I’m a lecturer in the University of Bristol’s Computer Science department, co-running the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Interactive Devices modules. I’m a member of the Bristol Interaction Group which specialises in HCI research. I’m interested in researching novel tangible ways of interacting with digital devices, covering areas from musical instrument design, developing games for gorillas through to calm, subtle interaction with slow technology.

music hack club

Come and make some weird sounds in the MVB hackspace! This is the start of a weekly informal meet up to play, tinker and hack new musical instruments and sound making devices. Think modular synthesisers, circuit-bend toys, novel controllers and laser-cut percussion. We’re open to all mediums so as well as playing with physical materials…

building instruments

How much do the sounds around you affect your mood? How much do you need to modify a city’s soundscape to give measurable positive benefit to its citizens? This project will explore how wanted and unwanted sounds in the city can be mapped, its effects on people’s wellbeing and how communities can be built up…

liquid noise

A collaboration with Dan Pollard and Annie Moir. We propose a novel method of visualising the impact of marine noise on wildlife using the method of cymatics. Cymatics is a method to visualise waveforms in a physical medium, in this case through playing audio into small pools of water that form the basis of the…


ImprovCues is a project that takes inspiration from Eno & Schmidt’s Oblique Strategies, John Zorn’s Cobra and explores what happens when you enter into a freeform creative musical improvisation with machine learning. ImprovCues was presented at ICLI 2020 in Trondheim, Norway. Blog post is here, the paper is here, and video of the presentation below: More info…

ten-oh-ten sequencer

The 10-oh-10 sequencer is a minimal 1-bit sequencer developed during the Absurd Musical Instrument hackathon. Built on an M5Stack  

absurd instruments

Pool noodle improv scores, kazoo-to-text and spraycan-shakers.

project idea bot

Developed at Schmiede’19 with Jordi and Martin, the Project Idea Bot generates new suggestions for digital art projects.

metastable impressions

Sonifying molecular interaction with a string quartet.

Gorilla Game Lab

This project involves designing a modular cognitive game system for the gorillas at Bristol Zoo.

Post-Truth Guide

The Post-Truth Guide explores how an untruthful guide can encourage playful exploration in a museum.


Exploring how ambiguous embedded digital instructions in Lego bricks can encourage creativity.

Toot & Play

Can you interact with your phone by blowing across the top of your drinks bottle?


How can tangible interfaces be combined with methods in digital fabrication?

Pet Sounds

This project seeks to explore the ways in which the power of social media and social interactions-whether online or in the real world-can be harnessed to create digital music.

Resonant Bits

Resonant Bits is a research theme I’ve been developing that looks at how resonance can be used as an interaction technique.  


This was a collaboration in the BIG lab to create a bubble machine that produced scented bubbles that could be individually projected on.

Tangible Memories

Developing tangible interfaces for storytelling in care homes.


Personal Architectonics Through Interactions with Artefacts


The Feelable User Interface project is a collaboration with Katrin Wolf. Feelable User Interfaces (FUIs) explore the concept of non-visual tangible interaction. MagneTexture was presented at CHI’14 at the “Touch Me” workshop.


The chronotape is a tangible timeline for family history research.


Using magnetic pixels for sequencing music.


Paper-strip music sequencing. A quick prototype.


ChronoThings are prototypes for a modular physical timeline creation kit.


Seismic-activity like display of research activity around an archeological dig.


A quick video sketch to explore the possibilities of using the illusion of teleportation for sending ‘instantaneous tangible messages’.


The Representation and Control of Time in Tangible User Interfaces.


For over ten years I have kept a research logbook to keep track of projects and ideas. Here’s an example page:


Making beats with ball bearings. An exploration in tangible user interface sequencer design.


The DAMPER allows you to physically feel sound-waves. The DAMPER was designed to explore both ‘effortful interaction’ with new digital musical instruments and also to explore the use of resistive haptic interfaction in new digital musical instruments. 


The AirRecord is a simple interface that allows the manipulation of mp3s using a record. The novelty of the project is that by using a wireless gyroscope sensor, the record is free from wires and other sensors, allowing the AirRecord to be freely used in the air.


The PETECUBE project was my final year MA project at the University of Brighton in digital media art / design by independent project.


The HapKit was my final-year Cybernetics MEng project at Reading University. The HapKit allows the user to physically interact with a virtual drum.

Student Supervision

I supervise 3rd year individual projects and 4th year masters projects in the area of human-computer interaction, focusing on tangibles, physical interaction and novel interfaces.

  • 2019/2020
    • Callum Fawcett – Ambiguous Tangible Timelines
    • Adam Fox – Tangible or Intangible? Evaluating the Benefits of a Physical Interface for Digital Music Streaming
    • Jonah McPartlin – Creating a synthesizer controlled by tangible modules
    • Leechay Moran-Allen – Tangible and peripheral interaction with board games
  • 2018/2019
    • George Ball – Tangible choose your own adventure museum guide.
    • Brendon Warwick – BlockFX. Lego guitar pedal effects.
    • Luke Storry – App for rock climbing (won Best Software development project, sponsored by Sony/SN systems)
    • Dominic Lu – Beatmapping Editor
    • Otto Brookes – Computer Vision for tracking Gorillas.
    • Weijia Lu – Crowd sourced air quality data.
    • Ziteng Wang – Sound based GPS navigation.
  • 2017/2018
    • Dhruv Chauhan – Evolutionary Musical Interactions in Virtual Reality (Presented at NIME 2019 in Porto Alegre, Brazil)
    • Anja Kadijevic – The role of IoT in ACI User-centred Design
    • Saxon Zerbino – Analysing Gorilla Interaction with Known Objects
    • Zhiyu Yang – Serendipitous Museum Guide: Using Ambiguous Language to Enhance Visitors’ Experience in Museums
    • Josh Anthony – Live Virtual Reality Concerts Using HMDs

Journal Articles

Conference Papers

  • Bennett, P.; Hinder, H; Cater, K. Rekindling Imagination in Dementia Care with the Resonant Interface Rocking Chair CHI 2016
  • Mitchell, T.; Bennett, P.; Madgwick, S.; Davies, E. & Tew, P. “Tangible Interfaces for Interactive Evolutionary Computation” Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, 2016, 2609-2616
  • Bennett, P.; Hinder, H.; Kozar, S.; Bowdler, C.; Massung, E.; Cole, T.; Manchester, H. & Cater, K. ”TopoTiles: Storytelling in Care Homes with Topographic Tangibles” of CHI, 2015
  • Bennett, P.; Knibbe, J.; Berthaut, F. & Cater, K. ”Resonant Bits: Controlling Digital Musical Instruments with Resonance and the Ideomotor Effect” of NIME, 2015
  • Bennett, P.; Nolan, S.; Uttamchandani, V.; Pages, M.; Cater, K. and Fraser, M. ”Resonant Bits: Harmonic Interaction with Virtual Pendulums” of TEI, 2015
  • Seah, S. A.; Martinez Plasencia, D.; Bennett, P. D.; Karnik, A.; Otrocol, V. S.; Knibbe, J.; Cockburn, A. and Subramanian, S. ”SensaBubble: A Chrono-sensory Mid-air Display of Sight and Smell” Proceedings of CHI, 2014
  • Eagle, S. & Bennett, P. “Exploring the Internet of Things: An Interdisciplinary Workshop Approach” Proceedings of the 27th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference, British Computer Society, 2013 pdf icon pdf
  • Wolf, K., Bennett, P. “Feelable User Interfaces: An Exploration of Non-Visual Tangible User Interfaces” In Proceedings of the Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction Conference, Barcelona, 2012 pdf icon pdf
  • Fraser, M., Bennett, P., Knibbe, J., Davies, R., Dade-Robertson, M. and Earl, G. “Making Time: Defining Rhythms in Archaeological Research” Digital Futures 2012 pdf icon pdf
  • Bennett, P., Fraser, M., Balaam, M. “ChronoTape: Tangible Timelines For Family History” Proceedings of the Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction Conference, 2012 pdf icon pdf
  • Bennett, P. “The Representation and Control of Time in Tangible User Interfaces (Summary of PhD Research)” TEI’10, Proceedings of the 4th international conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction, Cambridge, MA, January 2010 pdf icon pdf
  • Gurevich, M., Stapleton, P. & Bennett, P. “Designing for Style in New Musical Interactions” NIME ’09 Proceedings of the 9th international conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, Pittsburgh, June 2009 pdf icon pdf
  • Bennett, P. & O’Modhrain, S. “The BeatBearing: a Tangible Rhythm Sequencer” Proceedings of NordiCHI 2008: 5th Nordic Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (electronic proceedings), 2008 pdf icon pdf bibtex
  • Bennett P., O’Modhrain, S. “Towards Tangible Enactive-Interfaces” ENACTIVE’07, Grenoble, November, 2007 pdf icon pdf bibtex
  • Bennett, P., Ward, N.; O’Modhrain, S. & Rebelo, P. “DAMPER: A Platfrom for Effortful Interface Development ” NIME ’07: Proceedings of the 7th international conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, New York, June 2007 pdf icon pdf bibtex ACM
  • Bennett, P. “PETECUBE: a multimodal feedback interface” NIME ’06: Proceedings of the 2006 conference on New interfaces for musical expression, IRCAM, Centre Pompidou, 2006, 81-84 pdf icon pdf bibtex ACM
  • Bennett, P. D. “Hap-Kit: A Haptic Interface for a Virtual Drum-Kit” The Symposium for Cybernetics Annual Research Projects, University of Reading, June, 2004 pdf icon pdf bibtex
  • Bennett, P. D. “Hap-Kit: A Haptic Interface for a Virtual Drum-Kit“, Masters project report, 2004 pdf icon pdf bibtex

