Tangible Letters are letters that fold into different forms to deliver additional meaning and value. It is an idea that recognizes the qualities of the slow movement and intends to re-shift purposes to create new meanings. This idea incorporates many aspects of the slow movement like enhancing the experience, taking time to enjoy and resisting fast-culture.

The slow movement was born from the slow food movement, which was a cultural shift that sought to resist fast food and preserve cultural cuisine. This was a response to the shift to fast culture, where our desires for instant gratification take precedence and leads to unnecessary consumerism and waste. The slow movement entices people to step back and enjoy the quality of life instead of attempting to do as much as possible in order to live it to the fullest.

Postage mail has been nearly replaced by the ease and speed of Emails. Letters however, have a unique “hand-crafted” feel that enhances its value to both the sender and the recipient. Both parties are imbued with a strong sense of appreciation for one another from this. This would be where we explore possible ideas to expand on the quality of the experience.

Upon receiving the mail, the recipient can fold the letter like origami, giving it new form and meaning. The shape can then be “recognized” by a computer which in turn obtains additional content from the sender, be it a video or some photos.

In our prototype, we embedded resistors of varying resistance onto the paper. And thus each paper would have a unique resistor. When the resistor comes into contact with the contact plates of the reader, the we are able to identify which letter it is and load the appropriate content.