Exploring Novel and Advanced Materials
for the Smart Urban Built Environment

This half-day virtual studio, to be held on Sunday, 21st of Feb, 2-6 PM CET, seeks to advance the discussion around Materials for the Smart Urban Built EnvironmentSpecifically, we will explore novel, traditional, and smart materials to conceptualise applications for the urban outdoors. Our aim is to bring together individuals with diverse backgrounds and expertise to ideate, conceptualise and discuss novel and advanced material experiences for different types of shared public places (i.e., markets, subway stations, parks ). We are interested in the opportunity space of the material collection and their influence on the shared, public life.

Attendees will have the opportunity to gather a deeper understanding of novel, ephemeral and conventional materials enhanced with advanced properties. We will present samples of translucent and capacitive concrete, translucent wood and wood-based 3D printable filament. In addition, we will share our experiences and learnings of designing with these novel materials. We will discuss the applicability of existing theoretical frameworks to specific contexts in the urban built environment, focusing on use-cases for the presented materials as well as challenges and speculations for interaction instances.


Please submit your expression of interest, photographs of three materials of interest (novel/unconventional, traditional and/or smart materials), photographs of three locations of interest (i.e. public, historical, or community spaces of your area) and a short bio via this form


  • The deadline for submissions is February 14th, 2021 AoE
  • Notifications will be sent out by February 15th, 2021 
  • The studio will be held on Sunday, 21st of Feb, 2-6 PM CET


Contributions will be selected based on their specific, unique, or controversial notion of novel/unconventional, traditional and/or smart materials. The organizers will review the submissions and decide upon acceptance.


Expression of interest, photographs of three materials of interest (novel/unconventional, traditional and/or smart materials), and a short bio should be submitted by February 14th, 2021 AoE via this form, as all accepted contributions (materials of interest) will be made available on this website to allow participants to prepare for the studio.

Furthermore, we would like you to consider three locations in your vicinity (heritage, community and public spaces) which you can send photos of at a later date closer to the studio. You do not need to specify this in your expression of interest, but are expected to submit both locations and materials that will foster discussion and reflection during the studio.

The studio will begin by a very brief introduction of participants and their selected materials, followed by brainstorming on the connections of the materias and the selected environments.  intense discussions in sub-groups and the plenum. Moreover, intense discussions in sub-groups will follow. We will round-off the studio with presentations of the discussions and concluding next steps.


Please note that the people with accepted submissions must attend the studio.  All studio participants must register for the studio but there is no need to register for the full conference.


The studio will be held on Sunday, 21st of Feb, 2-6 PM CET and is planned as a 4 hours session. A more detailed schedule will follow.


Linda Hirsch – LMU, Munich
Eleni Economidou – Center for Human-Computer Interaction, University of Salzburg
Irina Paraschivoiu – Center for Human-Computer Interaction, University of Salzburg
Tanja Döring – Digital Media Lab, University of Bremen
Andreas Butz – LMU, Munich


Information about the conference: TEI 2021
Questions or comments should be sent to