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Dr Nicole Lotz

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Lecturer in Design
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Engineering & Innovation
  • nicole.lotz

Professional biography

I joined the Open University as a Lecturer in Design in 2008. Before, 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

Research interests

My research interests include investigations of cultural factors, collaboration and best practice in designing. I currently supervise 2 PhD students, with one completed supervision. Andreas Peter looked at prototyping in design collaboration and graduated in 2015. Iain Aitchison investigates curricula development in design education and Tanveer Ahmed considers the inequalities in fashion design education. I am happy to supervise PhD students in subjects that broadly align with my interest framed by current and par projects.

Are we making progress? Progression through learners’ interaction in OpenStudio across a qualification (2015 - ongoing)

This OU internally funded project (eSTEeM, 6k) looks at learners' engagement with the online design community 'Open Design Studio' across the Design and Innovation qualification at the Open University.

Unite: 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 about 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

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 Wikis on design patterns

- in Cross-cultural collaboration

- in Learning design

- in self-directed learning

and a Cloudscape on design pedagogy.


Teaching interests

In my teaching, I am involved, to some degree, in all our core Design and Innovation Qualification modules. I took part in the production of the groundbreaking Design Thinking module - U101, and I am now presentation chair for U101. I was presentation chair for Design and Designing - T211 until 2012. I was part of the production team of the third level module Innovation: Designing for change - T317.

Previously I have gained teaching experience in Hong Kong, at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and in the CONVIVIO international interaction design summer school in Romania.

Impact and engagement

Building stories (2013)

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

I have worked with Botho University in Botswana, and currently establish a network with NOUN, the National Open University of Nigeria. 


