Designing with Matter: From Programmable Materials to Processual Things

  • Agustina Andreoletti exMedia Department, Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  • Alice Rzezonka School of Design and Art, University of Wuppertal, Wuppertal, Germany
Keywords: Materiality, Interactive Matter, Programmable Material, Process, Thing, Non-Anthropocentric Design, Computational Design, Processual.


This paper explores the potential of active matter, from a practical exploration of the concept to a theoretical discussion based on the material findings. It begins by addressing the ideas of materiality and material performance through the project “Chrysalis Gemini” and then provides an overview of the notion of programmability.To this end, we move to the description and analysis of programming, focusing on its relationship with hardware, software and material. In particular, we address the idea of programmable matter, and we introduce the term processuality. We consider the importance of adaptability, analysing the experience of humans, their interaction with the environment, with artefacts and with material within a design context.In this manner this study seeks to highlight how contextualisation and interconnected processes become relevant as a design argument. This is achieved by presenting the relational potential of processual material and things and their ongoing transformation. 

Author Biographies

Agustina Andreoletti, exMedia Department, Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Cologne, Germany
Agustina Andreoletti is an Argentinian designer, researcher and maker based in Cologne. Her work includes the use of a variety of techniques, media, hardware and custom software systems. She studied Graphic Design at the University of Buenos Aires (2011) and Integrated Design at Köln International School of Design (2015).  Andreoletti has worked for many years in the field of design; alternating among print, digital and immersive experiences. Her projects are meant to create and inspire experiences that place processes at the centre of development. She is currently attending the exMedia Postgraduate Programme at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne.
Alice Rzezonka, School of Design and Art, University of Wuppertal, Wuppertal, Germany
Alice Rzezonka is a Cologne based designer and research fellow at the University of Wuppertal. The focus of her work is the continuous relationship between the analog and digital with the key interest of communicating to the user in poetic, haptic, emotional and functional terms. With a diploma in Landscape Architecture (2011) she ventured further into the field of design with a bachelor in Integrated Design at Köln International School of Design (2015).  She is currently engaged in a doctoral research project exploring a processual understanding of material in interface and interaction design.


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