Call for Participation

This workshop sets out to bring researchers across the Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), and Design fields that use, or are interested in using Research through Design (RtD) in their work. In particular, we aim to provide the venue to discuss the potential perspectives and contributions that can be brought to the HRI field by applying Research through Design approaches. To this end, we strongly encourage submissions from researchers, designers, and artists that work at the intersection of Human-Robot Interaction studies and Design Research.


Important Dates

  • Submission deadline: Feb 15th, 2021
  • Notification of acceptance: Feb 21st, 2021 Feb 22nd, 2021
  • Camera ready deadline: March 1st, 2021
  • Workshop date: March 8th, 2021 (morning session - 5am MST / 7am EST)*
  • *You can use the following time converter to check the starting time in your timezone.

Keynote Speaker: John Zimmerman

Professor Zimmerman is a Tang Family Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer Interaction. He is one of the founders of Research through Design practice within HCI, and was significantly involved in its integration within the CHI research community. Recently, Zimmerman has also used Research through Design as an approach to investigate social robots and artificial intelligence.

Lightning Talks

In addition to our keynote speaker, the workshop will include multiple short-talk speakers that will bring a range of perspectives on using design practices to generate HRI knowledge. Invited speakers are from diverse backgrounds (academia, industry and arts), and will together bring a broad range of approaches on how Research through Design can be conducted in the HRI field.

Mari Velonaki

Professor Mari Velonaki’s research is situated in the field of Human-Robot Interaction and Interactive Media Art. She is the founder and director of the Creative Robotics Lab (Art & Design UNSW) and the founder and director of the National Facility for Human Robot Interaction Research (UNSW, USYD, UTS, St Vincent’s Hospital). She has created 3 interactive robots that are of human scale and 16 interactive systems. Velonaki has assembled two of the world’s largest datasets (over 690,000 recorded interactions in 13 countries) in human-robot interaction (HRI) studies. Mari's robots and interactive installations have been exhibited in major museums worldwide.

Michio Okada

Michio Okada is a Professor of Interaction and Communication Design Lab at Toyohashi University of Technology, Japan. His research focuses on the design of social robots and human-robot interaction. His ICD-lab has been creating more than 20 sociable creatures and social robots to investigate human-robot interaction and communication. He proposed the original concept of “weak robots”, using weaknesses and imperfections to bring out collaborations with humans, which leads to several creations such as Sociable Trash Box, iBones, Talking-Bones, and Muu.

Wendy Ju

Wendy Ju is an Associate Professor at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech and in the Information Science field at Cornell University. Dr. Ju comes to Cornell Tech from the Center for Design Research at Stanford University, where she was Executive Director of Interaction Design Research, and from the California College of the Arts, where she was an Associate Professor of Interaction Design in the Design MFA program. Her work in the areas of human-robot interaction and automated vehicle interfaces highlights the ways that interactive devices can communicate and engage people without interrupting or intruding. Dr. Ju has innovated numerous methods for early-stage prototyping of automated systems to understand how people will respond to systems before the systems are built. Her monograph on The Design of Implicit Interactions was published in 2015.

Greg Lynn

Greg Lynn is the founder and owner of Greg Lynn FORM. He is the CEO and co-Founder of the robotics company Piaggio Fast Forward. In addition to buildings and environments he also designs industrial products for Alessi, Vitra, Swarovski and Nike. He was an innovator in redefining the medium of design with digital technology as well as pioneering the fabrication and manufacture of complex functional and ergonomic forms using CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machinery. He is a Professor of Architecture at UCLA and an Ordentlicher University Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien. He is the author of nine books.

Oren Zuckerman

Oren Zuckerman is a TUI/HRI researcher, interested in the similarities and differences in the design of and interaction with Non-humanoid robots and Actuated Interfaces. Oren directs the Media Innovation Lab (milab) at IDC Herzliya in Israel, an HCI design and prototyping lab, and is the academic director of the MA in HCI and the GMBA in Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Oren and the milab team publish regularly at CHI, TEI, HRI, IDC, and DIS. Oren has completed his PhD at MIT Media Lab, and his design inspirations include the works of Pina Bausch, Alexander Calder, Bruno Munari, and the Bauhaus movement.


