DIS • Designing Interactive Systems
A Morphogenetic Workflow for the Design and Fabrication of Inflatable Silicone Bladders
Conditionally accepted to DIS (July 2020).
Silicone is a transformative design material found within a variety of emerging HCI practices including shape-changing interfaces, soft robotics, and wearables. However, workflows for designing and fabricating silicone forms require a time intensive mold-cast-cure pipeline that limits the experiential knowledge that can be gained from working directly with silicone. In this work, we conduct a material-centric exploration of silicone and develop designerly workflows for creating inflatable silicone bladders. We present Siloseam, a creative framework that streamlines a bladder design and fabrication process, collects tacit knowledge involved in recovering from errors, and introduces new workflows that reuse existing molds. A set of exemplar artifacts demonstrates an expanded repertoire of silicone forms that leverage various configurations of airtight seams to create playful, haptic interactions. We discuss the remaining challenges in integrating silicone with a broader range of materials and opportunities for developing designerly workflows for other mold-and-cast processes.