This page predominantly lists funded research projects and dedicated PhD projects. Besides of these, we conduct research via theses student work and individual (unfunded) projects, e.g. on the design of interactive toys for children, alternative visions for smart homes, museum installations, neurodiversity, ambient and pervasive displays, etc. 

BMBF Project GROOVE - experienced synchronisation for remote intimacy in social VR

Social Virtual Reality provides extended potential for remote interactions between partners across a distance, families and friends.How can interactions that foster social intimacy be further improved in virtual spaces? This is the focal point of the GROOVE research project that teams from the professorships of HCI, VR and Usability at BUW will work on together with researchers from the Technischen Universität Ilmenau, Brandenburg Labs GmbH and Consensive GmbH. GROOVE is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) over the »Nähe über Distanz - Mit interaktiven Technologien zwischenmenschliche Verbundenheit ermöglichen« funding programme. The HCI team leads the 3-year GROOVE project. 

The German long name is 'GROOVE - Erlebte Synchronisation für Verbundenheit und Nähe in sozialer virtueller Realität'. University announcement page.  

Research on Data Physicalization

What if data moved off the screen, with 3D physical shape and materiality? Ongoing research investigates Data Physicalization - physical artefacts whose geometry or material properties encode data. Building on past experience from Trevor Hogan's 'Tactile Data' PhD we have pursued this further, in student projects, as Hannes Waldschütz' and Rosa van Koningsbruggen's research focus and with the DFG Project FluidData on the UX of DataPhys.  

- SS 2018 Data Driven Objects (student research project): Trommelwirbel + Bellum Omni contra omnes (war of all against all)
- WS 2018/19 Data Matters - Physical data representation through kinetic artifacts (student research project): The Sixth Wave
- WS 20/21 Data Perspectives. Physical Representations of Everyday Data (student research project)
- WS 21/22 Data Physicalization of Hidden Data (seminar+practical, joint course with LMU and Uni Regensburg run online)
- WS 22/13 A touch of data. Designing haptic data physicalisations of personal data (student research project)

DFG Project FluidData - The User Experience of Novel Pneumatic Shape-Changing Interfaces for Dynamic Data Physicalization

March 2020 our new DFG Project FluidData started. This investigates the potential of dynamic shape-changing interfaces for data representation. The project has a constructive-technical and an empirical strand. Project staff: Hannes Waldschütz and Rosa van Koningsbruggen.

On a constructive-engineering level, we will realize controlled shape change via pneumatically actuated (fluidic) membrane structures from  textile/elastomeric material (inflatables) and explore the novel options this offers for shape-change and interaction. For this, we build on and collaborate with Kristian Gohlke's ongoing PhD work. The empirical focus of this project is on the user experience of data physicalization (especially with shape-change). While other research teams have begun investigating performance and accuracy in Data Physicalization, we believe that beyond  pragmatic and utilitarian factors (i.e. usability), there are qualities and benefits related to user affect, sensation and meaning, i.e. UX. For some usage situations, this might be more important for increasing engagement and empathy with data. We will thus investigate terms of qualities and interpretations ascribed to a representation, as well as sense-making processes evoked, including the potential to raise empathy.


  • Rosa van Koningsbruggen, Sujay Shalawadi, Eva Hornecker, Florian Echtler. Frankie: Exploring how Self-Tracking Technologies can go from Data-Centred to Human-Centred. Proc. of ACM MUM'22
  • Arika Dodani, Rosa van Koningsbruggen, Eva Hornecker. Birdbox: Exploring the User Experience of Crossmodal, Multisensory Data Representations. Proc. of ACM MUM'22
  • Kristian Gohlke, Wolfgang Sattler and Eva Hornecker. AirPinch – An Inflatable Touch Fader with Pneumatic Tactile Feedback. accepted Work in Progress for ACM TEI 2022 (collaboration with RethiCare project)
  • Rosa van Koningsbruggen, Hannes Waldschütz and Eva Hornecker. What is Data? - Exploring the Meaning of Data in Data Physicalisation Teaching. Proc. of ACM TEI 2022. 
  • Rosa van Koningsbruggen and Eva Hornecker. “It’s Just a Graph” – The Effect of Post-Hoc Rationalisation on InfoVis Evaluation. Proc. of ACM Creativity & Cognition2021 (C&C'21) (HONORABLE MENTION AWARD)
  • Irene López García and Eva Hornecker. Scaling Data Physicalization – How Does Size Influence Experience? Accepted full paper for the 2021 ACM on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction Conference (TEI’ 21) ACM, New York, NY, USA,
  • Hannes Waldschütz, Eva Hornecker. The Importance of Data Curation for Data Physicalization.Companion Publication of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS’ 20 Companion), 293–297. Provocations track.  DOI: 
  • Hannes Waldschütz, Eva Hornecker, Leoni Fischer, Pauline Temme, Anas Alnayef, Sujay Shalawadi, He Ren. Drum Roll: A Data Physicalization of Real-Time Radiation Sensor Readings. In Companion Publication of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS’ 20 Companion), 477–479. Performance and Design track. DOI: 
  • Yun Wang, Adrien Segal, Roberta Klatsky, Daniel F. Keefe, Petra Isenberg, Jörn Hurtienne, Eva Hornecker, Tim Dwyer and Stephen Barrass. An Emotional Response to the Value of Visualization. IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications Magazine, Visualization Viewpoints, Volume: 39, Issue:5,  Sept/Oct. 2019. pp. 8-17.  DOI: 10.1109/MCG.2019.2923483

SmartHomes - and not so Smart Homes

Our research repeatedly touches upon questions related to smart home technologies, or more generally to technologies in the home context. This is sometimes through student projects and theses (e.g. 'Living with Robots – The Future of Autonomous Machines in the Home', 'Technology in the Home', and 'Cushioning the Technology – Combining technologies and textiles for the smart home'). 

Tangible Interaction with Digital Information on Natural Surfaces (2021 - ongoing)
This is the PhD project of Annika Schulz, in collaboration with Robert Bosch GmbH and Hochschule Offenburg, co-supervised with Dr. Frank Beruscha (CR/ADT5), Robert Bosch GmbH and Prof. Dr. Oliver Korn, Affective & Cognitive Institute (ACI), Hochschule Offenburg. 

  • Annika Sabrina Schulz, Eva Hornecker. Can you please cover both the "smart" and the "home"? Exploring expectations on smart homes considering changing needs. Proc. of ACM MUM'22
  • Breunig,  Calderón Arias, Mudavanhu, Syal, Schulte, Hornecker. Carpet Tiles: Interactive and modular smart textiles to support international students in shared dorms to feel at home. Proc. of MuC '21: Mensch und Computer 2021. pp 140-144. ACM DL. 
  • Kiesel, Lang, Wachsmuth, Hornecker, Stein. Investigating Expectations for Voice-based and Conversational Argument Search on the Web. Proc. of the 2020 Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR ’20), 53–62. DOI: ACM DL.  
  • Honauer, Moorthy, Hornecker. Interactive Soft Toys for Infants and Toddlers – Design Recommendations for Age-appropriate PlayProc of CHI PLAY '19. ACM NY, 265–276. DOI:

RethiCare (funded by VolkswagenStiftung) (begin 2019)

RethiCare (Rethinking Care Robotics) is led by the HCI group and is a joint interdisciplinary project with BUW's Product Design area (Prof. Wolfgang Sattler), the University of Southern Denmarks Robotics group at The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute (Prof. Norbert Krüger) and sociologist Dr. Andreas Bischof at TU Chemnitz. RethiCare will explore the design space of non-anthropormorphic, robotic helper machines and devices (which, for instance, integrate with everyday objects and furniture) for the context of care homes. It started April 2019, with 3 years funding, and was extended until end of 2022. 

