Alice Comi

Alice Comi

Associate Professor



Alice’s research explores the intersections between design and organization, with a focus on the management of the design process and its development of innovative solutions. She is especially interested in the role of visual artifacts (e.g. drawings, models, and sketches) in practices of designing and organizing for the future.


Alice’s research develops in three directions: 1) practice-based studies of designing and organizing, 2) methodological studies on the uses of visual data, and 3) theoretical studies of design and organization. Common to these research trajectories is an interest in advancing our understanding of design work, future making, visuality and materiality.


Alice’s research was published in leading journals in design and organization studies, and received support from funding agencies in China, Finland and Switzerland. Alice is committed to making her research impactful, for example by involving participants in the analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of findings.




Alice teaches themes of design and entrepreneurship, as well as research methods. Her teaching philosophy centers on active learning and involves use of playful techniques for teaching and learning.


Academic and social Post


Alice is currently an Associate Professor in the College of Design and Innovation. She is also serving as the assistant managing editor of She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation.


Education Background


Alice holds a PhD from USI (Università della Svizzera italiana) and an MSc in Communication and Economics. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK).


Work Experience


Prior to joining Tongji University, Alice was a Senior Lecturer in Business Design at Kingston Business School in London, UK. She also held academic posts in the International Design Business Management program at Aalto University (Finland) and the Design Innovation Research Centre at the University of Reading (UK).



Journal articles:

Whyte J., Comi A., Mosca L. (2022). Making futures that matter? Future making, online working and organizing remotely. Organization Theory, January 2022.

Comi A., Vaara E. (2021). Political Dynamics in Knowledge Work: Using Visual Artifacts to Deal with Pragmatic Boundaries. Organization Science, 33(5): 1837-1860.

Kniel J., Comi A. (2021). Riding the Same Wavelength: Designers’ Perceptions of Shared Understanding in Remote Teams. SAGE Open, July-September 2021: 1–14.

Alexander, E., Eppler, M.J., & Comi, A. (2021). Data Integration: A Real-Time, Participant-Driven, and Visually Supported Method. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 15(1), 87-113.

Comi, A., Jaradat, S., & Whyte, J. (2019). Constructing Shared Professional Vision in Design Work: The Role of Visual Objects and their Material Mediation. Design Studies, 64, 90-123.

Comi, A., & Whyte, J. (2018). Future Making and Visual Artefacts: An Ethnographic Study of a Design Project. Organization Studies, 39(8), 1055-1083.

Bresciani, S., & Comi, A. (2017). Facilitating Culturally Diverse Groups with Visual Templates in Collaborative Systems: Increasing Structuration to Improve Precision. Cross Cultural and Strategic Management, 24(1), 78-98.

Whyte, J., Tryggestad, K., & Comi, A. (2016). Visualizing practices in project-based design: tracing connections through cascades of visual representations. Engineering Project Organization Journal, 6(2-4), 115-128.

Comi, A., Lurati, F., & Zamparini, A. (2015). Green Alliances: How Does Ecophilosophy Shape the Strategies of Environmental Organizations? Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 26(4), 1288-1313.

Comi, A., Bischof, N., & Eppler, M.J. (2014). Beyond Projection. Using Collaborative Visualizations to Conduct Qualitative Interviews. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, 9(2), 110-133.

Comi, A., & Eppler, M.J. (2014). Diagnosing Capabilities in Family Firms: An Overview of Visual Research Methods and Suggestions for Future Applications. Journal of Family Business Strategy, Special Issue: “Research Methods”, 5(1), 41-51.

Comi, A., & Eppler, M.J. (2011). Assessing the Impact of Visual Facilitation on Inter-Organizational Collaboration: an Experimental Study. Journal of Universal Computer Science, 17(10), 1430-1454.

Book chapters:

Comi, A. (2020). The Paper Shredder. In Beyes, T., Holt, R., & Pias, C. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Media, Technology, and Organization Studies, OUP: Oxford, UK.

Comi, A. Eppler, M.J, & Franco, A. (2017). Sustaining collective sensemaking in teams. In Bendoly, E., & Clark, S. (Eds.), Visual Analytics for Management, Taylor & Francis: New York, NY.

Comi, A., & Eppler, M.J. (2016). Building Strategic Alliances in New and Small Ventures: A Review of Literature and Integrative Framework. In T.K. Das (Ed.), Strategic Alliances for SME Development, Book Series Research in Strategic Alliances, IAP: Charlotte, NC.

Book review:

Comi, A. (2013). Book Review: “Advances in Visual Methodology” by Sarah Pink, 2012, SAGE, 271 pp. Visual Methodologies 2(1).



Email: alicecomi@tongji.edu.cn

Web: https://alicecomi.wordpress.com/


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