Nicholas Perillo


Materialising Tangible Interactions

Morph is a modular and kinetic interactive installation that reaches beyond two-dimensional pixels and embodies three-dimensional information. Morph demonstrates that it is possible to make cost effective, functional tangible media prototypes and serves as a tool for experimenting with abstract machine movement and gesture to create personality and encourage interaction. Furthermore, Morph is a real, interactive digital art installation that demonstrates a near future for tangible digital interactions.

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Humans possess highly complex sensory systems and advanced dexterity. However, the current approach to interacting with digital information somewhat neglects tactile stimulation in favor of auditory and visual stimulation with basic tactile interfaces.

This research project speculates upon the future form and function of digital and tangible interactions between humans and digital information. The grounding research questions were; 

  • Can tangible, actuated interfaces be designed, built and prototyped cost effectively and in a modular way, without sacrificing effective qualities?

  • Can interactive interfaces benefit from the use of natural movement patterns to create personality and encourage interaction?

  • How can tangible, actuated interfaces transform the way we interact with digital information?

Morph is made from 155 custom made touch sensitive and illuminated actuator modules connected by a flexible and expandable felt kerf cut structure. The modules are mapped to display 2D and 3D digital information and can be arranged in any order and applied to any shape simply by changing the core structure. This enables rapid and low cost experimentation with different forms.