HCI design of digital and tangible technologies for climate action!

External Member

ANU Institute for Climate, Energy, & Disaster Solutions


Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing our planet, and now is the time to take urgent action. Technology is both a contributor to carbon emissions and waste, but also offers new possibilities to help reshape our practices, and rethink our relationships with planet Earth and with each other.

This human-computer interaction (HCI) project involves designing, implementing, and evaluating new technologies for climate action. Your project can contribute to the ANU Below Zero goal “for ANU to achieve below zero emissions by 2030 for energy, waste, work travel and direct on-campus greenhouse gas emissions”.

You will create a digital and/or tangible technology design relating to climate action that engages people with these issues in fun and interesting ways. You can incorporate machine learning and/or data visualisation into the design if you have the skills and interest to do so.

You will need to propose your own project idea. Possible project areas include:

  • Visualising carbon emissions and resource consumption data
  • Designing to manage and reduce waste
  • Designing tangible games for climate action
  • Designing new platforms for the sharing economy and zero waste practices
  • Designing for community preparedness for, and recovery from, natural disasters
  • Designing to facilitate behaviour change by individuals and communities
  • Designing to promote connectedness to place (e.g., through activities such as GPS art, guided bushwalks etc.)

If your project is relevant to ANU Below Zero, you may have the opportunity to share your completed project on the ANU Below Zero website and social media channels if you wish.


Project Requirements

This project will involve the following activities, depending on your project length:

  • Conducting a literature review
  • Applying for human research ethics approval (as a protocol variation)
  • Undertaking qualitative user research using methods such as interviews, diary studies, cultural probes, sensory ethnography etc. and/or co-design with participants
  • Technology development and implementation
  • Evaluating your technology design with prospective users

If you have previously completed COMP3900/COMP6390, you cannot reuse any part of your coursework assessment for this project. You must choose a different topic to your COMP3900/COMP6390 assessment.

Required Skills and Prerequisities

To apply for this project, you must have:

  • Completed COMP3900/COMP6390, a HCI/UX project, or can demonstrate equivalent experience with qualitative design research methods
  • (For digital technology projects) Completed coursework or experience in programming, mobile application and/or web application development
  • (For tangible user interface projects) Completed coursework in electrical engineering and/or familiarity with electronics
  • You must have a passion for your proposed project topic and have the skills to complete your project independently within the given timeframe

How to Apply

To submit an expression of interest for this project, please email jennyfer.taylor@anu.edu.au by Monday 14 February 2022 with the subject line: “Student Project EOI: HCI design of digital and tangible technologies for climate action!”

Your email must include all of the following for your application to be considered:

  • Academic transcript(s)
  • CV
  • 1-page project proposal with your project idea, motivation, methods, deliverables, and timeline. You should reference HCI publications from the ACM Digital Library in your proposal to show how your idea is new or different to what has been done before. State your degree program, project course code, and project length

Background Literature


Environmental sustainability, climate change, emissions reduction, carbon negative, ANU Below Zero, human-computer interaction, web applications, mobile applications, tangible user interfaces

Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing