Ma2E4 Toolkit

Experiential Characterization of Materials

The Ma2E4 Toolkit aims to support material/design professionals in understanding (1) how people receive a particular material on four different experiential levels: sensorial, interpretive (meanings), affective (emotions), and performative (actions, performances), and (2) how these levels interrelate in the experience of the material. By using the four experiential levels as a foundational structure, the toolkit provides a set of activities and vocabularies that facilitate a systematic and agile approach to user studiesy cards. The resulting information can be used to stimulate the design process, highlighting the unique materials’ qualities to envision innovative product applications. , which facilitate an agile design research approach.

The Ma2E4 toolkit is composed of: (1) a manual of instructions; (2) facilitator’s questions; (3) the experiential characterization map, to record participant’s answers; (4) the affective and interpretive vocabulary; (5) a set of interpretive pictures.

The Ma2E4 toolkit has been employed in several workshops, both with design students and design professionals, and in graduation projects. The Ma2E4 toolkit can be freely downloaded.

Applied in Projects/ Other Venues

Material-Driven Design Master Class, TU Delft

Materials for Design Elective Course, TU Delft

Re-Using Circular Urban Fibres

Growing Design


Camere, S., Karana, E. (2018). Experiential characterization of materials: Toward a toolkit, In the Proceedings of the International Conference on Design Research Society (DRS), Limmerick.



Dr. Serena Camere

Dr. Elvin Karana

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