Diana Nowacka

d.nowacka@ucl.ac.uk | Doctoral Trainee

Diana Nowacka

My decision to pursue a PhD in Computing Science at Newcastle University was driven by my desire to investigate modern digital systems for Human-Computer interaction. This applies particularly to the use of new technologies like interactive surfaces, actuators or embedded sensors.

My PhD explored the ways in which technology could be perceived as autonomous and how autonomy influences interaction. Research has shown that humans are very engaged by autonomous behaviours and under certain circumstances react socially towards it. I want to explore this effect and leverage it in support of human-computer interaction.

I made an instructable about my latest project, Diri the actuated helium balloon, check it out here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Diri-the-actuated-helium-balloon/

I'm currently working as a Research Fellow at UCL. More about me here.


Challenges for Designing new Technology for Health and Wellbeing in a Complex Mental Healthcare Context
Thieme A, McCarthy J, Johnson P, Wallace J, Lindley S, Ladha K, Jackson D, Nowacka D, Rafiev A, Ladha C, Nappey T, Kipling M, Wright P, Meyer TD, Olivier P, ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 20162136-2149


Circuit Stickers: Peel-and-stick Construction of Interactive Electronic Prototypes
Hodges S, Villar N, Chen N, Chugh T, Qi J, Nowacka D, Kawahara Y, Proceedings of the 32nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '14)1743-1746
Tangible Autonomous Interfaces (TAIs): Exploring Autonomous Behaviour in TUIs
Nowacka D, Kirk DS, Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI '14)1-8


Touchbugs: Actuated Tangibles on Multi-touch Tables
Nowacka D, Ladha K, Hammerla NY, Jackson D, Ladha C, Rukzio E, Olivier P, CHI' 13 SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems759--762


Interactive Phone Call: Synchronous Remote Collaboration and Projected Interactive Surfaces
Winkler C, Reinartz C, Nowacka D, Rukzio E, Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces61--70

Associated Projects

  • Diri - the actuated helium balloon: a study of autonomous behaviour in interfaces
    As the sophistication of ubiquitous computing technologies increases, with advances in processing power and decreases in size users are being confronted with increasingly intelligent interfaces embedded in everyday devices. This raises an inter...
    August 30, 2011
  • Touchbugs: Actuated Tangibles on Multi-Touch Tables
    Touchbugs is an open source hardware and software framework for a novel actuated tangible technology. Touchbugs are small tangibles that use directed bristles and vibration motors for actuation (giving them the ability to move independently). Their inf...
    August 30, 2011
  • Autonomous Behaviour in Tangible User Interfaces as a Design Factor
    The use of autonomous behaviour in Tangible User Interfaces can potentially create a compelling and new kind of interaction between humans and computers. I motivate this argument by reviewing related research, which indicates that people are engaged by...
    August 30, 2011
  • Spheres of Wellbeing
    The Spheres of Wellbeing are a set of artefacts specifically designed for a group of six women who live in the medium secure services of a forensic hospital in the UK. These women present a very vulnerable group due to the severity of their mental h...
    August 30, 2011
  • TouchBridge
    TouchBridge was an active tangible marker system for optical based multi-touch surfaces. It built on a previously proposed method of marker tracking based upon the augmentation of physical objects with IR Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). In this previ...
    August 30, 2011
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