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This page describes the thesis of the Interaction Design programme at IUAV University of Venice.


The thesis proposal must be prepared by the end of the second term in Year 2 and the thesis submitted for exam in the following October, February, April or July. Gillian Crampton Smith and Philip Tabor can advise on defining topics related to interaction design, and on possible supervisors (relatori) and co-supervisors.

Gillian Crampton Smith or Philip Tabor may also, as an individual, accept nominations as supervisor (but not co-supervisor) to a small number of students. They consider proposals from students who wish to study with them shortly before the faculty deadline and select those proposals where they feel they can be most helpful. They normally give priority to students who have done at last three, and ideally four, of their core studio courses. They organize their supervisions jointly and are available as supervisors only for the period October to mid-April. This implies submission to the April exam, because the January exam is normally too early. This, in turn, implies full-time work on the thesis (no employment or other study) from 1 October to the April exam.


Potential employers probably regard the thesis as the most reliable demonstration of a student’s interests and ability. To ensure its high standard, and that it finishes on time, Gillian Crampton Smith or Philip Tabor ask their supervisees to divide their time into three phases:

1 Topic definition and research (Year 2, trimester 3 and summer vacation: mid-April to end September). Define the scope and detail of the design project, and research the work of relevant other people who have written or designed in this field. Write 1–2 introductory chapters, outlining this research, of the thesis report. GCS and PT normally answer emails during this period, but are not available for intensive advice

2 Design (‘Year 3’, trimester 1: start October to mid-December). Work full-time to develop, complete and prototype the design, and attend one tutorial with GCS and/or PT, usually every one or two weeks, in the Lab studio

3 Report (‘Year 3’, trimester 2: mid-January to end March). Work full-time to write, design and produce the report (which may be written in Italian or English. Gillian Crampton Smith and Philip Tabor normally correspond by email but give tutorials if necessary.



In this section


This website concerns aspects of Gillian Crampton Smith and Philip Tabor’s interaction design courses. But it is not necessarily a comprehensive, correct or updated description of IUAV University and its activities, requirements and procedures. On all such matters readers should take IUAV’s administrative staff and official website as their most reliable sources of information.

Image: Screenshot from 'Inspiration Seeker' a digital system for designers to catalogue, locate and share inspiring source material. Thesis project by Claudia Zanon, 2007.