DEPtH aims

We are interested in the way that physicality of digital artefacts influences their use and in the way that digitality informs our understanding of the physical. As well as gaining an understanding of the relationship between digitality and physicality in computing, we are keen to learn how researchers from other disciplines perceive physicality in their line of work – for instance, how architects regard physicality during design and construction, how archaeologists interpret artefacts based on their physical properties and settings, or how philosophers reason about the idea of physicality with regard to humans.

Research questions

  • how do people experience, manipulate, react and reason about ‘real’ physical things
  • what happens when digital elements break ‘normal’ physical properties
  • what do we gain, lose or confuse by added digitality
  • how are physical objects used in product design
  • how do end-users make sense (or not) of designed products

Of interest to:

  • designers creating products involving digital aspects that may supplement, substitute, modify or subsume the ‘normal’ physical attributes of an artefact
  • anyone interested in product and interaction design, ubiquitous computing and areas of cognitive, social and philosophical interest


DEPtH workplan