responsive objects surfaces and spaces

Creative design and technology research program

Defining collaborative design solutions where emerging technologies weave physically and digitally across all facets of our everyday experiences with performance, knowledge, play, environment.


Responsive Objects, Surfaces and Spaces (ROSS) is as a creative design and technology research program that explores how emerging technologies weave across all facets of our lives and communities, from shared knowledge and shared environment, to shared performance and shared play.

We bring together academic researchers, designers, scholars, together with industry partners, to provide an innovative and cross-disciplinary perspective on physical-virtual codesign, bridging technology research and development, traditional design and the sociocultural context of digital media technologies.

About Us

With the technological advances of the past decade, computing has progressively moved beyond the desktop into new physical and social contexts. This is evidenced by growing research trends in the computing field, such as tangible interfaces, physical computing, ubiquitous computing, and mobile and embedded computing.

As digital applications move from desktop and office workplace settings, they gain relevance within our everyday lives and spaces: homes, classrooms, public spaces, cultural or historical settings, scientific laboratories and beyond. At the same time, as physical objects and spaces gain new computational behaviors, they become increasingly complex: customizable, reprogrammable, repurposable and interoperable.

We believe that for this research to fully realize its potential impact on everyday life, the physical aspects (e.g. industrial and architectural design) and societal aspects (e.g. sociocultural context) of the resulting computationally enabled objects and spaces needs to be co-designed with the computational aspects. The design solutions that can best succeed in seamlessly integrating digital technologies into our everyday lives and physical contexts thus need to engage skills and expertise across a range of disciplines.

ROSS is a coordinated research effort at Georgia Tech to extend research on physical and digital interfaces across traditional disciplinary boundaries. We bring together researchers, designers, scholars and industry partners from a variety of fields including computing, electronics, media, design, architecture and social sciences to study, design, and build responsive objects, surfaces and spaces.


  • Ali Mazalek - Assistant Professor, Literature, Communication and Culture, Ivan Allen College
  • Kenneth Knoespel - Professor & Chair, Literature, Communication and Culture, Ivan Allen College
  • Claudia Winegarden - Assistant Professor, Industrial Design, College of Architecture


Space & Facilities ROSS have been utilizing the following spaces and facilities for the jointed efforts, through a combination of existing arrangements at Georgia Tech and funded research projects related to ROSS. Some of these facilities (such as AWPL) have associated use charges which are budgeted above.
  • Project setup and development - Research labs in TSRB and Skiles
  • Media production - LCC labs (video, etc.)
  • Physical fabrication - COA facilities (e.g. woodshop, 3D printer), AWPL, GVU (e.g. lasercutter, 3D printer)
  • Computing and electronics - COC, GVU, LCC
  • Demos, user evaluation, research - AwareHome
  • Meetings, gatherings - Lecture and conference rooms in TSRB, Skiles, COA