Percentage Layout for Tangible User Interface

Clemson Creativity Triumphs: Lauren Toler’s Printed Tangible UI Wins C2A Award

Step into the world of innovative design as we unravel the journey of Lauren Toler from Clemson University, whose groundbreaking project, “Printed Tangible User Interface,” emerged victorious in the Other Print category at the C2A Awards. Join us in an exclusive interview as Lauren shares insights, challenges, and the inspiration behind her award-winning creation.

Lauren Toler Revolutionizes Learning with Printed Tangible User Interface

In the realm of innovative design, Lauren Toler from Clemson University shines as a trailblazer. The award-winning project, “Printed Tangible User Interface,” emerged triumphant in the Other Print category at the C2A Awards. In response to the surging demand for interactive learning experiences, Lauren’s experiment delved into creating a tangible user interface crafted from paper. Employing screen printing, she adorned the paper with conductive traces that seamlessly connected to a device with capacitive touch capabilities.

A meticulously coded color mixing program complemented the tangible interface, revealing the success of this groundbreaking venture. The project not only underscores Lauren’s dedication and creativity but also opens avenues for the future of interactive education. Stay tuned for more updates on Lauren’s journey and the dynamic world of design innovation.

Embarking on this innovative journey, Lauren Toler has not only showcased the potential of printed tangible user interfaces but has set the stage for a deeper exploration of interactive learning possibilities. Now, let’s delve into Lauren Toler’s insights as she navigates the intricacies of her creative process and reflects on the impact of her award-winning project.

1. Fresh from your recent win at the C2A Awards, can you share how the recognition has already influenced your perspective on your creative journey or business endeavors?

The recognition helps boost my pride in my work and renews my energy when facing the job market. I believe in myself and my work but it’s nice to have others recognize my work.

2. Let’s rewind to your journey through the submission and evaluation process for the C2A Awards. What were the standout moments, challenges, or surprises you encountered?

This is my second year applying to C2A. The process is pretty straight forward; enter your work with a description and photos then wait to hear back from the judges. I would recommend having good quality photos of your work and possibly a link to your portfolio or something else that describes the project more in depth that the judges and others can reference.

3. Creativity is a mystic force. What fuels your imagination, and how do you approach the creative process?

I find that film and books are a good source to fuel my imagination. It gets difficult to stay inspired when you work a job where you don’t get to flex your creative muscles often so I plan days of the week to sit with myself and just brainstorm ideas. I approach the creative process first with thumbnail sketches (usually multiple, picking the best parts for my vision) before moving on to the final medium.

Tangible User Interface Setup and Testing

4. Navigating the twists and turns of a creative career often involves overcoming obstacles. What are some of the recent challenges you’ve faced, and how have you tackled them?

The most difficult obstacle I have encountered in my creative career is getting a job in a creative industry. I’m still facing that challenge but have remedied it with freelance work while continuing to look for creative positions.

5. The ink on your C2A victory is still fresh. In what ways do you anticipate the award impacting your credibility and reputation in the creative industry, and how do you envision leveraging this recognition as you move forward?

I anticipate that this award will have a positive impact on both my credibility and reputation as an artist. I have leveraged this recognition in job applications and cover letters; I hope the recognition will get my resume and applications seen.

6. Immediate effects aside, do you foresee winning the C2A Award influencing the demand for your services or products in the near future?

I do see this award influencing the demand for my services in the future. I hope it brings more freelance or commission work my way.

Composition of Paper Tangible User Interface

7. As a recent C2A Award winner, what aspects of the experience have you found most valuable, and would you encourage others in the creative industry to consider participating?

The most valuable aspect of this experience was the validation of my work. I think it is easy to get discouraged in this job market and start to doubt your abilities and work, and having a panel of judges look at your work is helpful regardless if you win or not. I would encourage others to participate because there’s only a positive takeaway from competing.

8. Looking ahead, do you see yourself applying for the next edition of the C2A Awards, and what aspects of the competition would motivate you to participate again?

I can see myself participating in the future if I can afford the non-student fees. The competition itself motivates me to create in general, but the ability to get my work in front of a more diverse audience is what would convince me to participate again.

9. Staying current is an ongoing challenge. How do you currently keep abreast of new industry trends, and are there any emerging trends you’re excited to incorporate into your work?

I follow other artists on social media and read about the industry to keep up with trends. I’m always excited to try and learn something new, so I’m always trying to incorporate new trends into my work; however, there is not a specific trend that I would call out. I think it’s also important to find your style and cultivate it though.

10. Future gazing: what plans and aspirations are on the horizon for you, and how do you anticipate your creative journey evolving over time?

I would love to find a job in prepress design. I love graphic design and print so designing for print would be a dream. I’m not sure what the future holds but I am trying to find a job where I can utilize my creative energy, and I will work on it from there.

Setup and Testing of Tangible User Interface

11. Zooming in on your recent triumph, what inspired the winning project you submitted to the C2A Awards?

My winning project was my master’s thesis. The project was inspired by my love of interactive learning and how it could be made more accessible. I think having interactive lessons is important in education and shouldn’t be excluded because of budgeting issues schools may face. The idea behind the project was to see if a tangible user interface (TUI) could be made with conductive ink and paper as a possible lower-cost alternative to traditional interactive devices such as tablets. A basic color mixing program was made using Python and connected to the printed TUI.

Lauren Toler: Pioneering Innovative Design at Clemson University

As we conclude this inspiring journey with Lauren Toler, Clemson University’s creative force, we witness the power of innovative design. The printed tangible user interface project stands as a testament to Lauren’s dedication, creativity, and the potential to revolutionize interactive learning. Stay tuned for more stories of creativity, pushing boundaries, and triumph in the dynamic world of design.


More about Lauren Toler and the Project:

C2A – Lauren Toler (Clemson University) –
Winner in Other / Other Print (Magazines, Newspapers, Calendars)

Lauren Toler: Printed Tangible User Interface:

Lauren Toler – Printed TUI

Other C2A Winners:

2023 C2A Winners