Magazine Contacts

Marco Ajovalasit

Marco Ajovalasit is Associate Professor at the Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.
His research is in the field of “design for meaning” and “human-centred design methods”. Focus is on the development of a toolkit for designers for organising the consideration of the intended meaning of artefacts. Particular emphasis is placed on the thinking process, dialogue and use of semantics consumers and designers typically associate to the understanding of the designed artefact. Research also focuses on identifying human centred design methods for the purpose of designing artefacts based on new meanings and new scenarios for the consumers, including the use of data, designing ethnography, real fictions and co-creation.

Prof. Ajovalasit has been Principal Investigator of several projects including a £3.2M Collaborative FP7 EU project “Light.Touch.Matters” (2013-2016), which focussed on a design-driven development of a fully new generation of smart materials that combine touch sensitivity with luminescence, based on latest developments in polymeric piezo materials and flexible OLEDs for care and well-being applications.

Prof. Ajovalasit has extensive knowledge of issues pertaining to human-centred design and to the human perception of sound and vibration
and their interpretation and verbalisation by the drivers in the automobile context,, signal processing analysis and psychophysical test protocols.

He has been teaching at the Politecnico di Milano, School of Design, since 2018. Prior to that he held the position of Reader in Design in the UK where he conducted both research and teaching in the field of Human Factors Design for 18 years. At the Politecnico di Milano he teaches in the Metadesign courses for the Degree Course in Industrial Product Design, in the Final Synthesis Laboratory in the Master Degree Course in Digital and Interaction Design, and in the Design for Digital Transformation course in the Master Degree Course in Product Service System Design (PSSD).

During his ten-year (2000-2010) collaborative research project with Shell Global Solutions Ltd, Prof Ajovalasit has developed industrial test methods for quantifying the human subjective response to haptic and acoustic stimuli as perceived by the driver at the steering wheel interface in automobiles. The research served as a starting point to understand how a driver’s feelings of engine roughness or unpleasantness change with changes in the chemical properties of the fuel so as to choose chemical compounds that meet and exceed customer expectations.

Prof. Ajovalasit has an M.Eng. equivalent degree in Mechanical Engineering (5-year course) awarded by The University of Studies of Palermo in Italy. He holds a Ph.D. degree obtained from The University of Sheffield, UK. He is a member of the Sound & Vibration Product Perception (SVPP) Committee of the Engineering Integrity Society (EIS), a member of the TSB Creative Industries, Knowledge Transfer Network

Research projects