IDC 2014 Workshop on Design for Repurposing: Rethinking Children’s Interaction with Tangibles (17 June, Aarhus Denmark)

Dates: 17 June 2014
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Deadline for submissions: March 28, 2014

This full-day workshop will bring together researchers and designers who share an interest in understanding the challenges of how to design for repurposing of interactive tangible objects by children. We invite people who are interested in exploring the field of repurposing by children, or are currently engaged in research related to this topic. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: what is repurposing and how can it be exemplified; how to design interactive tangible objects that can be repurposed and how can children be supported in this; and which application and/or activity areas can be of interest for repurposing.

Numerous everyday objects are repurposed by children: an ordinary pencil becomes a magical device that can make wishes come true, or a cuddly toy becomes a living creature that can save the world. The affordances of these physical objects allow them to be used in many different ways. Children shape an imaginary world with everyday objects around them. Digital objects on the other hand are designed to be multipurpose but their affordances are harder to perceive. Therefore, designing digitally enhanced tangible objects with ‘repurposability’ in mind is less straightforward. This workshop aims to explore how to design for repurposing in the field of Interaction Design and Children. This workshop will discuss repurposing and related research and design work. Hereby, we aim to come to a common understanding of repurposing as a research area and identify the relevant challenges and opportunities for future research.

We invite position papers up to four pages in CHI Extended Abstract format. We ask authors to include a discussion of their work and its relation to repurposing in the context of designing interactive tangible objects for children. We encourage, but by no means require, participants to bring a (video-) demonstrator to present at the workshop. We welcome participants from a broad range of disciplines including computer science, interaction design, education, arts, psychology, cognitive science, social science and product design.

Possible contributions may include but are not limited to:

  • Interaction styles and concepts suitable for repurposing
  • Challenges and opportunities for supporting repurposing
  • Theoretical positions and evaluation approaches
  • Prototypes related to repurposing of tangible objects
  • Design work or case studies related to repurposing of tangible objects
  • Relations of design for repurpose to other paradigms
  • Relevance for specific contexts and target groups
  • Work in progress, late breaking innovations
  • Tools to develop tangible objects that support repurposing
  • Methods that support designing for repurposability

Please send your submissions to before March 28th. Authors will be notified of acceptance by April 28th. At least one author of each accepted paper needs to register for the workshop. Please note that it is the policy of IDC2014 that all workshop participants must register for both the workshop and for the main conference.

Linda de Valk (1), Yoram Chisik (2), Saskia Bakker (1) & Iris Soute (1)

(1) Industrial Design Department, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands
(2) Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute, University of Madeira, Funchal, Portugal

More details to be found on the workshop website:

For any further information on the workshop please contact:

About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is

One Response to IDC 2014 Workshop on Design for Repurposing: Rethinking Children’s Interaction with Tangibles (17 June, Aarhus Denmark)

  1. Pingback: IDC 2014 Workshop on Design for Repurposing: Rethinking Children’s Interaction with Tangibles (17 June, Aarhus Denmark) | Papers Wanted - Call for Papers, Journals and Conferences

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