Material Experience Design | Yasuaki Kakehi Laboratory, The University of Tokyo

Yasuaki Kakehi Laboratory


Designing Heterogenous Wettable Areas for Carbonation Bubble Patterns on Surfaces

Harpreet Sareen, Yibo Fu, Nour Boulahcen, and Yasuaki Kakehi

Materials are a key part of our daily experiences. Recently, researchers have been devising new ways to utilize materials directly from our physical world for the design of objects and interactions. We present a new fabrication technique that enables control of CO2 bubble positions and their size within carbonated liquids. Instead of soap bubbles, boiling water, or droplets, we show creation of patterns, images and text through sessile bubbles that exhibit a lifetime of several days. Surfaces with mixed wettability regions are created on glass and plastic using ceramic coatings or plasma projection leading to patterns that are relatively invisible to the human eye. Different regions react to liquids differently. Nucleation is activated after carbonated liquid is poured onto the surface with bubbles nucleating in hydrophobic regions with a strong adherence to the surface and can be controlled in size ranging from 0.5mm – 6.5mm. Bubbles go from initially popping or becoming buoyant during CO2 supersaturation to stabilizing at their positions within minutes. Technical evaluation shows stabilization under various conditions. Our design software allows users to import images and convert them into parametric pixelation forms conducive to fabrication that will result in nucleation of bubbles at required positions. Various applications are presented to demonstrate aspects that may be harnessed for a wide range of use in daily life. Through this work, we enable the use of carbonation bubbles as a new design material for designers and researchers.





Harpreet Sareen, Yibo Fu, Nour Boulahcen, and Yasuaki Kakehi. 2023. BubbleTex: Designing Heterogenous Wettable Areas for Carbonation Bubble Patterns on Surfaces. In Proceedings of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’23). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 421, 1–15.