To re-shape research and design practices and to develop alternative visions for robots in care, new interdisciplinary collaborations and new methods of design and evaluation are needed. The project's interdisciplinary constellation will enable us to re-think from the ground up what care-robotics should look like and ‘do’, using contemporary design methods in a rapid prototyping, design-driven approach. It will apply a user-centered, creative design and development approach in close collaboration with users (2 care institutions as associated partners), guided by principles of universal design, flanked with an integrated science-technology-studies perspective.  (University Press-Statement)
-> Project Website

  • Emanuela Marchetti, Sophie Grimme, Eva Hornecker, Avgi Kollakidou, Philipp Graf. Pet-Robot or Appliance? Care Home Residents with Dementia Respond to a Zoomorphic Floor Washing Robot. Proc. of CHI 2022, ACM. 
  • Andreas Bischof, Eva Hornecker, Philipp Graf, Lena Franzkowiak. Integrierte Roboterentwicklung für die Pflege. Konzeptuelle und praktische Herausforderungen am Beispiel ReThiCare. TATuP – Journal for Technology Assessment in Theory and Practice,  Vol. 31 No. 1 2022 pp. 48-54 
  • Andreas Bischof, Eva Hornecker, Antonia Krummheuer, Matthias Rehm. Re-Configuring Human-Robot Interaction. In Proceedings of the 2022 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI '22). IEEE Press, 1234–1236. ACM DL
  • Philipp Graf, Kevin Lefeuvre, Oskar Palinko, Lakshadeep Naik, Christian Zarp, Andreas Bischof, Eva Hornecker, and Norbert Krüger. Fostering well-being in care with the nautical designed Plant Watering Robot. Proc. of 17th Intern. Joint Conference on Computer Vision, Imaging and Computer Graphics Theory and Applications - HUCAPP'22. 
  • Kevin Lefeuvre, Philipp Graf and Eva Hornecker. Designing A Robot for Elderly Care Homes based on the Notion of 'Robot as Theatre'. Pictorial. Proc. of Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM 2021). ACM New York, pp 242–251. DOI:
  • Avgi Kollakidou, Kevin Lefeuvre, Christian Sønderskov Zarp, Oskar Palinko, Norbert Krüger and Eva Hornecker. Bibo the dancing cup: Reminding people suffering from dementia to drink. Proc. of ICT for Health, Accessibility and Wellbeing (IC-IHAW 2021), Springer
  • Sophie Grimme, Avgi Kollakidou, Christian Sønderskov Zarp, Eva Hornecker, Norbert Kruger and Emanuela Marchetti. Don’t be afraid! Design of a playful cleaning robot for people with dementia. Proc.of ICT for Health, Accessibility and Wellbeing (IC-IHAW 2021), Springer
  • Palinko, Oskar & Graf, Philipp & Naik, Lakshadeep & Lefeuvre, Kevin & Zarp, Christian & Krüger, Norbert. Intention Signaling for Mobile Social Service Robots – The Example of Plant Watering. Proc. of Social Robotics. ICSR 2021. Springer  LNCS. 10.1007/978-3-030-90525-5_74.
  • Schulte, Graf, Franzkowiak, Hornecker. Hospital beds, robot priests and huggables:  a (fictional) review of commercially available care robots. Proc. of ACM NordiCHI 2020 conference. Article No.: 43  ACM DL. 
  • Hornecker, Bischof, Graf, Franzkowiak, Krüger. The Interactive Enactment of Care Technologies and its Implications for Human-Robot-Interaction in Care. Proc. of ACM NordiCHI 2020 conference. Article No.: 78  ACM DL.  

Re-thinking CareRobots (Planning Grant), VolkswagenStiftung

In January 2018 we received a small grant from VolkswagenStiftung aimed to support preparation for a full funding proposal on 'rethinking care robotics' (which was successful). As part of the preparations, we (Prof. Sattler, Product Design program and us) co-taught a student project on technology in care. Our future project partners traveled to Weimar for proposal discussions, and were also invited into the student project and for the Bauhaus.Interaction Colloqium, all helping us to immerse deeper into the topic. We also attended a conference on care technology ('Zukunft der Pflege') in Oldenburg with the entire project group, which was a great experience for all.  

Exploring Bio-Inspired Soft Fluidic Actuators and Sensors for the Design of Shape Changing Tangible User Interfaces.

