In this chapter we introduce the core elements of physicality that will form the structure of the central parts of the book: the body and physiology, material artefacts and design, space and spatial arrangement, and digital artefacts and virtual physicality.  Humans have always shaped their lives and the world from stone and metal tools, to steam and electrical machines; digital technology is in some ways just another step, but it is also different in the way that it is both ubiquitously embedded everywhere and yet also has an almost numinous or ghost-like nature.  We will see how human–computer interaction and industrial design have emerged as separate disciplines and yet are now converging in the study of these hybrid digital devices with physical form.

Keywords: natural world, human–computer interaction, industrial design,