You are here

  1. Home
  2. Dr Lisa Bowers

css pmedia

Dr Lisa Bowers


Dr Lisa Bowers

Profile summary

Web links

Professional biography

As an innovation-driven academic and TEL researcher, I have over 16 years of experience of practice and teaching in HE institutes in England and Ireland. Drawing on my experience as a Senior Fellow of the HEA and as chair of the Open University E&I Design exam board, I have experience in policymaking, degree program authorship, and leading academic and professional design staff. Additionally, I maintain a high level of quality as the chair of a 'learning inclusive' formative and summative assessment module.

Research interests

My research interests lie in the intersection of three fields; HCI, Inclusive design, Touch-led technologies. All these three fields come together into explorations of human interactions with touch-led computing for sight-impaired artisans, i.e. creation and development of systems that go beyond sight and reach into the surface recognition and interpretation of human touch within virtual worlds.  The promise of touch and sound augmented interactions is to deliver natural and efficient human-computer immersive interaction and to augment human-human contact through shared objects.

Achievements include internationally recognized status as an international research fellow in future technologies with Shanghai Open University (Shanghai). 

Externally funded projects

Makeactive UK: an exploration of Virtual Reality Maker Spaces for multi-user, collaborative design at a distance
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01 Jan 202231 Mar 2022Innovate UK

This project will explore the potential of a user-led multi-modal virtual studio environment that will facilitate touch and audio access for students with sight impaired acuities. The proposed sensory-based system will solve issues related to the sight impaired community of practitioners and students across a broad range of educational needs including, but not limited to, creative arts, engineering, and science. The sight impaired community who often feel alienated by the viso-centric nature of current computer-aided design (CAD) systems crucially need new tools to facilitate online access to CAD processes and workflows.

CoA: HAPPIE Audience of the Future - Creative touch, Design prototyping
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01 Dec 202031 Mar 2021UK Research and Innovation

For distance learning students often it is difficult to facilitate creative studio-based activities in the same format as conventional universities. This can result in a short fall of distance learning students ‘maker-process’ skills and practice. The benefits of haptic technology for applied online education, such as e-crafts and e-design practice, is that it enables and enriches the student’s hands-on approach. Currently haptic technology is able to aid students’ interactions to 3D virtual environments. However, haptics that could afford greater sensory engagements with the maker-process with a fidelity akin to real-world is still to be developed. This project aims to embed haptics within a variety of ‘hands-on’ methods, designed by Open University (Engineering and Innovation school) academics. This will enable the development of a working haptic prototype which will focus on haptics and the ‘maker-process’ aiming to add value to core learning technology resources for undergraduate and post graduate programmes. In line with the OU’s ‘access to learning policies’ there is a greater onus placed onto inclusive learning, and the provision of accessible learning technology to include a variety of learners with a range of needs e.g. sensory impairment, motor skills etc… By increasing access to virtual immersive technologies a wider student body could be given access to engage with their own version of the maker-process using multimodal interactions.


Dataset of user interactions across four large pilots on the use of augmented reality in learning experiences (2023)
Domínguez, Ana; Pacho, Guillermo; Bowers, Lisa; Wild, Fridolin; Alcock, Sarah; Chiazzese, Giuseppe; Farella, Mariella; Arrigo, Marco; Ross, David; Treacy, Rita; Yegorina, Darya; Mangina, Eleni and Masneri, Stefano
Scientific Data, 10, Article 823

Creative haptics: an evaluation of a haptic tool for non-sighted and visually impaired design students, studying at a distance (2021-09-01)
Bowers, Lisa and Hayle, Ryan
British Journal of Visual Impairment, 39(3) (pp. 214-230)

Touching creativity; a review and early pilot test of haptic tooling to support design practice, within a distance learning curriculum (2019)
Bowers, Lisa Jane
Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 34(1) (pp. 6-18)

Seeing with hands and touching with eyes: recovering sensorial attention to nature in primary schools (2024-05)
Colucci-Gray, Laura; Hancock, Jonathan; Islam, Riasat; Sharma, Nirwan; Manches, Andrew; Bowers, Lisa; Lakeman-Fraser, Poppy; Mozier, Stephen; Newman, Julie; Reuger, Stefan and Siddharthan, Advaith
In : First International Conference on Embodied Education (15-17 May 2024, Danish School of Education (DPU), Tuborgvej 164, 2400 Copenhagen, Denmark)

“We felt the textures from nature and it gave us new ideas”: Investigating sustainability education through primary school children’s natural and digital haptic touch explorations (2023-11-22)
Hancock, Jonathan; Colucci-Gray, Laura; Siddharthan, Advaith; Manches, Andrew; Sharma, Nirwan; Islam, Riasat; Bowers, Lisa; Reuger, Stefan; Lakeman-Fraser, Poppy; Newman, Julie; Mozier, Stephen and Barry, Richard
In : SERA Conference 2023 (Wednesday 22 - Friday 24 Nov 2023, Queen Margaret University, Musselburgh, United Kingdom) (p 108)