Project Brief

To explore and experiment with a material and translate its properties into a digital experience.

My Role

Material Research, Photography, Book Design, Prototyping and Video Editing


Solo project with the guidance of Prof. Sara Raffo and Prof. Chris Hamamoto


Extensive study of various materials to narrow down to one particular material. Once I selected my material, I explored the various physical properties the material. This exploration gave way to defining those key properties which would be translated into a digital experience.


After several iterations of the final results. I came up with a launch screen and home screen interaction which would translate the playfulness and liveliness of the material. Created a prototype in Pixate and presented it as a video.

Key Aspects of Learning

The process of translating physical properties into a digital interface gave key insights into the relationship between the two environments. It also revealed that most of our present mobile interaction are inspirations from the physical world. The combination of both the worlds is a beautiful space to be a part of.

Identifying the right Material

Started looking into different materials. Selected Jello as the material.

Studying Jello as a material in Detail

Shortlisted properties I would translate into the digital interface.
Shortlisted properties I would translate into the digital interface.
Named the material Woobly Woo.

Effect of these Properties on Digital Interfaces.

Details of how the properties would translate into the Digital Space.

Video showing the translation.

Project Impact

The process of trying to translate physical properties of a material in to the digital world helped me understand the importance of using perceivable characteristics that should be restored to signify a particular material. It also helped me question an application of such a material in our existing mental model of how our digital interfaces should behave.

  • To select a material out of almost unlimited number of option.
  • Narrowing it down by the type of physical properties I was interested in when I consider a material
  • Identifying a suitable digital interaction that could use a jelly like interaction.
  • The importance of relating digital interactions to physical habits of gestures and materiality.
  • Understood that digital interaces need to have grounding principles according to which they should react when interacted with.
  • Inspiration to work further on a more complex interaction than just a music player.