This article describes interactive artworks exhibited at Experimenta Prototype 2002, House of Tomorrow 2003, and at Vanishing Point 2005. These works were developed through an incremental research process that explored perceptual, aesthetic, and technical aspects of interaction design. The exhibitions provided an opportunity to observe audience response and critically reflect on the hypotheses embodied in the artifacts. The first work, titled OpShop, began as an experiment on interaction with far-distant objects in a virtual environment called the CyberStage. The second, ZiZi the Affectionate Couch, animated an inanimate object by mixing digital media with a piece of furniture. The third, called the Cocktail Party Effect, is a psychological exploration of the mental image of an object communicated in the absence of visual perceptions, and an experiment in developing the narrative language of touch and sound. We describe the history and ongoing trajectories of these works, and provide insights into interaction design gained through this creative practice-based research process.