Nicole Lotz


I joined the Open University as a Lecturer in Design from February 2008. Before that I was research associate at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University school of Design. I've also worked as design consultant for various agencies and companies in Germany and Hong Kong. I have earned my PhD from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2008. I wrote my thesis on 'Design patterns for cross-cultural collaboration'. My research interests remain in this area.


Ph.D. Design Patterns for Cross-Cultural Collaboration: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2008)

Dipl.Des/MDes in Communication Design: Burg Giebichenstein, Halle, Germany (2002)

Exhibitions and Awards

2003: Participant in the Exhibition “Times like these” with the video installation “Alltagsmutationen - Mutations” Goethe Institute, Arts Centre, Hong Kong

2001: Junior Award "Best German Book Design 2000" with the book "Koerpertransparent", Deutsche Buch Guilde, Frankfurt, Germany

2000: Participant in the Exhibition "Village Gutenberg" " with the video installation "…und wieder", Mainz, Germany


CONVIVIO - The European User-Centred Design Network

IxDA - Interaction Design Association

DRS - Design Research Society

My research interests include investigations of cultural factors, collaboration and best practice in designing. I currently supervise 2 PhD students. Andreas Peter looks at prototyping in design collaboration and Iain Aitchison investigates trans-disciplinary design education. I am happy to supervise PhD students in subjects that broadly align with my interest framed by current projects.

Current and past projects

Tall stories (2013)

I am Academic Advisor for 3 interactive stories to be shown on OpenLearn that are based on a 3-part BBC documentary 'Brits Who build the World' to be broadcast in 2014.

Novice interaction design behaviour in different cultures (2011 - 2013)

This Leverhulme funded project (86k) investigates novice interaction design behaviour in the UK and Botswana. We conducted protocol studies to investigate patterns of behaviour and diary studies to look at socio-cultural factors in designing in both cultures. Background information to this project can be found here.

ARCHI (2010 - 2012)

This EU funded project investigates 'Architectural and Design based Education and Practice through Content & Language Integrated Learning using Immersive Virtual environments for 21st Century Skills'. More information can be found at http://archi21.eu/.

Atelier-D (2008 - 2010)

This JISC funded project looked at the development of a virtual design studio space to support student learning throughout the Design programme of the Open University. More information can be found at the Atelier-D website and at JISC.

Design pattern Wikis

In long term projects, I try to further develop various design patterns collections. I set up several wikis to encourage academics and professionals, who had experiences with collaboration across cultures, learning design or self-directed learning, to share recurring problems and success stories in design patterns format.

I maintain several wiki's on design patterns

- in Cross-cultural collaboration

- in Learning design

- in self-directed learning

and a Cloudscape on design pedagogy.

In my teaching I am involved in all our core Design and Innovation Qualification modules, U101, T211 (now T217) and T317. I took part in the production of the ground breaking Design Thinking module - U101. I am presentation co-chair for U101. I am presentation chair for Design and Designing - T211, which is on its last presentation in 2013. I am in the production team of the new third level module Innovation: designing for change - T317.

Previously I have gained teaching experience in Hong Kong and in international interaction design summer schools.

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