Transforming the future through design-led research

Our research explores the role of design for speculating on the future, and to envision, define and inform the interactions and experiences between people and digital and emerging technologies.

Through making and imagining new forms of existence we critically rethink objects, systems and processes that shape human experience and life on the planet. We combine methods and approaches from the social sciences, humanities, science, engineering and the arts to explore and evaluate ideas, prototypes, new materials and experiences through the lens of design.

We collaborate across disciplines and with external partners, including industry, not-for-profit, government and community groups and organisations. Our areas of research span interaction design, design innovation, co-design, computational creativity, designing for health and well-being, digital place-making, human-computer interaction, human-robot interaction, smart cities and urban data science.

The group’s expertise contributes to the following Labs:

Affective Interactions
Exploring new perspectives on meaning-making through emerging technologies
Designing with AI
Prototyping new kinds of intelligent design materials, processes, and collaborators
Good design needs good sound
Urban Interfaces
Interrogating the role of emerging technologies in cities through speculative prototypes

Civic and Social Design Research Group
Design for complex civic, social and cultural challenges to support equitable and impactful positive change. 

Our researchers


  • Oliver Weidlich
  • Dr Manuj Yadav

PhD researchers

  • Yuxiao Chen
  • Louis Chew
  • Shuyao Dai
  • Rob Dongas
  • Joelene Elliott
  • Alex Elton-Pym
  • Reza Ghanavi
  • Adam Hannouch
  • Hamish Henderson
  • Marius Hoggenmueller
  • Brittany Klaassens
  • Zhuosi Lai
  • Geoffrey Lazarus
  • Yihan Lu
  • Kristina Mah
  • Joanne Martin
  • Khushnood Naqshbandi
  • Mariana Papa
  • Dorian Peters
  • Ajit Pillai
  • Mary Rapp
  • Crispin Rock
  • Tram Tran
  • Yiyuan Wang
  • Yi Zhao

Former PhD researchers

  • John Bassett
  • Mark Bassett
  • Hugo Caldwell (MPhil)
  • Karen Cochrane
  • Augusto Dias
  • Frank Feltham
  • Sam Ferguson
  • Robert Fitzell
  • Mohammad Khan
  • Youngdong Kim (MPhil)
  • Doheon Lee
  • Ella Manor
  • Luis Miranda
  • Crighton Nichols
  • Claudia Nunez-Pacheco
  • Ian Stevenson
  • Hong Jun Song
  • Manuj Yadav

Really exciting that our workshop, ‘Towards an Inclusive and Accessible Metaverse’, has been accepted to #CHI2023!
Youngho Lee
Youngjun Cho

More information available soon!
#inclusivity #accessibility #metaverse #XR #HCI @syd_designlab

Really enjoyed working on and co-presenting this industry case study paper with @BainBella - connecting my academic work on #LifeCentredDesign with Bella’s experience as a lead designer of #FrogID. Bridging the academic/practice divide. #ozchi22

The Moss takes Center Stage! This insightful presentation by Gabrielle, @dr_pjgough and @thecallumparker from the @syd_designlab explores the possibility of using moss-based interactive displays as a step towards sustainable HCI 🙌

“Maybe centering everything we design around humans is not necessarily a good thing in the long term.” Keen to know more? Join the conversation on “Designing for Personas That Don’t Have a Voice” with @martintom and @BainBella now happening at #ozchi2022!

Stepping out from @ozchiconf to remotely join the @Sydney_Uni Vice-Chancellor’s Award ceremony. So happy to see our interdisciplinary innovation program Inventing the Future being recognised with an award for outstanding teaching. Go team! 👏🏻

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