Interaction Design: Tangible and Embodied Interaction

Course - first cycle - 15 credits

Syllabus for students autumn 2022, autumn 2021, autumn 2020, autumn 2019, autumn 2018, autumn 2017, autumn 2016

Course Code:
KD409A revision 1.1
Swedish name:
Interaktionsdesign: Tangible and Embodied Interaction
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
Interaction Design
Date of ratification:
08 April 2016
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
29 August 2016
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
09 March 2015

Entry requirements

At least 45 credits from the main field of Interaction Design, or at least 60 credits in Computer Science or other subject in the field of design. For example Graphic Design, Product Design or Visual Communication.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course is part of the main field of studies in Interaction Design and can normally be included as part of a general degree.


Tangible and Embodied Interaction (TEI) is a genre of interaction which seeks to move beyond the graphical user interface paradigm toward experiences which engage our body and our capabilities for understanding and acting in the physical world. As a research field, TEI generates novel interaction technology and methods which the future interaction designer will need to anticipate and understand in order to design effectively. This course covers the theoretical underpinnings of the field as well as practical engagements. Furthermore, we contrast the futurism of the TEI research field with practical concerns of product development.


Module 1: Explores the topic in the form of seminars and workshops, building a theoretical perspective as well as technical competencies. Students practice creating physical prototypes that include electronics and sensors. The technical group exercises explore technological possibilities in a more playful way. Students will also analyse artifacts in relation to the field (7 HP).

Module 2: This stage consists of a group project, where students work together to create a concept that draws on tangible and embodied interaction themes (8 HP).

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Present a TEI concept in an ‘pitch’ style, including market, ethical, production and competitor analysis.
  2. Work with the technological materials of TEI in sketches and rough prototypes to express tangible and embodied interactive qualities
  3. Design, implement and communicate TEI-oriented concepts
  4. Reflect on and self-critique their own design process and concepts in relation to relevant TEI theory and exemplars.
  5. Reflect on and critique design projects from the literature, peers and industry in relation to TEI theory.

Learning activities

Instruction consists of lectures, group work, practical exercises (hacking sessions), user testing, design critique, reports and seminars.


Students are examined through:
Module 1 is examined through technical workshops, written design reports, seminars and project presentations (ILOs 2, 5).
Module 2 is examined through active participation in project meetings, the final presentation and an individual written report (ILOs 1, 3, 4).
A pass is given when all the intended learning outcomes are achieved in a satisfactory manner.
For re-examination of (production) assignments, certain circumstances apply since the examination of these assignments are dependent on student participation during certain periods of time and in specific projects. Re-examination will be given according to the student’s rights, but with adjustments to the specific assignment since it can not be conducted in the same context as the ordinary examination.

Grading system

Fail (U) or Pass (G).

Course literature and other teaching materials

Nobel, Joshua (2012). Programming interactivity. O'Reilly Media; Second Edition edition
Additional literature will be provided according to the specific thematic and practical orientation of each semester.

Course evaluation

The University provides students who participate in or who have completed a course with the opportunity to make known their experiences and viewpoints with regards to
the course by completing a course evaluation administered by the University. The University will compile and summarize the results of course evaluations as well as informing participants of the results and any decisions relating to measures initiated in response to the course evaluations. The results will be made available to the students (HF 1:14).