A computational composite is a composite material in which one part is capable of computing. Combined with materials holding properties such as tensile strength, opaqueness, thermal behavior, water or fire resistance, sonic abilities, strength in compression, deformability, and many others we can create an abundance of unique expressions using computers.

In this project we explore the material properties of computer, especially computed causality and connectability. Computed causality is a property grounded in computations--the ability to make other parts of the composite to behave beyond our their otherwise normal behavior. Connectability is a property bound in computers--the ability to form networks and thus to connect physically discrete entities.

The copper computational composite is a tile with special thermodynamic properties. For the sake of studying computed causality the copper tile will become cold when heated (and for next iteration vice versa). For the sake of studying connectability the two copper tiles are made to behave thermodynamically as were they physically combined even if they are disjoint by anything byt a radio link.

The copper computational composites are made in collaboration with Tomas Sokoler.


Vallgårda, Anna & Tomas Sokoler (2010) "A Material Strategy: Exploring Material Properties of Computers", International Journal of Design , 4(3), pp. 1-14 [url, open access]

Vallgårda, Anna & Tomas Sokoler (2010): "Material Computing - Computational Materials" In Adjunct Proc. Ubicomp '10 Copenhagen, Denmark, September 26-29, 383-384 [pdf, acm]

Vallgrda, Anna & Tomas Sokoler (2009): "A Material Focus - Exploring Properties of Computational Composites" In Adjunct Proc. CHI'09, Boston, MA, April 4 - 9, 2009 [pdf]


The tiles were demoed at ubicomp September 27 - 29 2010 in Copenhagen