MSc. D’Olivo, P.

PhD candidate  
Industrial Design 


Patrizia D’Olivo is a PhD candidate working in the ID-Studiolab and part of the Connected Everyday Lab Group at the faculty of Industrial Design at Delft University of Technology.

She has a background in Industrial Design (BSc), Design & Engineering (MSc) and experience in Material Selection developed in her previous studies at Politecnico di Milano (Italy). During her master graduation project she focused on the investigation of sensorial properties of materials and she specifically dived into the discipline of Sensory Metrology. The project, a collaboration between the Politecnico di Milano and the Sensomines group, was founded by the OSEM program of the French Ministry for Industry. The result of the project, named Sensorialist has been awarded with the Targa Giovani in the ADI Design Index 2013 and selected for the XXIII Compasso d’Oro Award competition.

Following her interest on materials but attracted by the possibility to merge it with interactive technologies, she joined a project on material practices of connectedness under the supervision of Pr. dr. Elisa Giaccardi and Dr. Elvin Karana at the Delft University of Technology. The project named Geistresulted in a family of connected objects for people living outside their native country to help them to develop and maintain a sense of belonging and identity. 
The curiosity towards tactful products able to merge technology and material features as mean of communication between families brought her to start her current PhD journey. Her research focuses on understanding how a New Normal can be built in response to life-disruptive events such as childhood cancer. A Research-Through-Design approach is used in order to develop strategies to design interactive products capable to empower children and their families dealing with this situation and to maintain a normal family life . The research is part of the project ‘Meedoen=Groeien!’ (participating is growing).


  • 2014 - present
    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) 


  • 2014 – 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 – 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!