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Mediating the Sacred: Configuring a Design Space for Religious and Spiritual Tangible Interactive Artifacts

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Caroline ClaisseORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Tangible artifacts and embodied experiences are central to religious and spiritual (R/S) practices, and many HCI researchers and interaction designers highlight the importance of materiality and physicality in design. In this review paper, we bridge that gap and bring together 44 examples of R/S tangible interactive artifacts (TIAs) from academia, art, industry, and R/S communities to understand their specifics and guide future HCI research and design. We analyze these artifacts and map out a design space for R/S TIAs by matching identified characteristics of R/S TIAs with a framework from the study of material religion. The descriptive and generative R/S TIA Design Space covers insights into bodies, things, places, practices, and backgrounds. This paper offers a novel contribution to HCI research on the value and importance of tangibility and embodiment in technology-mediated practices in R/S contexts and serves as a generative source for future R/S TIA creation and research.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Markum RB, Wolf S, Claisse C, Hoefer M

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: TEI '24: Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction

Year of Conference: 2024

Pages: 1-22

Online publication date: 11/02/2024

Acceptance date: 17/11/2023

Date deposited: 25/01/2024

Publisher: ACM


DOI: 10.1145/3623509.3633353

Notes: Article No.: 5

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9798400704024