🎖️ Honorable Mention
Towards Decomposable Interactive Systems: Design of a Backyard-Degradable Wireless Heating Interface
Katherine W Song, Aditi Maheshwari, Eric M Gallo, Andreea Danielescu, Eric Paulos
Sustainability is critical to our planet and thus our designs. Within HCI, there is a tension between the desire to create interactive electronic systems and sustainability. In this paper, we present the design of an interactive system comprising components that are entirely decomposable. We leverage the inherent material properties of natural materials, such as paper, leaf skeletons, and chitosan, along with silver nanowires to create a new system capable of being electrically controlled as a portable heater. This new decomposable system, capable of wirelessly heating to >70°C, is flexible, lightweight, low-cost, and reusable, and it maintains its functionality over long periods of heating and multiple power cycles. We detail its design and present a series of use cases, from enabling a novel resealable packaging system to acting as a catalyst for shape-changing designs and beyond. Finally, we highlight the important decomposable property of the interactive system when it meets end-of-life.