Kristian Gohlke's PhD investigates fluid actuators (also known as soft robotics), mainly in form of pneumatically actuated soft or malleable material mechanisms as well as the use, application potentials and the limitations of such systems for interaction design. By contributing to a novel category of interfaces that are malleable, inherently capable of isotropic shape change and mechanically compliant, the research further intends to question the fundamental design paradigm of current technological artifacts that are commonly characterized by fixed form factors, rigid mechanisms and static enclosures. key publications: 

  • Kristian Gohlke, Wolfgang Sattler and Eva Hornecker. AirPinch – An Inflatable Touch Fader with Pneumatic Tactile Feedback. Work in Progress. Proc. of ACM TEI 2022. Article 64, 1–6.
  • Kristian Gohlke, Eva Hornecker. A Stretch-Flexible Textile Multitouch Sensor for User Input on Inflatable Membrane Structures & Non-Planar Surfaces. Accepted demo for ACM UIST 2018, Berlin
  • Kristian Gohlke. Exploring Bio-Inspired Soft Fluidic Actuators and Sensors for the Design of Shape Changing Tangible User Interfaces. ACM TEI 2017 Graduate Student Consortium, ACM DL
  • Kristian Gohlke, Eva Hornecker, Wolfgang Sattler. Pneumatibles – Exploring Soft Robotic Actuators for the Design of User Interfaces with Pneumotactile Feedback. Proc. of TEI 2016, ACM NY,  Pages 308-315. author pdf and ACM DL

Interactive Costumes - How Wearables and E-Textiles can enter Performance Stages

Michaela Honauer's PhD project investigates wearables and e-textiles in the specific domain of professional stages that have predefined infrastructures and expertise-based hierarchies (e.g. theatre, ballet, opera). Next to the technical challenges for particular use cases, Michaela searches for solutions that help to integrate the production and staging processes of interactive costumes into traditionally grown structures. Her practice-based research is ethnographically motivated and tries to establish working routines and connections to practitioners as well as theatre, opera and ballet houses.

  • M. Honauer. Beyond costume tradition and physical computing: Characterizing the profile of interactive costume creators. Digital Creativity 2021, DOI: 10.1080/14626268.2021.1922459
  • M. Honauer, D. Wilde, E. Hornecker. Overcoming Reserve – Supporting Professional Appropriation of Interactive Costumes. Proc. of ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS ’20), 2189–2200. DOI: ACM DLpdf.    (BEST PAPER AWARD)
  • M. Honauer, E. Hornecker. Challenges for Creating and Staging Interactive Costumes for the Theatre Stage. Proc. of Creativity & Cognition 2015 (C&C'15). ACM, pp. 13-22. doi>10.1145/2757226.2757242
  • Michaela Honauer. Designing (Inter)Active Costumes for Professional Stages. In. Stefan Schneegass, Oliver Amft (eds.) Smart Textiles. Springer International Publishing 2017, 10.1007/978-3-319-50124-6 chapter 13, p. 279-302
  • Michaela Honauer. Designing Interactive Costumes: Challenges and Prospects to Integrate Computational Clothing in the Performing Arts. ACM DIS 2017 Doctoral Consortium, ACM DL.
  • Michaela Honauer, Christian Wiegert, Tahira Sohaib, Fernando Cárdenas Monsalve, Jing Zhao, Maike Alisha Effenberg, Milad Alshomary, Eva Hornecker. Mermaids do not exist? Interactive Costumes do! Proc. of ACM MUM 2017, 535-540. Arts Track, 
  • Aline Martinez, Michaela Honauer, Hauke Sandhaus & Eva Hornecker. Smart Textiles in the Performing Arts. In: Textiles, Identity and Innovation. Proceedings of the 1st International Textile Design Conference (D-­TEX 2017), Lisbon, Portugal, 2‐4 November, 2017, 
  • Michaela Honauer. 2018. Designing a Remote-Controlled Interactive Dance Costume. In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Movement Computing (MOCO’18), 6 pages. ACM  DOI: 10.1145/3212721.3212879

Tangible Data: The Role of Embodiment in Physical Data Artefacts

Trevor Hogan's PhD project investigated tangible and multi-sensory data representation and the role of embodiment in the user experience of physical data artefacts, taking a phenomenological perspective. >

