From materials to materiality: Thinking of computation from within an icehotel

Erica Robles, Mikael Wiberg

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Interaction design technology was employed to install Icehotel X in the year 2008. Icehotel repurposed industrial waste from local magnetite mines in Kiruna and manufactures large, perfectly smooth slabs from magnetite dust. The heavy water, the translucent ice and opaque magnetite slabs are integrated into sculptural and architectural formations to create ritual differences as ice melts and new designs reform. Screens are a technology generally over-determined by technical capacities and cinematic conventions. The human-computer interaction was used to merge a digital display into a physical architecture. Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) proposes mapping the structures of the physical world onto information architectures. The screen was decomposed into its constitutive functions and then reformed as a composition to integrate digital displays within Icehotel X. The connection between luminosity and resolution was broken by crafting large and extremely low-res displays. Digital displays became a luminous dynamic material capable of operating at an architectural scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages6
Specialist publicationInteractions
StatePublished - Jan 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction


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