Learn how to address everyday
life toward positive and
focused state of mind


At a time when wellbeing and happiness for each person has become a major topic of concern, we want to collect and share an informal knowledge of effective self-care strategies. This source involves the practitioners' ways of approaching and handling performance anxiety, the use of mindful sources and bodywork activities and other sources of good habits effects. Since it has developed by years of practice and despite of more formalized system of psychological approaches, humans intrinsic ability of stress survival has demonstrated its function to be more sustainable and effective in a long term than outsider intervention and institutions.

The problem is the lack of resources that performing artists have in sustaining good health and wellbeing and the gap in educational sectors in providing effective motivational strategies. Training the new performers and next generation in the ways of self-care and stress consciousness was usually done under the oversight of community members and the teacher. Following this storytelling tradition, stories by professional musicians and actors can create a fruitful social-learning environment and help the new generations of performers to care of their emotional health and to improve their lifestyle by enhancing their skills in anxiety management.

The uniqueness point of the research is the methodological approach driven by the design perspective.

If psychology and cognitive science can provide research tools and direction to go through the body-mind balance, user-centered design talks about how to help people to engage with positive behaviours and be motivated.

With the design approach we want to construct a meaning in the performance world that is qualitative and social. As output of the research the Open Access Toolkit provides an aid to help people explore their own thinking and relationship with behaviours that make them healthy, happy and efficient.

One benefit of be part of this project is personal, insider knowledge of coping stress strategies makes people confident and performances more effective. Another is public, sharing your best experiences through peers and become a testimonial is a way to support a wider community involved in personal growth processes. This bunch of knowledge offers the best form of personalized lifestyle improvements as different coping strategies respond best to different people.

For this reason the potential value of the Open Toolkit can be estimated with the growing of its community:
who has the power to incorporate positive strategies to flourish in their own potentials.


This research galvanises the potential of an interdisciplinary team specialized in music and theater performance, design research, performance science and social science:

  • to provide a self-learning framework of informal knowledge and to support the promotion of emotional health and wellbeing;
  • to create an Open Access Toolkit to collect and share best practices for training and developing anxiety management skills;
  • to contribute to the research and development of interdisciplinary projects around the topics of the design for wellbeing.


Design for Wellbeing will generate new knowledge throughout two main outputs:

Open Access Toolkit

The Open Access Toolkit aims to bring a bottom-up perspective to the stress regulation practices. This digital toolkit wants to support emotional-regulation skills and their development through social learning dynamics considering important aspect such as knowledge sharing and self-growth engagement. It provides a framework to collect and address a suite of self-learning strategies for enhancing the concentration, motivation and positive attitudes in life challenging situations.

Future Scenarios

Knowledge transfer and cross fertilization are the priorities of this research project. The project aims to drive a co-creation and co-design workshop on the prototyping of new enhanced solutions through the collaboration of computational designers, technologists, researchers, performing artists and professionals. The Future Scenario is a one day design workshop that will be held in February 2018.

Who we are

SUPSI - Laboratory of Visual Culture (LCV)

Part of the Department for Environment Constructions and Design, LCV is a space for applied research into the practices and socio-cultural meanings of visual culture and interactive media. In a context of transforming media communication and interfaces culture, we study the application, processes and methods of interactive technologies. We contextualise emerging practices critically reflecting on the user experiences, behaviours, aesthetics and impacts. LCV researches and develops educational models to explore the convergence of technology and design via prototyping and to promote the integration of bottom-up innovation models and community-driven approaches in design and education.

SUPSI - Dipartimento economia aziendale, sanità e sociale (DEASS)

The Department of Business Economics, Health and Social Care (DEASS) was created in 2014 from the fusion of the Department of Health (DSAN) and the Department of Business and Social Sciences (DSAS). Integrating three sectors (business economics, social and health care) under one roof allowed the Department to set itself the objective of tackling the complex problems of today’s world more effectively, implementing a range of competences that vary in terms of subject area but that have historically displayed a natural tendency toward integration.

Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana (CSI)

The University of Music is an affiliated department of SUPSI. The Conservatorio’s recognition as a University of Music has laid firm foundations for its continuing growth and rapidly developing initiatives. Flexible programmes of study, avant-garde research projects, teachers who are also top international performers. The growth of the Department of Research and Development has played a crucial part in bringing together musical scholarship and performance, with frequent exchanges of research and expertise.
Teaching and research are closely related. Interaction between these two fields of activity is fundamental to the School’s educational approach, helping to produce high-quality musicians and teachers.

Accademia Teatro Dimitri (ATD)

The Accademia Teatro Dimitri is a professional theater conservatory located in Verscio. Close to Monte Verità in Ascona, which became famous worldwide for the experiences of avant-garde artists of the early twentieth century, the region of the Terre di Pedemonte provides a context and an unparalleled atmosphere, a fountain of inspiration and beauty. This is a place in which the students are totally immersed in their practice and artistic research, inspired by the international ambiance which unites students and teachers from twenty different countries.
The training with a specialization in Physical Theatre offers a unique path for students, with the goal of developing their creativity and their personality, as well as the acquisition and deepening of artistic techniques. The Accademia Teatro Dimitri is affiliated with SUPSI.



Vanessa De Luca

Coordinator and project manager

Aaron Williamon
Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana

Coordinator and scientific supervisor

Ruth Hungerbühler
Accademia Teatro Dimitri

Responsible of ATD, leads the ATD contribution

Daniel Bausch
Accademia Teatro Dimitri

Responsible of Bachelor program and prof. of theatre improvisation

Hubert Eiholzer
Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana

Responsible of CSI, leads CSI contribution

Cinzia Cruder
Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana

Research on Performance and Health

Denise Lombardi
Scientific collaborator

Ethnographic research

Stefan Kunz

Supervisor of learning and social science approaches

Giancarlo Gianocca

Visual Design

Valentina Meldi

Visual Design

Marco Lurati

Design and Web Development

Marta Pucciarelli

Ph.D Student


Ascenso S, Williamon A, & Perkins R (2017), Understanding the psychological wellbeing of professional musicians through the lens of positive psychology, Psychology of Music, 45, 65-81.

De Luca V. (2017) Design for Wellbeing, Intervista a Vanessa De Luca, Articolo del mese Clickin, Progetto del mese, Aprile 2017

De Luca V. (2016) On positive emotions and design: a game card tool to increase the participatory design activity, Short Paper, Mobile Wellbeing workshop, NordiCHI’16, Gothenburg, October 23

De Luca V., (2016) Emotions-Based Interactions: Design Challenges For Increasing Well-Being, in proceedings of D&E2016 10th International Conference on Design and Emotions, Amsterdam, 27-30 September 2016

De Luca V., (2016) Oltre l’interfaccia: emozioni e design dell’interazione per il benessere, MDJournal Material Design, n.1: 2016.

Williamon, A.. (2004). Musical Excellence, Strategies and Techniques to enhance performance (Oxford)

Williamon, A., Aufegger L., Wasley D., Looney D., & Mandic D.P. (2013), Complexity of physiological responses decreases in high stress musical performance, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 10 (89), 1-6.

Williamon A., Aufegger L., & Eiholzer H. (2014), Simulating and stimulating performance: Introducing distributed simulation to enhance musical learning and performance, Frontiers in Psychology, 5(25), 1-9.