Course Info





User Centered Design Workshop


Patrizia Marti


Laura Varisco

In Close Proximity | On-body interaction design.


The spread of wearable electronics has opened new opportunities to develop on-body accessories embedding digital components into the physical objects. This mostly has resulted in technology explorations with a focus on functionality, to the detriment of the understanding of the relationships we have with accessories to which we attach strong personal, emotional or interpersonal value. Aesthetic, socio-cultural, ethical values and personal style are still largely underappreciated with few notable exceptions.

There is a tension in wearable between the physical and the digital layers of the artefacts. The physical layer implies a reflection on materiality which manifests cultural and personal expressions, whilst the digital layer focuses on technology which is detached from a local culture and personal expression. The proximity of accessories to the human body emphasizes aspects of materiality which go beyond the visual, involving ergonomics (e.g. weight and tactility), personal meaning, style and expression. The tension between the physical and digital layer must be solved to make them converge “as one single facet of an object that can be personally meaningful for the holder or wearer” (Wallace, J., Dearden, A., Fisher, T. (2007). The significant other: the value of jewelry within the conception, design and experience of body focused digital devices. AI and society, 22 (1), 53-62).


  • Sungmin Choi
  • Casu Hizli
  • Giulio Interlandi
  • Elena Panciroli
  • Giulia Petrolini

Challenge: to compensate a lack of physical communication in a long-distance relationship through an on-body physical interaction.


  • Simone Benesso
  • Francesca Bernecich
  • Fabio Desogus
  • Tobia Marconi
  • Edwin Mata

Challenge: to create an expressive platform, able to support a new kind of cinema experience.
Including blind people not by covering their disabilities but by working on a level that can be naturally shared.


  • Shailly Gadhiya
  • M. Selen Yesilada
  • Giorgia Palazzo
  • Luna Alessia Rota
  • Federica Rho

Challenge: to design a device for people who cycle, in order to provide them a safe way to move in the city by creating a hassle-free experience of riding.  Focusing on groups we want to improve the communication between each other in a safer way.


  • Francesca Abbatantuono
  • Adele Mazzali
  • Marta Romanelli
  • Yagmur Serin
  • Sandra Tedesco
  • Sandra Tonts

Challenge: to help people with hypogeusia to percept the sense of taste in an alternative way.


  • Pierstefano Bellani
  • Aniko Birò
  • Valeria Guiot
  • Anna Quecke
  • Roberto Rizzo

Challenge: to make people aware about daily flow of money. Translating the digital payment into embodied feedback. Helping people better manage and save money to reach their future goal.


  • Chiara Barzaghi
  • Mehrnoosh Nazari
  • Lin Xiaofeng
  • Cristina Sambinelli
  • Gabriele Spanò

Challenge: finding a more natural way for people from different cultures to communicate, analyzing the attitude of speakers to better convey their meaning and reduce the misunderstandings.


  • Laura Cappelli
  • Iacopo Cariboni
  • Felipe Castro
  • Emilia Finardi
  • Barbara Gualandris
  • Yujie Li

Challenge: designing a wearable device for personal safety

This workshop is a reflection on the experience of use of on-body technologies. It will guide you through a Research through Design exploration that the students apply in their projects —from the idea, to interaction scenarios, from prototyping to evaluation.

During this workshop, the students worked following a step-by-step process to design wearable solutions, from the initial idea to the interaction dynamics. Different methods, techniques and tools have been be presented along theoretical contents and hands-on activities. During the course the students put into practice what they learned, in a creative environment. They learned how to face an interaction design project for wearables. Along the way, they learned how to design quick prototypes, interaction patterns, evaluation methods. In the end, of the workshop they developed a working medium-fidelity prototype that they shared and tested.