Profile | Claudia B. Rebola





Dr. Claudia B. Rebola is Associate Professor in the Industrial Design Department at Rhode Island School of Design. Dr. Rebola was also an Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Programs in the School of Industrial Design and head of the D-Matters Studio Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her work brings together design, science and technology to experiment, design and prototype innovative interactive products in the realm of communication and social interactions. Her specific interests are in application areas tailored to design for aging with an emphasis on humanizing technology, empowering users and celebrating the value of simplicity and tangibility in user-product interactions. She is co-founder of the Design and Technologies for Healthy Aging (DATHA) housed at the Center for Assistive Technologies and Environmental Access (CATEA).

She also works closely with the IDSA organization and participates as a committee member in several ACM conferences and Gerontological Societies. She publishes regularly in design, gerontology, human-computer interaction and related disciplines journals and conferences proceedings, including her new book “Designed Technologies for Healthy Aging” published by Morgan and Claypool. As a native of Argentina, she received her undergraduate degree on Industrial Design from the Universidad Nacional de Cordoba. She also holds an M.S. on Industrial Design and a Ph.D. on Information Design from North Carolina State University. Dr. Rebola has been a recipient of numerous honors and awards, among them the Fulbright-Hays Grant, Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Sigma Delta, and an Argentinean presidential recognition for outstanding academic achievements in the design discipline.





BUMP – Bridging Unmet Modes of Participation

Ongoing Sponsorship by the New Faculty Grant Awards at RISD 

This purpose of this project is to develop technologies for social connectedness that responds to the need of designing technology products for inclusion and integration and addressing issues of communication access experienced by the aging population.


TINT – Technology INTerventions for Retirement Communities

Ongoing Sponsorship by the New Faculty Grant Awards at RISD 

Social isolation/depression is a serious health issue among older adults, affecting health and leading to higher mortality rates. The purpose of this project is to develop proof-of-concept working prototypes for implementation, testing and research studies on social interactions at local retirement communities.


Design Approach of Social Feedback for Human-Robot Communications

Ongoing Brown University – RISD Collaboration

The purpose of this project is to understand, through research and design, the communication capabilities of a robot in order to design identities for effective human-robot interactions.


RERC TechSAge T3: Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Supportive Technologies for Successful Aging with Disability

Ongoing GA Tech Collaboration

The purpose of this project is to disseminate, train and promote the universal design of in home and community-based technologies within the umbrella of the the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technologies to Support Successful Aging with Disability (RERC TechSAge) conducting advanced rehabilitation engineering R&D to prevent, minimize or reverse the disabling effects of age-related losses and contextual factors on the independence, health and participation of people who are aging with chronic conditions or long-term impairment.


TUN: Technology Use and Needs of Older Adults in Retirement Communities


The purpose of this survey research project is to understand the state of technologies at retirement communities in the United States. The specific aims are 1- to understand the number, type and preference of technologies older adults 62+ possess and use; 2- to understand technologies possession and use across socio-economic status; and 3- to understand user needs linked to technologies use.


ER: Interior Design

Sponsored by EMI S.A. Argentina

The purpose of this project was to design the interior of ambulances for maximizing the use wall spaces as workplaces and aiding products for effective time-constrained decision making in emergency situations.



Sponsored by Department of Homeland Security, HKS Architecture Firm and Lennon Associates

The purpose of this class project was to design the bathroom and entry/security portal modules towards envisioning the future of healthy and safe hospital environments.


Universally Designed Assistive Technologies

Sponsored by the Wireless RERC at Georgia Tech

The purpose of this grant component project was to educate designers about designing technology within the Universal Design framework and promote better design of assistive technologies for people with disabilities.


Design and Technologies for Healthy Aging


The purpose of writing this book was to identify and present a variety of contemporary technologies to support older adults’ abilities to perform everyday activities. Efforts of industry, laboratories, and learning institutions were documented under four major categories: social connections, independent self care, healthy home and active lifestyle. The book contains well-documented and illustrative recent examples of designed technologies—ranging from wearable devices, to mobile applications, to assistive robots— on the broad areas of design and computation, including industrial design, interaction design, graphic design, human-computer interaction, software engineering, and artificial intelligence.



Contact Claudia B. Rebola