We are continuing this collaboration together with Uta Hinrichs following Trevor's PhD graduation and are now investigation physicalization, that is physical data representations. key publications: 

  • Trevor Hogan, Uta Hinrichs, Eva Hornecker. The Visual and Beyond: Characterizing Experiences with Auditory, Haptic and Visual Data Representations. Proceedings of ACM DIS 2017, 797-809. author pdf and ACM DL
  • Trevor Hogan, Uta Hinrichs, Yvonne Jansen, Samuel Huron, Pauline Gourlet, Eva Hornecker, Bettina Nissen. Pedagogy & Physicalization: Designing Learning Activities around Physical Data Representations. Workshop at ACM DIS 2017. Companion Proc. of ACM DIS'17 (Designing Interactive Systems).345-347. ACM DL. Workshop website
  • Trevor Hogan; Eva Hornecker. Towards a Design Space for Multisensory Data Representation. Interacting with Computers Volume 29, Issue 2, 8 March 2017, Pages 147–167, First published online: May 20, 2016;  pdf-version, doi:10.1093/iwc/iww015 
  • T. Hogan, E. Hornecker. Feel it! See it! Hear it! Probing Tangible Interaction and Data Representational Modality. accepted for DRS2016, Design Research Society Conference in Brighton, UK. 
  • T. Hogan, U. Hinrichs, E. Hornecker. The Elicitation Interview Technique: Capturing People’s Experiences of Data Representations. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (online first 2015, print in 2016)
  • T. Hogan, E. Hornecker. Blending the repertory grid technique with focus groups to reveal rich design relevant insight. Proc. of DPPI'13, Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces, ACM 2013, 116-125. Author version.
  • T. Hogan, E. Hornecker. In Touch with Space: Embodying Live Data For Tangible Interaction. Proc. of TEI'13, ACM, 275-278. Author version.

ELIXIER - BMBF Project 'Erfahrungsbasiertes Lernen durch interaktives Experimentieren in erweiterten Realumgebungen' (finished)

The BMBF Project ELIXIER started May 2016. ELIXIER was to develop an augmented experimental lab workbench that provides context-oriented tutorial assistance (via embedded projections, sound output, etc.) and supports teachers in setting up experiments for class. The system enables intelligent connection of digital learning portfolios and practical lab experiments via a web-based infrastructure (seamless smart lab) so that learners can review their practical work anytime, anywhere in an interactive way. 3 scenarios were explored, with BUW involved in two: a workbench for chemistry experiments and a training setup for car mechanic apprentices regarding electro-motor cars. 

The project collaborates with industry partners and research institutions, and covers technical infrastructure development, sensor tracking of experiment data, to didactical assistance, learning effectiveness and usability of augmented learning environments. BUW in this project focused on usability-oriented design and evaluation of augmented environments. 

Project partners: Archimedes Exhibitions, Berlin (coordinator); FU Berlin; LD Didactic GmbH; Fraunhofer IDMT Ilmenau/Oldenburg

more information: BMBF announcement, project website

  • Susanne Karsten, Daniel Jörg, Eva Hornecker. Learner versus System Control in Augmented Lab Experiments. Proc. of ISS 2017 Interactive Surfaces and Spaces. 354-359. ACM. ACM DL
  • Susanne Karsten, Daniel Jörg, Eva Hornecker. Mixed Reality Demonstratoren für den Experimentalunterricht. Workshop Be-greifbare Interaktion at Conference Mensch&Computer 2017
Elektro-Mobility Demonstrator Mockup
Elektro-Mobility demonstrator mockup (image: archimedes exhibitions)
Chemical experiment mockup with instructions

Urban HCI - Understanding Architectural Influences (finished)

Patrick Tobias Fischer's PhD work investigated how spatial configurations and architectural elements influence the use of public interfaces. Tobias submitted and defended his PhD at the University of Strathclyde

He continued this work at BUW, and for several years we explored how public interfaces can foster shared encounters, how to evaluate such interfaces, and engaged in a series of design-evaluation experiments. 

