Photo of Lois Frankel

Lois Frankel

School of Industrial Design & School of Information Technology

Degrees:BFA (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design), M.E.DES (I.D) (University of Calgary), Ph.D (Concordia University)

Research Interests

Dr. Frankel is a qualitative researcher with a focus on design for persons with disabilities, especially sensory aspects of design and user experience. She is an Adjunct Research Professor and past Associate Professor in the School of Industrial Design and the School of Information Technology at Carleton University. She is also a co-applicant in the Research and Education in Accessibility, Design, and Innovation (READi) NSERC CREATE Grant and developed and taught the Accessibility and Inclusive Design Seminar course (IDES 5104) for READi students.


Dr. Frankel’s design research for smart products for the elderly and persons with disabilities began in collaboration with the TAFETA (Technology Assisted Friendly Environments for the Third Age) group at the Elisabeth Bruyere Health Centre in Ottawa in 2002. Since then, she and her students have conducted ethnographic research and design to improve products that support people’s practices related to balance, communication, dexterity, mobility, memory, and cognition in areas such as art, cooking, exercise- particularly post-rehabilitation exercise, shopping, and socializing. This work involves immersive participatory and co-design workshops with stakeholders who are involved in the outcomes of the design process- products, spaces or services that improve people’s experiences and practices.

Selected Publications and Workshops

Co-Organizer, Peer-Reviewed Workshop, CPSI (Creative Problem-Solving Institute) GROW Virtual Creativity Conference, Online Sketching Soundscape Scenarios, Buffalo, NY, 7-24, 2021.

Co-Organizer, Peer-Reviewed Workshop, Engaging the Senses Through Design: The Sense-It! Kit. Uncommon Senses III Conference, Concordia University, Montreal, 6-9 May 2021. Online.

Fayazi, Neda and Frankel, L. 2020. Exploring How People Interpret Interactive Wearables with Biophilic Movement. Poster accepted for the Design Principles and Practices 2020 Conference. March 16-18, 2020. New York. Online.

McCauley, Lindsay, and Frankel. Lois. An Interdisciplinary Framework for Designing Adaptive Snowsports Equipment. In Proc. 3rd International Conference on Interdisciplinary Practice in Industrial Design at the 11th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE), July 16-20, 2020. Online.

Fayazi, Neda and Frankel, Lois. Creating Emotional Attachment with Assistive Wearables. In Proc. HCI International 2020, 22nd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, Copenhagen, Denmark, 19-24 July 2020. Online

Özcan, Elif, Frankel Lois, Stewart, Jesse. (2019). Uncommon music making: The functional roles of music in design for healthcare. Music and Medicine; An Interdisciplinary Journal 11(4).