Workshop Papers

  • Bennett, P. ”Magical Patter and Guerilla Demonstrations with a Portable Collection of Resonant Bits” of Object Outcomes, workshop at CHI, 2016
  • Bennett, P.; Cater, K.; Nolan, S.; Knibbe, J. & Fraser, M. Tangible Gestural Interaction with Resonant Bits” P of Workshop on Tangible Gesture Interaction, TEI, 2015
  • Bennett, P., Davies, R. and Fraser, M. “ChronoTable: interacting with the Rhythms of Research” In “Avec le Temps! Time, Tempo, and Turns in Human-Computer Interaction workshop at CHI’13 pdf icon pdf
  • Bennett, P. and Fraser, M., “Slow Technology is Inefficient but Resilient” In the “Slow Technology” workshop, DIS 2012 pdf icon pdf
  • Marshall, M.T., Bennett, P., Fraser, M., Subramanian, S, “Emotional Response as a Measure of Liveness in New Musical Instrument Performance“, In the “Exploring HCI’s Relationship with Liveness workshop at CHI 2012 pdf icon pdf

PhD Dissertation

  • Bennett P. “The Representation and Control of Time in Tangible User Interfaces (Designing Musical Instruments for the Manipulation of Temporal Media) pdf icon


  • Frequency 2017, Lincolnshire, Post-Truth Guide installed at the Frequency Art Festival.
  • V&A Digital Design Weekend, September 2017, Demo of Resonant Bits as part of the EchoSnap/PetSounds AHRC project alongside Gascia and Chris.
  • Horniman Museum, Summer 2014, Installation of Roborigami
  • Thingscamp Community Day, St Pauls learning centre, April 2017, Demonstration of InstructiBlocks
  • Connected Nation: Thriving in a digital world, British Library, Resonant Bits poster demo.
  • European Patent Office, Brussels, February 2015, Poster and demo of Resonant Bits
  • Feelable User Interface demonstration at TEI’13 (see above for paper)
  • ChronoTape. Interactive demonstration at TEI’12 (See above for paper)
  • BeatBearing. Interactive Demonstration at NordiCHI’08 (See above for paper).
  • DAMPER. Interactive demonstration at NIME’07 (See above for paper).
  • PETECUBE. Interactive Demonstration at NIME’06 (See above for paper).


  • Knowle West Media Centre, January 2018, Helped run workshop developing their “space data” experience.
  • Arts University Bournemouth, September 2017, One day workshop exploring the use of the Raspberry Pi Zero to capture data around campus and creatively display the readings using Processing.
  • Green Man, Summer 2017, Sound shields, Collaboration with Mado Kellyanne in developing and running a workshop that ran once a day throughout the Green Man festival in Einsteins garden. Participants (primarily children) build their own ‘sonic shield’ using conductive ink and craft materials.
  • Kiel University, July 2015, Poetic Interaction and Resonant Bits two day workshop
  • “Exploring Design Space” Part of an Ideas Lab with first year Illustration undergraduates at UWE with Phil Wrigglesworth. 6th March 2015 slides (pdf)
  • “Exploring Design Space” Part of an Ideas Lab with first year Illustration undergraduates at UWE with Phil Wrigglesworth. 6th March 2014 slides (pdf)
  • Kiel University, Autumn 2013, A two day workshop on Resonant Interaction in collaboration with Jens.
  • “Designing Stylistic Interactions” run with Michael Gurevich at tweak interactive art and live electronic music festival, Limerick, 24th September, 2008. pdf icon pdf

Talks + Panels

  • 13th September 2016 “Resonant Bits” at Unfixed Workshop[blog] slides available as html (with video) or pdf
  • SXSW 2016. Panel. “Subtle Interfaces for Calm Tech
  • Sherborne Science Cafe, Nov 2015, Talk about Resonant Interaction
  • Performing Arts Symposium, University of Bristol, June 2015, Talk about the Tangible Memories project.
  •  Temporal Design Workshop, Edinburgh, May 2014, Pecha Kucha on my work around tangible timelines.
  • Royal College of Art, Time Symposium, March 2014, Talk on Tangible Timelines
  • “Tangible User Interfaces – Introduction and Workshop” Invited talk at Mälardalen University College, Västerås, Sweden
  • “tangible timelines”. Invited talk at Muthesius Kunsthochschule, Kiel, 12th July 2013 slides (pdf)
  • “ChronoTape: a tangible timeline”. Lunchtime talk at the Pervasive Media Studio, 22nd February 2013. write-up of talk  slides (pdf)
  • “Making Research Activity Tangible. An introduction to the ChronoTape and ChronoTable.” Research Colloquium, Quality and Usability Lab, TU Berlin, December, 2012 slides (pdf)
  • Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design, Kiel, Germany, Talk about Tangible Timelines
  • University of Bristol, Human Computer Interaction Module, October 2011, Guest lecture on Tangible User Interfaces.
  • “Sketching for Stylistic Interactions”, adapted from the “Designing stylistic interactions” workshop. Talk given to the “Adventures in Interdisciplinarity” MA module. SARC, Belfast. 11th October 2008
  • “Physical Sketching” adapted from above, but including a short physical sketching excercise at the end.
    Available to view on slideshare.


  • How to build your own BeatBearing – MAKE magazine. [web]

Publication Links