loss of appetite


The topic Diffus decide to work with is 'Loss of appetite'. Through EAT Diffus propose to support a good eating situation by creating a joyful and calm atmosphere around the child. Diffus aim is to create ‘magic’ in the eating situation by creating an interactive set of tableware that will use storytelling, playfulness, encouragement and rewarding attitude through sensor technology, light and haptic feedback. Loss of appetite is a general problem during a stay in hospital, and for children that are not old enough to understand the importance of getting sufficient calories it is a major problem. Especially children with cancer suffer from ‘mouth blindness’ and zero appetite. Different precautions can be made in order to ensure an adequate intake of calories where the obvious one of course is connected to size, frequency and appearance of the food.


The inviting glass, the playful bowl and the rewarding plate…

Through the combination of smart materials and natural materials like ceramics, glass, wood and rubber Diffus emphasize enchantment. Light and haptic feedback appears in the natural materials because the sensor technology and different outputs only work and are visible when combined with the natural. Diffus emphasize sensibility and durability and thereby create an intriguing eating situation. When the child places the glass the bowl and the plate on the tablecloth the tablecloth will know and will begin to invite the child to drink from the glass. After that the bowl will start to play with the child – cheating, hiding, giggling – and finally the plate rewards the child when she has been interacting with the whole set of tableware for a duration of time.


Building the prototype – Glass, bowl and plate

Diffus collaborated with a ceramist who is working in porcelain and glass. The aim was to create a set of tableware with simple geometric shapes but with emphasis on the bottom of the respective pieces. We work on translucency in the material along side with durability in use. The geometric shape is as neutral as possible in order to create maximum attention to the ‘magic’ light that shines through the material. – Building the prototype – Glass, bowl and plate Building the prototype – The table cloth The table cloth has several active layers that gathers in a side bar that have a control unit and batteries. The OLED grid is composed by 5 identical 7×7 OLED grids. A cache makes sure we obtain the organic look we are seeking. The sensors are a combination of piezo strips and light sensors in order to maximize the analysis of where and when the tableware is present.


researching interactions

low-fi prototyping

light touch matters

light touch matters - 
The product is the interface

The Light Touch Matters project was funded by EU’s Seventh Framework Programme and is a design driven development of touch-sensitive luminous flexible surfaces for applications in care and well-being. Light.Touch.Matters was an unique cooperation between product designers, material scientists and the industry, with 17 partners from 9 EU countries.


LTM aimed to develop novel smart materials that allow “the product to become the interface”. These “LTM materials” consist of four distinct technological components: piezo plastics for touch sensitivity, OLEDs for luminescent response, a conversion layer for modifying colour, and control electronics. New materials take long to go from research to reality. In a traditional approach on materials development, opportunities for innovation are often missed. Design-driven materials innovation promise a better way: By involving designers and end-users early on, and by developing material and application in parallel, new meanings can be explored.


Design Studio

Diffus Design Aps. Tangible media and interaction design studio


Time & Location

August 2013 - 2015. Copenhagen, Denmark.


Design researcher and concept developer. Work packages deliverables responsible.

Project Description

‘Light Touch Matters’ is funded by EU’s Seventh Framework Programme. It is a design driven development of touch-sensitive luminous flexible surfaces for applications in care and well-being.


Official Web


Diffus Site


Isabel Valdés Marín. All rights reserved. © 2018