All times in Mountain Standard Time (MST)

  • Introduction - 5:00-5:10
  • Lightning Talks I: Michio Okada, Oren Zuckerman, Mari Velonaki - 5:10-5:45
  • Keynote + Activity: John Zimmerman - 5:45-6:45
  • Position Paper Presentations - 6:55-7:55
  • Lightning Talks II: Wendy Ju, Greg Lynn - 7:55-8:20
  • Collaborative Activity - 8:25-9:00
  • Wrap-up - 9:00-9:30

Participants with Submissions

  • Muge Belek Fialho Teixiera, Alex Walzer, Amelia Luu, Jonathan Roberts, Jared Donovan, Glenda Amayo Caldwell, Roland Snooks and Claire Brophy: Real-time Path Planning in Remote Robotic Incremental Sheet Forming: A Case of Research Through Design [pdf]
  • Lian Loke and Dagmar Reinhardt: Lipstick Drawing Robots: Sensuous Collaborative Interactions [pdf]
  • Mafalda Gamboa, Mehmet Aydın Baytaş and Sara Ljungblad: Wisp: a Design Case for Temporality in Research through Design in Human-Robot Companionship [pdf]
  • Hannah Pelikan: Conversation Analysis and Research Through Design — A Fruitful Interaction? [pdf]
  • Marco C. Rozendaal, Boudewijn Boon, Jered Vroon and Nazli Cila: Designerly ways of exploring Human-Agent Interactions at the Expressive Intelligence Lab [pdf]
  • Binh Vinh Duc Nguyen and Andrew Vande Moere: Towards Designing Spatial Robots that are Architecturally Motivated [pdf]
  • Aluna Everitt: Enabling Digital Fabrication Approaches for the Design and Prototyping of Robotic Artifacts [pdf]
  • Jindan Huang and Elaine Schaertl Short: Building a Better Oracle: Using Personas to Create More Human-Like Oracles [pdf]
  • Anastasia K. Ostrowski, Cynthia Breazeal and Hae Won Park: Research Through (Co)-Design: Engaging Older Adults in the Design of Social Robots [pdf]
  • Elaheh Sanoubari, Kerstin Dautenhahn: Children Designing Robots: A Modified Cooperative Inquiry Approach to Developing Social Robots [pdf]
  • Waki Kamino and Erik Stolterman: "Chindogu" as An Inspiration for Designing Human-Robot Interaction [pdf]
  • Misael Astorga, Dagoberto Cruz-Sandoval, Adrian Acosta Mitjans, Laurel D. Riek and Jesus Favela: Design of a Social Robot to Understand Caregivers’ Perception of Disruptive Eating Behaviors by People with Dementia [pdf]


Michal Luria is a Ph.D. candidate in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Her work makes use of Research through Design and Speculative Design approaches to explore future interactions with social robots and personal intelligent agents.
Marius Hoggenmueller is a Ph.D. candidate in the Design Lab at The University of Sydney. His work focuses on prototyping and probing urban interactions with robots and autonomous systems, thereby applying Research through Design methods and Media Architecture principles.
Wen-Ying Lee is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University. Her work adopts Research through Design methods to explore ways for future human-robot interactions to address and support playfulness.
Luke Hespanhol is a Lecturer in Design at The University of Sydney, interaction designer, researcher, media artist and producer. His research ranges from creative technologies, digital storytelling, digital placemaking, and technology-mediated social interactions, to urban robotics, media architecture and smart cities.
Malte Jung is an Associate Professor in Information Science at Cornell University. His research focuses on design and behavioral aspects of human-robot interaction in group and team settings. He seeks to build understanding about interpersonal dynamics and how those can be shaped by machines.
Jodi Forlizzi is the Geschke Director and a Professor of Human- Computer Interaction in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. She is one of the pioneers to establish design research as a form of research in HCI. For the past 20 years, Forlizzi has advocated for design research in the CHI and HRI communities.