Physical controller for the manipulation of modular type.

type/command is a playful and exploratory tool created for the manipulation of modular type via a physical interface. Outputs can be used for the development of visual communication materials or as a source of inspiration. The user can construct the circuit by following the assembling instructions in the packaging with the goal of introducing basic electronic concepts and showing the possibilities of applying such skills in design projects.

How it works

There are 4 modes that can be toggled with a push button. Each mode has a set of assigned parameters that change the appearance of the modules. These parameters can be selected and controlled with two enconders.

We thought of this controller as a DIY project where the user can construct the circuit, following the assembling instructions in the packaging which includes a list of components, input pins, hints on how to build the controller, and a QR code to download the software.

The following slideshow contains examples of outputs created with type/command.

Building process

To develop the physical controller a first circuit with the chosen components was built out using a breadboard. Then a first prototype was developed. To develop this first prototype a card box was used which inspired the final layout for the type/command, built in MDF.

Project Goals

Develop a concept for a game, work of art or any other application scenario making use of interaction technologies and composed of two parts: a physical interface component using an Arduino and a application component that should work in cooperation with the physical computing components, exchanging sensor and actuator information via serial communications.




Alexandra Oliveira

Ana Rita Estevinha

Carolina Almeida


Ana Rodrigues

Tiago Cruz