The project asked whether autistic children can drive the design of digital technologies, to create meaningful, smart artefacts in their lives.

OutsideTheBox was conducted at the Institute of Design and Assessment of Technology, TU Wien and was funded by the Austrian Science Foundation(Project P 26281-N23). It ran from June 2014 to July 2017.


Technology has changed our lives. We find the cinema on Google Maps, use public transport with tickets on our mobile and let our watch tell us how many calories we have burnt and what is left in the fridge. And although people with autism are often drawn to technology, we know little about their ideas for future roles of technologies.

We co-design technologies with children with autism that are fun and meaningful in their lives. We let children guide us in this process instead of letting their deficits determine the requirements.

Our children are 6 to 8 years old and we conduct individual workshops in regular intervals in the context of their schools or other care environments. In the course of these workshops we design and make a smart thing - an object that has some unusual, technological features.


  • The project's portfolio gives a good overview of our work and the outcomes. In german and intended for the general public.
  • Resulting scientific publications can be found here.