Avril Accolla

. Associate professor in design, College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, Shanghai (China)

. academic representative for Tongji-Polimi Shenzhen Platform.

. Scientific Advisory Board and Session’s Chair, in conference Design for Inclusion, AHFE International Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics Conference

. Principal Investigator (PI) China in EU funded project - OD&M: A Knowledge Alliance between HEIs, makers and manufacturers to boost Open Design & Manufacturing in Europe_ 30 partners, 10 beneficiaries, 6 countries


Avril Accolla, designer, scholar and author, researches, and designs accordingly, on Design for All, Design Driven Social Innovation, Holistic Ergonomics, Strategic Design and Sustainable Development.

Her book “Design for All. The project for the real individual” ed. FrancoAngeli, 5° reprint, founds the implementation of DfA approach in the industrial world, from its strategic, production and commercial perspective (translated in Spanish by ONCE, now publishing in Chinese).


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

Designs and teaches 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 then 40 conferences in 16 countries.


Focusing on innovative experiences, designs and researches for multinationals (e.g. Legrand SA, Lactalis SA, Mars Inc.), SMEs, institutions, NPOs (e.g. TNO, EU Commission’s DG Enterprise, Milan Chamber of Commerce) in different sectors (e.g. information network, medical, electrical, food, kids, applied science, home).

Professionally works since 1998, in 2002 founded avrildesign (design consultancy on product, systems and multimedia), focusing on Design for All (DfA). Co-founder and partner of Confluenze Design-Ergonomics-Marketing

network, co-founder and partner of IDI Italian Designed Innovation ltd. Managed a production engineering R&D

department focusing on industrialization of innovative products also in mechanical and medical area.

Graduated with distinction (Bachelor+Master of Science_ final 100/100) in Industrial Design, Faculty of Architecture, Politecnico di Milano, with the thesis on DfA ‘Designing the Normality’, further specializes in Design Direction, Diversity, Marketing, Training Management, Prototyping.


Created various Invention Patents and received several acknowledgements for her design – industrial and communication - among which the Compassod’Oro Honorable Mention and the DfA Quality Label.


Co-Founder of Italian Scholars in China and former board director, former Vice-President EIDD DfA Europe and Vice-president DfA Italia, former Professional Member ADI and Professional Member DfA.


Works and teaches in Italian, English, Spanish. Notions of Chinese.


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College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University