Publications and Exhibitions

MindFull: Tableware to Manipulate Sensory Perception and Reduce Portion Sizes 2017 

Rising obesity levels across the world are a major threat to health, wellbeing, and the economy.  Reducing the amount we eat is difficult. This is partly because, consciously controlling our eating, typically increases the amount we eat. The paper presents the MindFull tableware – a new design for tableware to help people to reduce portion sizes effectively and unconsciously. MindFull designs exploit a range of features of our sensory perception identified from psychological research literature.  Initial experiments show encouraging results for the design and suggest several directions for future development, research and applications for the design findings. (Design from Student work)

 A Study Of Auti: A Socially Assistive Robotic Toy

This thesis is an evaluation of Auti, a new socially assistive robot designed by the author for children with autism. The study investigates whether Auti is effective at encouraging positive play interactions and reducing challenging play interactions through the application of Applied Behaviour Analysis principles. The toy aims to encourage positive play behaviours, such as gentle speaking and touching, using positive reinforcement by responding with movement. It aims to discourage challenging behaviours, such as screaming or hitting, through the removal of the reinforcing movements. The study evaluates the design by comparing how children with ASD play with a fully-interactive Auti to how they play with an active-only version which does the same movements but does not respond to the child. The study also looks at how children classify the toy and whether there is any indication that the skills they learn with Auti will be generalized to other areas. Results from 18 matched participants with confirmed ASD diagnoses indicate that the Interactive Auti does encourage positive behaviours more than the Active-only version, thus showing that it can be an effective medium for applying ABA principles of reinforcement. However, further design and research is needed around addressing challenging behaviours and increasing the range of the children’s behavioural responses.

Interaction Design for Children Conference 2014

Paper summarizing thesis research.

We live in a global society where digital artefacts have become part of the everyday lives of children. Be it education, sports activities, rehabilitation or play, technology has come to play an important role in the way children relate to their physical, social and cultural surroundings. IDC 2014 invites researchers and practitioners to share their work on how technology affects children’s well being in a global context and how children, their parents, teachers and peers can contribute to the design of new technology. We invite researchers and participants to share thoughts on emerging technology, new theoretical perspectives, design methods and approaches, and new understandings of child development by questioning how we can build tomorrow’s technology – together.


Investigating and Designing the Appearance of a Device for Facilitating Pelvic Floor Exercises: A Case Study on Design Sensitivity for Women’s Healthcare by By Edgar R. Rodríguez Ramírez, Mailin Lemke, Gillian McCarthy and Helen Andreae (2017)

Pelvic floor disorder (PFD) refers to a weakened or damaged muscle structure affecting the self-esteem, confidence and social participation of affected women. With appropriate training, the weakened muscles can be strengthened, but for a long-term improvement, the women need to be actively engaged in the process. While there exists a range of devices that can intra-vaginally measure pelvic floor activation and help women do their exercises, it is unclear how the appearance of the devices may affect women’s willingness to use them. We believe that a further understanding around the appearance of these devices may help women feel more comfortable using them, therefore helping them care for their health. We carried out interviews and online questionnaires with women (n:70) who use the devices and clinicians (n:4). We report on identified areas where the appearance of devices is important for women. We present the iterative design process and evaluation of a system aimed at facilitating self-directed pelvic floor management based on this research. We suggest that discrepancies in the responses from participants call for personalisation of the device to meet individual user expectations and increase the design sensitivity when designing for smart devices that help women care for their health.

Relax: Students’ Designs for Stress 2017

Stress levels in western society are rising. Though stress can be valuable, our physiological responses affect our bodies negatively. Stress motivates us and prepares our bodies for challenging situations. However, scenarios that typically cause stress no longer require the fight or flight response our bodies prepare for and the stress arousal is not dissipated. If left over time, stress can damage our bodies. Under stress, blood flow to our kidneys, skin, digestive system and bones reduces from 60% to 20%.  Patterns of chronic stress are encouraged by cultural norms and attitudes such as “work hard; play hard” and it is damaging our health. This research presents a thematic analysis of 246 student projects. Finding clear strategies of how to design to reduce breathing rate, and 3 ‘gaps’  in the design approaches that warrant further investigation.

Paper for Child-Robot Interaction Workshop

This workshop aims to exchange experiences and new ideas concerning issues in Child-Robot Interaction. More specifically, the main aims are to discuss how social bonding between children and robots can be evaluated, how robots can be used to aid children in their learning process, and also what ethical issues arise when children learn from and bond to a robot. Another aim is to discuss how teachers’ and parents’/caretakers’ perspectives on children’s use of robots should be taken into account when designing and evaluating robots for children.

Paper: Child-Robot Interaction Workshop HAndreae 

Designed for Delight: Surprising Visual-Tactile Experiences Using 3D Printing in Lighting Design by Edgar R. Rodríguez Ramírez, Sebastien Voerman and Helen Andreae (2017)

Designing for surprise is a useful tool for designers and can elevate a product from mundane to memorable, drawing attention and inviting engagement. Existing strategies have explored surprise in product design through the exploration of sensory incongruities, most notably visual-tactile incongruities: when an object looks different to what it feels like to touch. There are two digital technologies that offer new opportunities to investigate surprise in tangible-embedded interactive systems: 3D printing and tangible interaction through sensor controls. Research is yet to investigate how visually tactually incongruous 3D printing can offer new strategies for eliciting surprise in lighting design through tangible-embedded interactive systems. This research addresses this identified gap by assessing the applicability of the Ludden’s strategies to surprise through 3D printing. This was performed through the design of a series of experimental 3D printed objects and lights that sought to surprise by using visual-tactile incongruities. We suggest new approaches expressed through the final designs of four interactive lights; objects designed to inspire delight through their unique interactions and surprising qualities. We report on new strategies to surprise by using an experiential gap between vision and touch through 3D printing and we report the findings from user-testing sessions.


Desform 2012

Auti was a part of Victoria University’s Exhibition


A user experience conference, this was the first time Auti was exhibited and is what led to the further development of Auti


Popular Press

Interview with Radio New Zealand

Article in the Dominion Post

Article in the Independent Harold


Interview with springwise

Article for the Indian times

Article for the Hindustantimes


Otherpress  B!/1/91204.html