Physical and Digital Creativity Support Tools

Physical and Digital CST @ M-ITI has been focusing on creating digital tools for enhancing human processes of creativity and merging them with physical tools and artefacts. This has lead to awarded products such as Delineato, Sense-seat and PlaceToWrite. Our results provide useful insights suggesting that olfactory cues have an important role in the creative process of users and even when this type of cues are combined with auditory cues. This type of modalities should gain more relevance on the development of creativity support tools and environments for supporting the creative writing process. Our team has also proposed subliminal priming as a novel technique to support creative writing. We developed a text-editor that provides conscious and unconscious textual hints during a writing task and explored its impact on user's self-experienced creativity. Results showed that participants in the subliminal condition experienced more loss of self-consciousness when compared to the control condition.
Our research also includes the development of pen-based prototypes for video editing, providing fluid interactions on creative tasks and media production.


  • SENSE-SEAT - Interactive Tech Furniture for Improving Creativity. Ref. M1420-01-0247-FEDER-000001. 2017-2018. Total funding 441k€.
  • EPIC - Intelligent Systems for Creative Writing Tools. Ref. MADFDR-01-0189-FEDER-000010. 2014-2015. Total funding 140k€.
  • DELINEATO - Novel design, creativity and mind-mapping tools. MADFDR-01-0189- FEDER-000004. 2012-2014. Total funding 320k€.

References to the Research

  • Gonçalves, F., Cabral, D., Campos, P. and Schöning, J. (2017). I Smell Creativity: Exploring The Effects Of Olfactory And Auditory Cues To Support Creative Writing Tasks. In Proceedings of INTERACT’17, Mumbai, India, Springer LNCS.
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-67684-5_11
  • Gonçalves, F., Caraban, A., Campos, P. and Karapanos, E. (2017). What Shall I Write Next? Subliminal and Supraliminal Priming as triggers for Creative Writing. In Proceedings of ACM European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics (ECCE’17), Umeå, Sweden, September 2017 (ECCE 2017).  DOI: 10.1145/3121283.3121294
  • Cabral, D., and Correia, N. Video editing with pen-based technology. Multimedia Tools and Applications. 76, 5 (March 2017): pp 6889-6914. DOI:

Sources to Corroborate the Impact

  • (2013). Mac Gems: Delineato Pro is a clean, inexpensive diagram and mind-mapping app. Best new Apps 2013 by Apple. MacWorld 13th May 2013.
  • (2017). Patent-pending EPO: Electronic analytic, predictive and multisensory workstation to increase creativity in workspaces. Filed on March 6th 2017 to the European Patent Office (EPO), EP Application No. 17020087.7-1972, reference SENSE-SEAT1001, Patent Pending.
  • 1 Graduated PhD Student (Frederica Gonçalves, University of Madeira) and 1 Ongoing PhD Student (Ana Caraban, IST/University of Lisbon).