Smart IxD Lab


Thoughts, observations and experimentation on interaction by: Smart Design

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Smart Interaction Lab’s Erika Rossi recently gave a talk at TEDx Salzburg event, where she presented her Master’s thesis project I Mirabilia (“The Wonders”), a set of interactive dolls for hospitalized children.

Here, Erika tells us more about the event and her presentation:

TEDxSalzburg was a great experience and an amazing opportunity to share my project while making new connections with inspiring and smart people. The conference theme, “I CAN HEAR YOU–YOU CAN HEAR ME” focused on people’s need to be heard, and the fact that while they’re struggling to gain attention, they tend to forget to listen.

In the words of the conference organizers,“Listening and being heard is a critical success factor if you want to give answers to question really asked. You don’t have to be a trendscout to come up with relevant (and innovative) products and solutions: you just have to watch and listen.”

The event was divided in 4 sections I-CAN-HEAR-YOU and I was assigned to the third one “HEAR” because my project is about letting hospitalized children be heard by providing them with additional tools to express their fears and emotions. Below is a description:

I Mirabilia (“The Wonders”)  are a family of three interactive dolls for children who spend a long period of time in hospital, due to terminal illnesses or periodic  therapies. Drawing on interviews and observations in a children’s  hospital, three dolls were designed to help overcome specific emotional difficulties faced by children in this situation.  The different interactions and behaviors triggered by the dolls enable the children to improve their relationships and make new connections with the people within the hospital, such as doctors, psychologists and other hospitalized children.

The other talks covered a wide range of topics, from a new interactive platform for learning music by Albert Frantz ( to how the latest sensor technology could be used in healthcare applications to improve patient’s monitoring by Fritz Höllerer (

Overall, it was a wonderful experience!

 - Erika Rossi


Posted by: Carla Diana

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