Dr. D’Olivo, P.

Patrizia D'Olivo is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. Her current work focusses on Bio-Fabricated materials from living organisms, such as bacteria, algae and fungi and how these emerging materials are 'branded' and communicated to the end-users to accelerate their ultimate appreciation and acceptance. 

Academic Background

Her interests and experiences lies both in the material and interaction design domain. She held a BSc in Industrial Design cum laude and an MSc in Design & Engineering from Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Her exploration of the potential of materials began with the study of Sensory Metrology during her master graduation project, in collaboration with the Ecole des Mines de Saint-Étienne. In 2014, attracted by the possibility to merge her knowledge on materials with interactive technologies, she joined the research project 'Material Practices of Connectedness' supervised by Pr. dr. Elisa Giaccardi and Dr. Elvin Karana at the Delft University of Technology. Triggered by the possibility ofto exploiting the materiality of technology to support people dealing with disruptive-life events she started her Ph.D. on the topic of 'Tactful Objects for Sensitive Settings'.  Her work has been carried out in a multidisciplinary project named ‘Meedoen=Groeien!’ (Participating is Growing), in collaboration with the Prinses Maxima Centre for Paediatric Oncology (Utrecht) and HandicapNL.


  • 2014 – 2021
    PhD candidate in Industrial Design/Design for Interaction, Designing the New Normal, Delft University of Technology (Delft, Netherlands)
  • 2009 – 2012
    MSc, Design & Engineering (Design and Engineering of industrial products), Politecnico di Milano (Milan, Italy)
  • 2006 – 2009
    BSc, Furniture Design, Industrial Design, Politecnico di Milano (Milan, Italy) 


  • 2021 – present
    Post-doctoral Researcher, Delft University of Technology (Delft, Netherlands)
  • 2014
    Research Associate, Geist Project, Delft University of Technology (Delft, Netherlands)
  • 2013 – 2014
    Research Fellow/Teaching assistant, Smart Design project - working on the application of functional and smart materials in the lighting design sector, Politecnico di Milano, (Milano,Italy)
  • 2012 – 2013
    Research Fellow/Teaching assistant, Design and development of new level gauges for Klinger S.p.A, Politecnico di Milano, (Milano,Italy)
  • 2011 – 2012
    Research Fellow, Internship at the SMS Department (Material and Structures) at the École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Étienne, (St.Etienne, France)
  • 2010 – 2011
    Internship, Disguincio&Co, Concepts and products development, (Pordenone, Italy)
  • 2007
    Internship, ElasticoDisegno, Concepts and products development, (Chieri, Italy) 

Specialisation / field of research

  • Social-ecological approach in HCI
  • Healthcare and Psychosocial Development
  • Communication
  • Object with Intent
  • Material selection for Industrial Design

Lectures/Coaches students on:

  • Student assignments in several courses (ID4216; ID4170; IO-MI-124)
  • Mentoring Graduation Projects

Secondary employement

Inspomat – platform coordinator 
A physical and digital platform to share the most exciting and recent developments in the materials and design domain and celebrate TU Delft students’ creativity. Easy to reach, active and growing!

  • Mail: inspomat-IO@tudelft.nl
  • Click here for the Facebook page
  • Click here for the Pinterest board