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Dr Marianella Chamorro-Koc

Creative Industries Faculty,
School of Design Office,
Industrial Design


Dr Marianella Chamorro-Koc
Senior Lecturer
Creative Industries Faculty,
School of Design Office,
Industrial Design
Discipline *
Design Practice and Management
+61 7 3138 2618
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PhD (Queensland University of Technology), Master of Arts (Ohio State University)

Professional memberships
and associations

Professional and Group Associations

  • QUT Design Lab
  • PAS Lab Research Group
  • Diseño@QUT Special Research Interest Group
  • Design Institute of Australia (DIA) member (since 2008)
  • Design Research Society (DRS) member (since 2006)
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO) committee, invited as expert member to the ISO TC 159 SW4 Working Group (1999-2003)

context of use, experience design, product design, people's mobility, technology engagement, usability

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Broad Area of Research: DesignDr Chamorro-Koc’s research has been conducted within the People and Systems Research Team, which has world class research laboratory (PAS Lab). The domain is focusing on human interaction with complex devices, context of use, expertise and applied product research focusing on activity and experiences. Within Product Design and Design research, Dr Chamorro-Koc’s main areas of interests are:

  • User experience and context-of-use issues for the design of user-product interactions
  • Human factors and product usability
  • Interaction design of design tools for health and wellness
  • Design process

Research Area 1: Experience, context of use and the design of user-product interactions As technology progresses and become part of our daily life, it changes the way people experience everyday products. Dr Chamorro-Koc’s study found that products can be difficult to use when they do not relate to the user’s experience, and that the context in which a product is used and experienced lies at the core of people’s knowledge (Chamorro-Koc, 2007). Her research has established design principles in this area and she is currently working a design tool that conveys such principles in a way that it informs designers about contextual aspects of use. Her research interest is to create knowledge and tools that help inform the design of the user-product interactions. Dr Chamorro-Koc’s research aims to support industry by assisting the design of products and facilitating users’ adoption of new products from emerging technologies, making them more usable and easier to understand. Research Area 2: Human factors and product usability As a product designer, Dr Chamorro-Koc is interested in the study of users’ capabilities (physical and cognitive performance, social and cultural characteristics) and in the design of products that meet users’ needs. Her work includes the study of anthropometric and ergonomic factors and the use of methods for the assessment of product usability. Dr Chamorro-Koc’s early research work focused on understanding the physical demands of users at daily tasks and in exploring how ergonomics and biomechanical information could inform the design process (Chamorro-Koc, 1999). Currently, her interest in enhancing the design of product usability has merged with the study of users’ experience and context-of-use issues. Research Area 3: Interface design of product design tools Dr Chamorro-Koc is interested in the design of tools to support the early design stages of the design process as current design tools do not support this stage of the design task. Her research about user experience and context-of-use has devised an application or web-based tool that captures information from the ‘world’ and delivers images representing familiar clues about users’ previous experience in connection to the use of products. The aim of this kind of tool is to inspire and inform product designers about the particular aspects to consider when designing user-product interactions. Dr Chamorro-Koc is currently exploring the interface requirements for the design of such tools so that it responds to the requirements of a design task during the conceptualisation stage of the design process. Research Area 4: Design process Design and user-research methods employed in the design process largely depend on the designers’ interpretations and predictions of users’ needs. Designers determine the context-of-use of new product designs. Dr Chamorro-Koc is interested in the early stages of the design activity, and exploring the ways designers inform their user-research and design process when designing products that aim to match users’ expectations and knowledge. Grants Funding in Australia 2007-2008: Context-of-use and the design of user-product interactions: exploring causal relationships Role: Research Project (Internal Research Grant) Chief Investigator: Dr Chamorro-Koc Amount: AUD $5,000 This study focuses on understanding the different ways in which people interact with objects; it specifically focuses on understanding how people’s previous knowledge (which comes from the experience of seeing or using products in particular context-of-use) influences the way they interact with products. This study has uncovered a number of ways (causal relationships) in which this happens and it has identified design principles to consider when designing to enhance product usability. The current work-in-progress study aims to further explore these relationships and investigate how they can be applied in the conceptualisation stage of a design task that enhances usability of products from emerging technologies. Previous Funding for Research Projects Overseas (Peru) 2001-2003: Bio-Tool: an educational software development for undergraduate product design students Institution and Participating Agencies: Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (Lima) and CONCYTEC the National Council of Science and Technology (Peru) Role: Research Project Chief Investigator: Dr Chamorro-Koc Amount: USD $5,000 2001-2003: Ergonomics: improvement of traditional agricultural tools Institution: Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (Lima) Role: Research Project Chief Investigator: Dr Chamorro-Koc Amount: USD $5,000 2001-2003: Pilot Program: Development of Peruvian handcrafts products with added value for the local and international market Institution: Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (Lima) Role: Research Project Chief Investigator: Dr Chamorro-Koc Amount: USD $5,000 Ecard Grant 2009-2010: Design-task interface research: Experience and Context-Enquiry Design Tool (ECEDT) Role: Research Project (QUT Early Career Researcher Scheme Grant) Chief Investigator: Dr Chamorro-Koc Amount: AUD $10,000 An ongoing study has established recognizable relationships between users’ human experience and their knowledge of a product’s context of use that are relevant to the design of product usability. Previous findings (‘causal relationships’ and ‘design principles’) were implemented in a conceptual interactive design tool (ECEDT) that aims to assist the design of product usability. This study aims to investigate aspects of the design-task interface of ECEDT in order to make it fully applicable and commercially viable. Outputs from this study will support the application to an ARC Discovery or Linkage Grant. The study will contribute to the advancement of Australian industry. Awards and recognitions

