Bettina Nissen | Doctoral Trainee

Bettina Nissen

Bettina Nissen has established herself as a product designer in the Northeast’s creative community as well as the international design scene. She is now working at Edinburgh University, but at Open Lab was an AHRC-funded PhD researcher on The Creative Exchange at Newcastle University.

In her creative practice, Bettina designs objects that are not only functional but also engage the user. By reframing daily activities in a new context and creating ritual interactions with the object, each design tells a story and encourages an emotional response.

Bettina’s research interest is in exploring new ways of designing products through data visualisation, generative processes, digital modelling and 3D printing. Through developments in 3D technologies and digital fabrication, mass production is shifting toward mass customisation, opening up a new field for explorations into personalised storytelling. With the object’s potential for meanings beyond a graphic representation, Bettina is interested in developing methods for transforming abstract concepts and information into tangible, tactile and accessible products that can educate and empower users.


On Speculative Enactments
Elsden C, Chatting D, Durrant AC, Garbett A, Nissen B, Vines J, Kirk DS, Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems5386-5399


The value of designers' creative practice within complex collaborations
Bowen S, Durrant A, Nissen B, Bowers J, Wright P, Design Studies174-198
Re-Making Places: HCI, 'Community Building' and Change
Crivellaro C, Taylor A, Vlachokyriakos V, Comber R, Nissen B, Wright P, ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 20162958-2969


Making Magic: Designing for Open Interactions in Museum Settings
Taylor R, Bowers J, Nissen B, Wood G, Chaudhry Q, Wright P, Bruce L, Glynn S, Mallinson H, Bearpark R, C&C '15 SIGCHI Conference on Creativity and Cognition313-322
Exploring gesture sonification to support reflective craft practice
Smith T, Bowen S, Nissen B, Bowers J, Hook J, Verhoevan A, Wright P, Olivier P, CHI 2015 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems67-76
Data-Things: Digital Fabrication Situated within Participatory Data Translation Activities
Nissen B, Bowers J, CHI '15 Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems2467-2476


Volvelles, domes and wristbands: embedding digital fabrication within a visitor's trajectory of engagement
Nissen B, Bowers J, Wright P, Hook J, Newell C, DIS'14: 2014 conference on Designing interactive systems.825-834

Associated Projects

  • Metadating: Exploring the Romance of Personal Data
    'Metadating’ was a future-focused speed dating event where single participants were invited to 'explore the romance of personal data'. Participants engaged in reflection and self-tracking prior to the workshop, and created ‘data profiles’  whic...
    August 30, 2011
  • On The Precipice
    This Creative Exchange project explored how situating digital fabrication within a souvenir-making activity can enrich audience experiences of cultural events and engage visitors in discussion and reflection upon their experiences. Giving the visitor ...
    August 30, 2011
  • Form Follows Experience
    This project aims to develop an experiential approach to designing meaningful artefacts through 3D technology for technological empowerment and education. By augmenting and customising objects, the DIY community has shown how individual expression c...
    August 30, 2011
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