kept confidential until the start of the conference.

Accepted TEI Pictorials will be distributed by the conference and published in the ACM Digital Library where they will remain accessible to researchers and practitioners worldwide. At least one author is expected to register for the conference before the early registration deadline. Authors will be assigned appropriate time and location to present accepted submissions to the conference attendees.

Submission process

All papers must be submitted electronically via the Precision Conference (PCS) website. Submissions need to meet the abstract deadline on September 25 by providing the planned pictorial title and abstract, while the final pictorial submissions need to be uploaded until October 2.

Accepted Pictorials from TEI 2020

Svetlana Mironcika, Annika Hupfeld, Joep Frens, Jessica Asjes, and Stephan Wensveen: Snap-Snap T-Shirt: Posture Awareness Through Playful and Somaesthetic Experience (BEST PICTORIAL AWARD WINNER)

Rohit Ashok Khot, Jung-Ying (Lois) Yi, and Deepti Aggarwal: SWAN: Designing a Companion Spoon for Mindful Eating

Linda Hirsch, Beat Rossmy, Florian Bemmann, and Andreas Butz: Affordances Based on Traces of Use in Urban Environments

Rohit Ashok Khot and Jung-Ying (Lois) Yi: GustaCine: Towards Designing a Gustatory Cinematic Experience

Pradthana Jarusriboonchai, Hong Li, Emmi Harjuniemi, Heiko Müller, and Jonna Häkkilä: Always with Me: Exploring Wearable Displays as a Lightweight Intimate Communication Channel

Sharon Baurley, Bruna Petreca, Paris Selinas, Mark Selby, and Martin Flintham: Modalities of Expression: Capturing Embodied Knowledge in Cookin

Rahel Flechtner, Katharina Lorenz, and Gesche Joost: Designing a Wearable Soft-Robotic Orthosis: A Body-Centered Approach 

Christina Fyhn and Jacob Buur: Chronic Pain Scales in Tangible Materials

Laia Turmo Vidal, Elena Márquez Segura, Luis Parrilla Bel, and Annika Waern: Training Body Awareness and Control with Technology Probes: A Portfolio of Co-Creative Uses to Support Children with Motor Challenges

Sara Nabil and Richard MacLeod: Peace: Projecting Dual-Identities on Interactive Furniture

Kate Hartman, Chris Luginbuhl, Yiyi Shao, and Ricardo Toller Correia: Encasing Computation: Using Digital Fabrication Approaches to Make Microcontrollers Wearable

Jung-Ying (Lois) Yi and Rohit Ashok Khot: ROOD: Unpacking the Design and the Making of a RoadKill Alert System

Selected Pictorials from ACM DIS and ACM C&C

Zhide Loh, Jung-Joo Lee, and Kee Hong Song. 2017. Long Live the Sensor! Designing with Energy Harvesting. In Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Creativity and Cognition (C&C ’17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 323–335.

Shunying An Blevis, Eli Blevis, and Bonnie Nardi. 2019. All the Tea in China: Interaction Design Inspirations. In Proceedings of the 2019 on Creativity and Cognition (C&C ’19). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 333–345.

Pauline Gourlet and Thierry Dassé. 2017. Cairn: A Tangible Apparatus for Situated Data Collection, Visualization and Analysis. In Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS ’17). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 247–258.

Clement Zheng, HyunJoo Oh, Laura Devendorf, and Ellen Yi-Luen Do. 2019. Sensing Kirigami. In Proceedings of the 2019 on Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS ’19). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 921–934. 

Find further ones here: 
Pictorials of the Designing Interactive Systems Conference Series 
Pictorials of the Creativity & Cognition Conference Series

Pictorials chairs

Rohit Ashok Khot, RMIT University, Australia
Verena Fuchsberger, University of Salzburg, Austria