Open Topics/ Offene Themen für Abschlussarbeiten

These are some of the current topics for final theses projects in our group. Not all ideas for projects are listed here, so please get in contact if you like the general flavour of topics or if you have project ideas that fit within our area of work, and we can discuss!

We are generally interested in topics related to e.g. museum installations, IoT, e-textiles, smart toys for children, educational settings, gesture interaction, touch and tangible interaction, public displays, cultural probes, home and care, performance,  ... and check out prior theses we supervised as well as our publications. Most topics can be done in German or English - please contact us for further information!

We recommend you engage with our study template (found here) for getting into the initial discussions with us about your planned thesis research – regardless of whether it is a topic from the list of open topics or your own proposal!

Age-appropriate games & toys for children in isolation

Design age-appropriate games & toys for children when they need to stay at home without present peers for a longer period of time (e.g. during a pandemic, but could also be  for children with immune deficiency who can't go out, or for children in hospitals).  

Contact: Michaela Honauer / Prof. Eva Hornecker

360° technology for learning scenarios (in collaboration with Civil Engineering colleagues)

Colleagues in the Faculty of Civil Engineering are looking for theses students to adress some of the development and research tasks within a project that is related to educational uses of 360-degree models. 360° models are constructed from lots of photographs and provide a navigable environment (similar to Google streetview, you also now find a lot of historic sites or museums available for exploration based on this technology). The project explores their use and extension for learning scenarios, with topics relating e.g. to integration of quizzes/puzzles into these 360° environments, the integration of ambisonic spatialized sound, navigation methods (and visualization of movement), attention guidance, and the use of 360° models for supporting annotation and communication between users (e.g. in the context of citizen participation looking at construction plans for a site). Some are more technical, others will require you to design user studies and conduct evaluations. 

These topics (details here in a pdf) will be hands-on supervised by staff from this project at the faculty of Civil Engineering and co-supervised by Eva Hornecker as official main supervisor. 

Dance and Movement Skill Support

How can we support learning of movement skills? Research has begun to investigate how different feedback modalities can be used in learning and upkeeping of movement repertoires (e.g. in dance or sports), in increasing bodily awareness (directing attention to kinaesthetic perception). Aspects may include rhythm feeling in dance, proper execution of movements, muscle tension, posture, etc. 

Questions could include, e.g. how to support mental imagery ('imagine you are holding a large hoop and turning it' - automatically gives you muscle tension while moving your hands in a circle with the imagined hoop), exploration of subtle feedback mechanisms (e.g. termperature has been shown to be supportive for Feldenkrais and other movement disciplines that require attention towards inner feeling of the body, whereas visual feedback was found to be distracting), ... and much more... What is relevant may depend on the movement discipline.

You should be willing to dive deep into the literature, including theory on movement, bodily perception (and ideally also on the philosophical perspective of phenomenology), have some pre-experience with sensor technologies, electronics, visual body tracking or other suited technologies, and have an intrinsic relation to your chosen movement discipline. 

Contact: Prof. Eva Hornecker

Dressing smartly & Feeling Good

While the worlds of fashion and technology appear to have been separated for a long time, recent years have seen large steps towards their merger. In collaboration with google, Levi’s launched Project Jacquard that integrated technology seamlessly into a jeans jacket, specially targeted to bike couriers and Yen Li Park from the Frauenhofer Institute has explored means of powering smart textiles to become autonomous systems. As the technological integration moves forward, the question how these systems will integrate into our lives remains open.

In this project you will explore the future of embodied interaction through smart textiles. Using microcontrollers such as Arduino Lilypad or Adafruit Flora, you will make a textile wearable that is integrated into clothing. The wearable will measure biophysical signals, such as heart rate, skin conductivity or other suitable measures to learn how the wearer experience their day. You will also think about ways in which the garment will communicate these – and to whom. Using user-centered research you will explore how the artefact adds to the user experience. 

Contact & Questions: Britta Schulte 

Animal-Computer Interaction

Wikipedia. "Animal-computer interaction (ACI) is a field of research which studies the design and use of technology with, for and by animals. ACI emerged from, and is heavily influenced by, the discipline of human-computer interaction (HCI)." ACI has turned into a research field, with its own conference and a manifesto, that posits that similar to user-centered design, animals as users should be taken seriously. ACI may aim to improve animals life quality, to support them in the role-based services they fulfil (e.g. assistance dogs for impaired humans), or to improve communication between humans and animals. We've not done any ACI in our group yet, but it's an interesting area that requires creativity and sensitivity for working with new kinds of 'users'. In particular, to work with animals, HCI methods of design have to be adapted and re-invented. Have any ideas of your own? (This should not just be an intelligent cat-flap.... ) 

contact and questions: eva(dot)hornecker(at)uni-weimar(dot)de

Caring through technology

Increasingly technologies are developed to be used in care settings. Starting with life sign monitors for babies, over robots to support children living with autism to pill reminders and GPS trackers for people living with dementia, technologies are embedded into every phase of life. This is not without problems as data only provides a limited range of insights and poses issues about privacy. 

