If O’Leary’s experiments catch on, the designers’ desk could involve multiple tools, requiring the dexterity of playing a pipe organ. But it may be worth it.

Liberating the hand from monotonous motions of tapping a mouse or keyboard is necessary in the creative thinking process, giving our actions more intention, argues O’Leary. “I am keen on the idea of physicalizing digital concepts like copy and paste and eyedropper to help us with understanding the digital task better,” she explains.

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