Avril Accolla

Brief bio

Avril Accolla, designer, inventor and author, dedicated her career to Design for All (DfA), Holistic Ergonomics, Design Driven Social Innovation, and Sustainable Development. Associate Professor and Director of the ResearchLab for Sustainable Business & Cultural Bridge - Design & Innovation College, Tongji University, Shanghai, focuses on Sustainability’s impact in China (economical-social-environmental). Among the partners of the ResLab: IVECO, Aden Group, Santoni, Itema, FMMG, SilverHeights Winery, Italian Trade Agency, Italian Institute of Culture in Shanghai MAECI, Ganzi Prefecture Economic Cooperation Bureau.

She served as Vice President of DfA Europe and DfA Italy and received the Compasso d’Oro Honorable Mention and the DfA QualityS Label.


Among her publications, the book Design for All, on Social Innovation for Sustainable Development, published by FrancoAngeli Ed. at its 6th reprint, also translated in Spanish, is published in a new Chinese edition ”全民设计:面向真实个体的设计” by Tongji University Press.


Designed and taught courses in 15 universities in 7 different countries. Project leader and teacher in customized courses and workshops for private companies (middle management) and institutions, does keynotes and workshops in more than 40 conferences in 16 countries.

Appointed as expert for the preparation of the Innovation Policy “Design as a tool for Innovation” by the EU Commission DG Enterprise.

Appointed International Scientific Director for the Spanish research project “DfA Curricula in Universities” redesigning academic education for social innovation and integration.


Designs and researches strategies, systems, products, and corporate communication for multinational industrial groups (e.g., Mars Inc., Legrand SA, Lactalis SA, Autogrill Group), SMEs, institutions and NPOs (e.g., TNO, several Chambers of Commerce, Italian Trade Agency) in different sectors (such as industrial and consumer products, machinery, medical, branding, communication, food value chain) implementing strategies for profitability in new markets and major gains brought by the DfA and related methodologies.

Managed a production engineering R&D department focusing on industrialization of innovative products including mechanical and medical products and appointed Design & Brand director for a lighting company.

Received several acknowledgements for her industrial designs and created various Invention Patents, including for medical sector in China, exported to the USA, and sustainable packaging.



 Works fluently in Italian, English and Spanish; Chinese HSK3 certification.



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TEL +86 21 65983432
FAX +86 21 65983432
No.281 Fuxin Road, Yangpu District, Shanghai, China
College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University