Living Leather

Relive the history of leather. A haptic feedback device to emerge an immersive experience between material and user. 

Achieving the unexpected


Respecting the history.

Leather has a strong history, going back thousands of years ago. Showing it's organic features.


Create an experience.

To understand the story, you have to experience it. With haptics and hydro-devices we created an immersive experience.


Going back by moving forth.

New technologies opened up the possibilities for this prototype, using haptic motors to revive the organic qualities.

A video tells more than a thousand words, they say.

Material testing to it's finest.

We tested several leathers based on the perspiration level, overall-quality, overall-feeling and thickness. Based on user-testing and prototyping validation we chose the best leather for our use-case. Perfecting every detail of the experience.

The Vision

Living leather is an exploration of how a material’s origin and socio-cultural significance can influence both the perception of an artifact as well as the design of the interaction. Using the history of the material and the origin of leather (skin), we created an undulating leather-bound artifact that sweats when interacted with. Giving life back to the material and adding onto the experience of the design.

A breakdown of interactive goodness.

From a personal stance

Why was this project important to me? Living Leather was a project I enjoyed throughout. It allowed us make a lot of prototypes, test them and ‘just’ innovate. During the span of this course I felt like a ‘designer’ again. The stories and lectures by Miguel and Simone were interesting and showed me new interesting design fields. Next, I was able to implement my prototyping, video and haptic experience/skills during this project, whilst learning new skills from Luuk and Ian.

The main highlight of this project was the team. It was amazing to work together with Ian and Luuk. The three of us all had different experiences which complemented the overall quality and story of the project. With the expertise and feedback of Miguel and Simone we were able to create something truly unique and innovative, which respects new technologies (haptics) on one hand and the sociocultural history of leather on the other hand by recreating the movement and sweat of the original ‘user’.

Next to the 3D modelling and creating of the prototype, I am very proud of the video which gave the whole project an Apple quality-wise vibe. The black on white and white on black complement the overall interactive qualities of the prototype and enhance the storytelling.
To share our leather-haptic creation to the public we submitted Living Leather to the Dutch Design Week, currently awaiting approval. Which will hopefully bring this project and team to new heights.

A winning team

Ian Zhang

Ian is an interaction designer by all means. Knowing the history of design, following design trends and stepping up his designs every time. Some of his roles included  conceptualization, ideation, graphic design, socio-cultural design and positioning within the history of materials and design.

Luuk Stavenuiter

Luuk is a creative designer, focusing on technology, light design, videography and story-telling. The perfect addition for a comprehensive story. His roles varied from story-telling, acting, concept design, writing and creative iteration.


Twan Muste

Twan is an all-round creative, 3d model prototyper, videographer, prototype realizer, and an in-spe haptic feedback expert. His roles included, 3D modelling, 3D printing, conceptualization, technology realization, haptic feedback design, video creation and overall branding. 

Miguel Bruns


Miguel is an associate professor at the Industrial Design department at Eindhoven University of Technology. He is an expert on aesthetics, emotional expressivity of interactive products with programmable material qualities (interactive materiality), haptics and shape change. Miguel supported our process with weekly coach meetings during this project, projecting his critical vision and expertise to our project.

Simone de Waart


Simone is Creative Director at Material Sense, director at Material Sense LAB and lecturer at Eindhoven University of Technology. Simone has a deep knowledge of material properties, interactive materiality and material design creating high-quality concepts for top-tier clients. Simone coached us during this project, helping us creating the right interactive qualities and material choices.

Anke van Oosterhout


Anke is a full-time haptic feedback expert and founded the company FEELIX. This tool enhances the overall accessibility of haptic feedback design methods for industrial designers. During this project Anke helped us during this project by applying her FEELIX and haptic feedback knowledge to our concept. Next, we were also able to use one of her FEELIX products, which enhanced the overall haptic feedback.

A look behind the process.

A full-service high-quality vision for a high-quality interaction, enhancing its origins.