Carla Diana is a hybrid designer keenly focused on realizing new visions for smart objects and the Internet of Things. In her studio she works on future-specting projects in areas such as domestic robots, wearable devices and sentient kitchen appliances, combining experience in industrial and interaction design to create solutions that bridge the gap between the physical and the digital.  Carla has had a long-standing working relationship with the product innovation firm Smart Design and has received the honor of being named the firm’s first Smart Fellow. In this role, she overaw the Smart Interaction Lab, an initiative focused on design explorations in the form of tinkering and hands-on experimentation around topics such as expressive objects, digital making, and presence and awareness. She was also Advisor for the group Tomorrow-Lab, a young design firm that creates electro-mechanical solutions for smart devices.

In addition to her professional design work, Carla is a faculty member in the University of Pennsylvania’s Integrated Product Design Program where she developed the first courses focused on designing smart objects. She maintains strategic alliances with a number of academic research groups such as the UT Austin’s Socially Intelligent Machines Lab, and the Visible Futures Lab at the School of Visual Arts. From 2002 to 2007 she was Professor of Interactive Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she co-wrote the College’s first Interactive Design program and developed Physical Computing courses and a Physical Computing lab.

Her seminal article, “Talking, Walking Objects”, appeared on the cover of the New York Times Sunday Review in January 2013, and is a good representation of her view of our robotic future. She is the author of the first children’s book about the future of 3D printing and design, LEO the Maker Prince, published by Maker Media.

Carla holds an MFA in Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from The Cooper Union.

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I design robots and everyday objects that come to life through electronic behaviors. I work with companies of all sizes in addition to developing my own products and artwork, playing in the space where physical and digital meet.

I am the creator of interactive sound project, industrial designer for the iconic humanoid robot, Simon, and developer of Directives Digital Furniture (downloadable, laser-cut, design on-demand pieces).

Smart Design and the Smart Interaction Lab
Tomorrow-Lab, where I am Advisor
Socially Intelligent Machines Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where I collaborate on social robot design and was the shell designer for famous robots Simon and Curi.


Popular Science
LEO the Maker Prince (book)
The New York Times
The Atlantic
Qualcomm Spark
Smart Interaction Lab
Fast Company Co. Design

Here’s a small collection


I speak at various types of conferences and events.
Recently: Webvisions PortlandTEDxDrexelTEDxEmory and the IxD13 Conference.

I run workshops on creative design methods for professionals and students all over the globe. This Spring, I am launching newly created “Smart Objects” courses. at U Penn and SVA (PoDIxD) .

my expertise