SweatAtoms is the first prototype, in the series of prototypes that explores material representations of the physical activity to enrich the experience of being physically active.  I advocate a novel approach of representing physical activity in the form of material artifacts. By designing such material representations, I aim to understand what these artifacts might offer in terms of reflecting upon physical activity. For example, what types of affect do material artifacts, representing ones’ physical activity create for the user? In order to advance this understanding, I have designed a system called SweatAtoms that transforms the physical activity data based on heart rate into 3D printed material artifacts. I also conducted an ‘in the wild study’ by deploying the system in six households where participants were experiencing five different material representations of their physical activity for a period of two weeks each. I found that the material artifacts made participants more conscious about their involvement in physical activity and illustrated different levels of engagement with the artifacts. Along with reporting the gained insights from the deployments, I offer reflections on designing material representations for physical activity. I hope that this work will inspire designers to consider new possibilities afforded by digital fabrication to support user’s experience with physical activity by utilizing interactive technologies at our disposal.

For more details, please refer to following papers:

  1. Understanding physical activity through 3D printed material artifacts
  2. SweatAtoms: materializing physical activity
  3. Sweat-atoms: turning physical exercise into physical objects

Or you can check the videos for more details:


Go through the slides for a quick overview: