Profile image for Sonja Pedell

Dr Sonja Pedell

PhD, The University of Melbourne, Australia; Psychology, Technische Universitaet Berlin, Germany


Professor Sonja Pedell is Director of Swinburne’s Future Self and Design Living Lab, where her research contributes extensive knowledge of human-computer interaction (HCI) and research methods to the teaching of digital media and communication design. Alongside this role, Dr Pedell is Program Leader in the Centre for Design Innovation (CDI) in the School of Design and Architecture, Stream Leader Assistive Robots for Healthcare in Manufacturing Futures Institute and Theme Leader Designing with Users in Smart Cities Research Institute.

Dr Pedell’s research interests include user-centred design methods, scenario-based and mobile design, domestic technology development, and the design of engaging novel technologies for various user groups, in particular for the ageing population.

Prior to taking up these roles at Swinburne, Dr Pedell completed a Masters of Psychology from the Technical University of Berlin and was employed as an Interaction Designer, Usability Consultant and Product Manager in industry for several years.

Research interests

Design for Aging; Aged care; Ergonomics and Aesthetics Design: Cognitive Models; Interaction Design; User-centred Design; Human Computer Interaction

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Assistive Dogs for the Ageing Population

Avoiding stigma in the technology design of older people


Available to supervise honours students.

Fields of Research

  • Interaction And Experience Design - 330310

Teaching areas

Ergonomics and Aesthetics Design: Cognitive Models;Public Good Design;Strategic & Transformative Design: Health


  • 2016, Swinburne, Deans Award Outstanding Researcher School of Design, Swinburne University of Technology
  • 2015, Swinburne, Deans Award Outstanding Researcher School of Design, Swinburne University of Technology


Also published as: Pedell, Sonja; Pedell, S.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2021: Co-designing toolkits for smart city and future housing *; City of Casey Fund Scheme
  • 2021: Co-designing toolkits for smart city and future housing (Master Class briefs) *; Casey City Council
  • 2021: Creating an engaging animation about the Child Health Teams for Industry *; Access Health and Community
  • 2021: Data Visualisation *; City of Casey Fund Scheme
  • 2021: Revising the A Better Visit App *; Dementia Australia Ltd
  • 2020: Exploring emerging innovation for new product development *; Scope_PT
  • 2020: Innovatively improving social participation, community communication and information dissemination *; Global Community Resourcing
  • 2020: Maturing design-led innovation processes with motivational models *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2020: Workshops to co-create feedback tools for clients *; SoundFair Fund Scheme
  • 2019: Co-creating engaging animations with and about the Child Health teams in Community Health *; Access Health and Community Funds Scheme
  • 2019: Discovery User Research on the City of Boroondara Website *; City of Boroondara
  • 2019: Evaluating Future Services of Uniting AgeWell with older adults *; UnitingAgeWell Fund Scheme
  • 2019: Social prescribing framework *; Access Health and Community
  • 2019: Toolkit to co-design with older adults in residential and community setting *; UnitingAgeWell Fund Scheme
  • 2018: The Digital health and wellbeing project: Training Package and Evaluation *; Boroondara City Council
  • 2018: The Digital health and wellbeing project: User test *; Boroondara City Council
  • 2017: Augmented Reality Application to Assist People Living with Dementia *; Alzheimer's Australia Victoria
  • 2017: Dementia-friendly communities: Living together ? watching out for each other *; Boroondara City Council
  • 2017: Investigating the influence on co-design on the role of designer (Fan Art) *; VILLAGE CINEMAS
  • 2017: The AccessHC family: a branded series of characters and animations for staff training, patient education and engagement *; Access Health and Community Funds Scheme
  • 2017: Using animation for envisioning the Primary Care Centre Concept *; Access Health and Community Funds Scheme
  • 2016: A better visit project: Creation of four social tablet-based game apps for enabling people living with dementia *; Alzheimer's Australia Victoria
  • 2016: Catering for individuals? emotions in technology development *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2016: Future Self and Design Living Lab Project: Designing the Waiting Room 2020 - an exploration of supportive innovative health services for the community. *; Inner East Community Health Service
  • 2015: Technologies for Wellbeing of the Ageing Population *; Visiting Researcher Scheme
  • 2014: Collaborative Touch Screen Interaction for Older People with Dementia *; Ian Potter Foundation Grants
  • 2014: New Financial Services *; Smart Services CRC
  • 2013: Software engineering of people-oriented technologies and services *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2013: Supportive technology for monitoring sleep problems *; Barbara Dicker Brain Science grant
  • 2012: Personalisation *; Smart Services CRC

* Chief Investigator