In this project you will use health data that is used either via available apps or prototypes you developed using biosignal technologies, such as the Bitalino kit to learn how people make sense of health data. We leave it up to you which specific context of care and user group you would like to explore. 

Contact & Questions: Britta Schulte

„Bello is great, but I cannot wait for Bello X to come out“ – Values and sustainability in technology design

While some people dream about buying the newest iPhones as soon as they come out, few people would think about replacing their dog. When writing an email to tell your professor you are going to be late for class, you want to be sure that it arrives. When you write an essay, you want the software to blend into the background so that you focus on writing. Reliability, ease of use and learnability are useful properties for the many tools we use in our work context and rely on. But are they really all there is? Many devices we use in the everyday are built in this paradigms, but other objects and relationships are build on different values that enable us to make much deeper connections. This has tangible impact as we use our devices carelessly and discard them easily. 

In this method-driven project, you will use user-centred design methods, such as focus groups, co-design sessions or comparable to learn what is important to people within the relationships they care about. You will design conceptual or speculative artefacts from these insights. The level of realisation of these will depend on your preferences and technical expertise. 

Contact & Questions: Britta Schulte 

“Ooooh, can I keep this?” – Designing for sustainable technologies

Mobile phones are allrounders that are with us nearly everyday. Nonetheless, few of us feel closely related to the device itself and replace them easily and quickly without thinking of the consequences.

In this hands on project you will develop a series of tangible artefacts that are meant to be kept and cherished by the users. This can be re-inventions of existing technologies and apps or completely new technologies. You will use Arduino or comparable micro-controllers to develop prototypes that can then be tested to learn whether the criteria you chose lead to a deeper engagement with technologies. 

For more information or to discuss your own ideas contact: 

Britta Schulte britta.schulte[at]

Rituals and technologies in the home

Visions of the smart home often only show a very static image of technology use. People instead often have rituals, such as placing the remote control on the TV so as to know where to find it when it is not in use, leaving the lights in the hall way switched on overnight for convenience or putting the tablet out of reach of the children when it is not in use. 

In this method-driven project you will take a user-centred approach to smart home technology and learn what rituals people have in their home around the technologies they use. This can be done by either doing research in the home and developing functional prototypes from the results or a design-led research project in which you build and evaluate the use. 

For more information  contact: 

Britta Schulte britta.schulte[at]

Data Physicalization

Data Physicalization is a new research area that investigates representations of data that are not purely screen-based and visual, but 'live from' being physical, maybe even touchable. These representations are called physicalizations, analogously to visualizations. This can range from small 3D-printed objects to large sculptural installations, where people have to walk around (or in) the data, and it may use various materials. See (for a long list of diverse examples) and this video

Following our semester project, we want to investigate data physicalizations in user studies to understand better how physicalization is different from visualization. Here are 3 different theses projects: 

- User study: How do people investigate a physicalization? How do they manipulate it and what gestures do they make? (compare single person vs. pair)
- Experimental User Study: Touch vs. non-touch vs. on-screen. How does the ability to touch influence understanding and memory? Does it make a difference if the object is real, in the same room to seeing it on-screen (maybe in 3D, but it is clearly virtual)?
- The impact of scale. Build 2 or 3 different sizes of the same physicalization and assess user experience (e.g. using AttrakDiff or PANAS questionnaires)
(The simplest for these would be to either rebuild a physicalization picked from the literature or ask a research group to send us an existing examplar for these topics – but we can also generate something new... )
- impact of different modalities of data representation on user experience 

Contact: Prof. Eva Hornecker

Participatory Designing Textile Interfaces for Everyday Applications – M.Sc.

This thesis proposal aims for designing and developing a textile-based application for an everyday purpose in close collaboration with the end user. It could be for wellbeing (e.g. an interactive yoga matte), for social interaction (e.g. a jacket with smartphone features), or for cultural events (e.g. a sensitive dance floor). We are open to your ideas. The interface should consist of textile materials. Sensors and actuators are to be carefully embedded into it. Technologies you will use are e.g. Arduino or Adafruit Feather, and the range of available input and output modalities is huge depending on the purpose you develop for. Further useful materials are e.g. conductive fabrics, zippers, snaps, threads and yarns. Your thesis work will be completed by ongoing qualitative user studies. You will conceptualize, design and develop the product together with the target group.

Contact: michaela.honauer[at]

Textile Interfaces for Kids & Youth – B.Sc./M.Sc.

The idea of this thesis proposal is to design and develop an application for kids or youth that consist of fabrics. This could be a garment or a toy that engages this user group to interact with an innovative interface, like e.g. an MP3-Player integrated into a hoodie or a soft cube for babies containing light/sound/haptic elements. You are free to come up with an own idea and suggest a specific application. The interface should consist of textile materials. Sensors and actuators are to be carefully embedded into it. Technologies you will use are e.g. Arduino LilyPad or Adafruit Feather. Further useful materials are e.g. conductive fabrics, zippers, snaps, threads and yarns. Your thesis work will be completed by a qualitative user study.

Contact: michaela.honauer[at]