> Plazapuck preview

key publications: 

  • P.T. Fischer, E. Hornecker. Urban HCI: Spatial Aspects in the Design of Shared Encounters for Media Faccades. Proc. of CHI 2012. ACM. 2012. pp. 307-316. pdf
  • P.T. Fischer, C. Zöllner, T. Hoffmann, S. Piatza, E. Hornecker. 2013.  Beyond Information and Utility – Transforming Public Spaces with Media Facades. Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE, 33, 38-46.  IEEE Explore DLauthor version.
  • P.T. Fischer, A. von der Heide, E. Hornecker, S. Zierold, A. Kästner, F. Dondera, M. Wiegmann, F. Millan, J. Lideikis, A. Cergelis, R. Verde, C. Drews, T. Fastnacht, K.G. Lünsdorf, D. Merat, A. Khosravani, H. Jannesar. Castle-Sized Interfaces: An Interactive Façade Mapping. Full paper (6+ pages). Proc. of Pervasive Displays 2015 (PerDis'15), ACM 2015, pp. 91-97. doi>10.1145/2757710.2757715
  • N. Memarovic, S. Gehring, P.T. Fischer. 2015.  ELSI Model: Bridging User Engagement around Interactive Public Displays and Media Facades in Urban Spaces. Journal of Urban Technology Volume 22, Issue 1, 2015, pages 113-131. DOI:10.1080/10630732.2014.942169 journal site
  • H. Sahibzada, E. Hornecker, F. Echtler, P.T. Fischer. Designing Interactive Advertisements for Public Displays. Proceedings of ACM CHI 2017. 1518-1529
  • P.T. Fischer, E. Hornecker. 2017.  Creating Shared Encounters Through Fixed and Movable Interfaces. In: Anton Nijholt (ed).  Playable Cities. The City as a Digital Playground. Springer Singapore, pp 163-185
  • P.T. Fischer, E. Hornecker (2017). Media Architecture for Shared Encounters. In: A. Wiethoff, H. Hußmann (Eds.) Media Architecture. Using Information and Media as Construction Material. de Gruyter, Berlin/Boston, Age of Acess Series Vol. 8. 2017. p. 5-23
  • T. Fastnacht, P.T. Fischer, E. Hornecker, S. Zierold, A. Ornelas Aispuro, J. Marschall. The Hedonic Value of Sonnengarten –Touching Plants to Trigger Light. Proc. of ACM MUM 2017, 507-514. Video Track, 

Interactive Museum Installation – Touchless Interaction via Motion Tracking and Pointing Gestures (finished)

The Haßleben grave showcase
General principle and setup
Preview map of the 'active' objects in the grave

3D graphics are common in modern media, while two dimensional input techniques are used for interaction. A variety of devices are used in these contexts to manipulate contents which often are complicated or error prone. But meanwhile, home entertainment-systems can be operated just with hand gestures.

Master student Michael Pannier developed a novel interaction prototype where museum visitors are tracked with a motion sensor (ASUS XtionPRO) and analyzed via the OpenNI framework. A visitor can simply point at the artefacts within a showcase and the software will provide corresponding information on a screen. This provides a low cost and low-maintenance system. Our system also allows the museum staff to set up a new installation, to define and edit the objects of interest within it as well as attach corresponding information, i.e. text and images to be shown on a screen whenever a user points at the artefacts. A particular challenge in this project has been to adapt Kinect-like motion sensing technology to determine pointing targets on a horizontal plane (instead of a vertical screen), to account for angular error, eye-hand visibility mismatch, and pointing inaccuracy. 

We collaborated with the local museum of pre- and early history Thuringia (Museum für Ur- und Frühgeschichte Thüringens) to build a system for a showcase, containing the grave of a germanic princess, the 'Prinzessin von Haßleben'. This was installed in July 2014. Michael Pannier furthermore interviewed visitors before installation of the system and after to investigate whether it contributes to making the grave more memorable and increasing people's knowledge about it. 

  • Michael Pannier, Eva Hornecker, Sven Bertel. Can’t Touch This – The Design Case Study of a Museum Installation. In: Proc. of Mensch und Computer 2016: Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. GI Digital Library Link. author pdf. HONOURABLE MENTION in category of full papers.