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Physecology: A Conceptual Framework to describe Data Physicalizations in their Real-World Context

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Forthcoming
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>27/09/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI)
Publication StatusAccepted/In press
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

The standard definition for ‘physicalizations’ is “a physical artifact whose geometry or material properties encode data” [47]. While this working definition provides the fundamental groundwork for conceptualizing physicalization, in practice many physicalization systems go beyond the scope of this definition as they consist of distributed physical and digital elements that involve complex interaction mechanisms. In this paper, we examine how ‘physicalization’ is part of a broader ecology – the ‘physecology’ – with properties that go beyond the scope of the working definition. Through analyzing 60 representative physicalization papers, we derived six design dimensions of a physecology: (i) represented data type, (ii) way of information communication, (iii) interaction mechanisms, (iv) spatial input-output coupling, (v) physical setup, and (vi) audiences involved. Our contribution is the extension of the definition of physicalization to the broader concept of ‘physecology’, to provide conceptual clarity on the design of physicalizations for future work.

Bibliographic note

© ACM, 2021. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in PUBLICATION, {VOL#, ISS#, (DATE)} http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/nnnnnn.nnnnnn