Smart Interactions Design


In the Smart Interactions Design lab, the design and research expertise of industrial designers, media designers and design researchers get together to work in multidisciplinary teams with professionals from other disciplines, including engineers and clinicians, to solve real world problems. The designs our lab produces span from physical medical devices that control and/or communicate with apps and games, to experimental interactive lighting or art installations that involve a physical and/or a digital component.

Our design process involves robust research components. In most of our projects, we work with a culture and context design researcher giving us an in-depth description of the human experience relevant to our projects. We often use ethnographic tools including cultural probes, interviews and questionnaires to gather relevant information from our potential users. This information is used to write briefs for the media and industrial designers who in turn develop and test many concepts in collaboration with professionals in the field and users, often in a participatory design approach. The results from the testing sessions inform the next generation of prototypes that we iteratively test and refine over and over until we have a final design.


VUW News: Developing a portable MRI

Victoria University of Wellington’s Robinson Research Institute and School of Design Innovation have joined forces to create the world’s first portable MRI scanner prototype. Read the full article here.

Stuff interview about NZ Fauna AR

Stuff’s article, Augmented reality could give stroke survivors’ rehabilitation a motivational boost, interviews Regan Petrie about his game, NZ Fauna AR, “an augmented-reality, hand-held game could help motivate stroke patients through their rehabilitation”. Read…

A new voice for schizophrenia

Personal circumstances inspired a Victoria University of Wellington student to invent new technology that helps family members of people with schizophrenia understand what it’s like hearing voices. As part of her Master’s…