The influence of cognitive style, design setting and cultural background on sketch-based ideation by novice interaction designers (2017)
Lotz, Nicole and Sharp, Helen
The Design Journal, 20(3) (pp. 333-356)
A process model for developing learning design patterns with international scope (2014-06-06)
Lotz, Nicole; Law, Effie Lai-Chong and Nguyen-Ngoc, Anh Vu
Educational Technology Research and Development, 62(3) (pp. 293-314)
Team design communication patterns in e-learning design and development (2013-08)
Rapanta, Chrysi; Maina, Marcelo; Lotz, Nicole and Bacchelli, Alberto
Educational Technology Research and Development, 61(4) (pp. 581-605)
Design patterns for cross-cultural collaboration (2009)
Schadewitz, Nicole
International Journal of Design, 3(3) (pp. 37-53)
Deep Space (2007-01)
Schadewitz, N.; Jachna, T. and Santo, Y.
International Journal of Architectural Computing, 5(1) (pp. 146-160)
Just breathe (2014)
Lotz, Nicole and Jones, Derek
In: Williams, Alison; Jones, Derek and Robertson, Judy eds. BITE: Recipes for Remarkable Research (pp. 144-145)
ISBN : 978-94-6209-583-0 | Publisher : Sense Publishers | Published : Rotterdam
Disziplinen der Produktentwicklung aus der Perspektive des angelsächsischen Raums (2011-03-24)
Eckert, Claudia and Schadewitz, Nicole
In: Banse, Gerhard and Fleischer, Lutz-Günther eds. Wissenschaft im Kontext. Inter- und Transdisziplinarität in Theorie und Praxis. Abhandlungen der Leibniz-Sozietät der Wissenschaften (27)
ISBN : 978-3-89626-896-9 | Publisher : trafo wissenschaft verlag | Published : Berlin
Innovative collaborative design in international interaction design summer schools (2009)
Schadewitz, Nicole
In: Poggenpohl, Sharon and Sato, Keiichi eds. Design Integrations: Research and Collaboration (pp. 230-250)
ISBN : 9781841502403 | Publisher : Intellect | Published : UK
Social engagement in online design pedagogies (2015-06-28)
Lotz, Nicole; Jones, Derek and Holden, Georgina
In : 3rd International Conference for Design Education Researchers (28-30 June 2015, Chicago, Il, USA) (pp. 1645-1668)
Out of sight, out of mind: curriculum representation in design education today (2015-06-28)
Aitchison, Iain; Dewberry, Emma and Lotz, Nicole
In : 3rd International Conference for Design Education Researchers (28-30 June 2015, Chicago, Il, USA) (pp. 1536-1551)
Framing behaviours in novice interaction designers (2014-06)
Lotz, Nicole; Sharp, Helen; Woodroffe, Mark; Blyth, Richard; Rajah, Dino and Ranganai, Turugare
In : DRS 2014: Design's Big Debates. (16-19 June 2014, Umeå, Sweden) (pp. 1178-1190)
A protocol study of novice interaction design behaviour in Botswana: solution-driven interaction design (2013-09)
Sharp, Helen; Lotz, Nicole; Blyth, Richard; Woodroffe, Mark; Rajah, Dino and Ranganai, Turugare
In : BCS HCI Conference 2013 (9-13 September 2013, London)
Co-evolving problems and solutions: The case of novice interaction designers in Botswana and the UK (2013-08)
Lotz, Nicole; Sharp, Helen; Woodroffe, Mark; Richard, Blyth; Rajah, Dino and Ranganai, Turugare
In : IASDR (26-30 August, Tokyo, Japan) (pp. 1004-1015)
The effect of prototyping material on verbal and non-verbal behaviours in collaborative design tasks (2013-08)
Peter, Andreas; Lotz, Nicole; McDonnell, Janet and Lloyd, Peter
In : 5th International Congress of International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR) (26-30 August 2013, Tokyo, Japan) (pp. 2382-2393)
A frame signature matrix for analysing and comparing interaction design behaviour (2012-09)
Blyth, Richard; Schadewitz, Nicole; Sharp, Helen; Woodroffe, Mark; Rajah, Dino and Turugare, Ranganai
In : BCS HCI Conference (12-14 September 2012, Birmingham)
Talk around things: prototyping and discussion in the design process (2011)
Peter, Andreas; Schadewitz, Nicole and Lloyd, Peter
In : 4th World Conference on Design Research (IASDR2011) (31 Oct - 4 Nov 2011, Delft, The Netherlands)
Design and communication patterns observed in an eLearning design team: A case-study (2010-06-29)
Rapanta, Chrysi; Schadewitz, Nicole and Holden, Georgina
In : World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications (Ed-Media 2010) (29 Jun 2010, Toronto, Canada) (pp. 356-365)
Design education, design research (2009-09)
Holden, Georgina; Schadewitz, Nicole and Zamenopoulos, Theodore
In : Designs on Elearning (02-04 Sep 2009, Online)
Cross-cultural collaboration Wiki: evolving knowledge about international teamwork (2009-02-20)
Schadewitz, Nicole and Zakaria , Norhayati
In : 2009 International Workshop on Intercultural Collaboration (IWIC '09) (20-21 Feb 2009, Palo Alto, CA, USA)
Towards an online design studio: a study of social networking in design distance learning (2009)
Schadewitz, Nicole and Zamenopoulos, Theodore
In : International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR) Conference 2009 (18-22 Oct 2009, Seoul, South Korea)
STAR framework revisited: Curriculum for user-centered design summer schools (2008)
Roberts, Joi L.; Schadewitz, Nicole and Adler, Pedro Jorge
In : Proceedings of Connected 2007, International Conference on Design Education (July 9-12 2007, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
Utilising Flash Meeting software in collaborative design-learning (2008)
Schadewitz, Nicole; Garner, Steven and Ferreira, Giselle
In : HCI for Technology Enhanced Learning, at HCI 2008: Culture, Creativity and Interaction (1 Sep 2008, Liverpool, UK)
Utilizing FM software in collaborative design-learning (2008)
Schadewitz, Nicole; Garner, Steve and Ferreira, Giselle
In : HCI 2008 Workshop 'HCI for Technology-Enhanced Learning' (15 Sep 2008, Liverpool)
Comparing inductive and deductive methodologies for design patterns identification and articulation (2007-11)
Schadewitz, Nicole and Jachna, Timothy
In : International Design Research Conference IADSR 2007 Emerging Trends in Design Research (12-15 November 2007, Hong Kong)
Introducing New Methodologies for Identifying Design Patterns for Internationalization and Localization (2007-07)
Schadewitz, Nicole and Jachna, Timothy
In : International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCII) (22-27 July 2007, Beijing, China)
Comparing design summer schools in European and Asian contexts (2006-11-10)
Schadewitz, Nicole and Jachna, Timothy
In : Proceedings of the International Design Research Symposium, IDRS (10-12 November 2006, Seoul, Korea)
The STAR Interaction Design Summer Schools Framework (2006-11)
Schadewitz, Nicole; Adler, Pedro-Jorge; Moncur, Wendy and Roberts, Joi
In : Proceedings of WONDERGROUND, International Deign Research Conference (1-3 November 2006, Lisbon, Portugal)
Interaction and Interface Design Patterns for Intercultural Collaboration (2005-07)
Schadewitz, Nicole
In : Proceedings of the 7th International Workshop on Internationalisation of Products and Systems (IWIPS '05) (7-9 July 2005, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Interface and Interaction Design Patterns for Intercultural Collaboration (2005-07)
Schadewitz, Nicole
In : Proceedings of the Seventh International Workshop on Internationalisation of Products and Systems (7-9 July 2005, Amsterdam)

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