  • 2007: QUT Office of Research Write Up Scholarship
  • 2005 and 2004: QUT Office of Research Grant-in-Aid
  • 2003 – 2006: QUT Faculty of BEE Scholarship
  • 1995-1997: Fulbright Hays Award Scholarship (U.S.A.).

Career history

  • 2006-2008: Lecturer in Industrial Design, School of Design, Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering, QUT
  • 2003-2006: PhD in Industrial Design (conferred 2007, QUT)
  • 1997-2003: Discipline Coordinator for Industrial Design, Faculty of Art, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (Peru) Lecturer in industrial design, anthropometrics, ergonomics.
  • 1995-1997: Masters by research. Ohio State University (U.S.A.) Fulbright Scholar (Master degree)
  • 1995: Professional Degree in Industrial Design (Peru)
  • 1991-1995: Design practice
  • 1991: B.A. degree in Industrial Design, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (Peru).
This information has been contributed by Dr Marianella Chamorro-Koc.


Dr Chamorro-Koc’s teaching areas focus on user research methods, design process, user product interface design, human factors and usability. Dr Chamorro-Koc’s main areas of teaching are

  • Industrial Design Studio
  • Interactive product design
  • Design for future scenarios of use
  • User-centered design and product usability
This information has been contributed by Dr Marianella Chamorro-Koc.


Interests and Community Service

  • Recipient of Nationally Competitive Research Grant: Linkage project Seamless Journeys to Work for Young People with Disabilities
  • Assessor for ARC Discovery grant scheme
  • Reviewer of Q1 Journal: Applied Ergonomics
  • Reviewer for Design Research Society international conferences: DRS and IASDR
  • Keynote speaker and Visiting Fellow: Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (Peru), Universidad El Bosque (Colombia), THI Ingolstadt University (Germany)

This information has been contributed by Dr Marianella Chamorro-Koc.


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.


Awards and recognition

Recipient of a Nationally Competitive Research Fellowship
Reference year
Assessor, Examiner or Supervisor Role
Reference year
Reviewer for ARC DISCOVERY grant schemes
Keynote Speaker/Expert Panel Member/Invited Speaker for a Conference
Reference year
Keynote Speech at EL BOSQUE University in Bogota (Colombia) Title of the keynote speech: Research in the Creative Industries - QUT CIF experience 28th September 2016
Visiting Professorships/Fellowships
Reference year
Invited by THI Ingolstadt University for a 2week visit to their UXD Discipline of their Electronic Engineer. The visit focused on collaborating on a students' project, shared by QUT and THI students. The project emerges from my current research work on People's Engagement with Technology for their Health and Wellness.
Reviewer for an Academic Journal
Reference year
Applied Ergonomics is a Q1 Journal in the fields of Sciences and Engineering.

Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

Seamless Journeys to Work for Young Adults with Physical Disabilities
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year


Current supervisions

  • Tuned 'Inside-Out': Mediating engagement experiences with music on-the-go
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Rafael Gomez
  • Self-Service Technology Design for E-Wellness
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Associate Professor Thea Blackler, Dr Amanda Beatson
  • Service Design as a Transformative Approach to Empower Young People with Physical Disabilities in Online Environments
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Amanda Beatson, Dr Sven Tuzovic
  • Functional Morphology of the Digital Jewellery Designer: An examination of the emerging culture of digital jewellery manufacturing and its potential role in industrial design and the digital arts
    Professional Doctorate, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Glenda Caldwell

Completed supervisions (Doctorate)

Completed supervisions (Masters by Research)