Gaëlle Pillault

Gaëlle is a designer and PhD student in Design at the University of Aveiro and the University of Aalborg. Her professional and academic background is diverse, covering various disciplines of design, including communication design, which she studied in Montreal, Canada, as well as product design and spatial design. Currently, her work lies at the intersection of design and architecture, with a particular interest in micro-architecture. Her research focuses on the relationship between individuals and the built environment, specifically how the built environment and designed space influence our lived experience. The conceptual framework of her research draws on notions such as embodied cognition, enaction and affordance, and explores how the environment shapes our perceptions, interactions, and emotions. As a PhD candidate, she is currently funded by the FCT (The Foundation for Science and Technology, Portugal) as part of a doctoral program within the ECIU network, which is recognized as Europe's first university.

Current positions

  • FCT - ECIU Doctoral Fellow University of Aveiro & University of Aalborg


Book chapters
  • Pillault, G., & Pombo, F. (2023). Holistic design driven by the user experience for the renovation of Industrial Cultural Heritage. Human Dynamics and Design for the Development of Contemporary Societies (vol. 81., pp. 139–144). Link
  • Pillault, G., Tvedebrink, T. D. O., & Pombo, F. (n.d). Designing for meaningful Heritage: Affect, Embodiment and Emotional Sustainability. Design Commit, 1ST International Conference on Design & Industry. In The Design Journal, through the Design Commit Special Issue Call.
  • Pillault, G., Tvedebrink, T. D. O., Pombo, F. (n.d). Designing micro-architecture for embodied experiences of industrial heritage. The case of the Fábrica Centro Ciência Viva. International Handbook of Heritage and Affect: Designing and Experiencing Places of Heritage. Routledge.
International conferences
  • Pillault, G., & Pombo, F. (2023). O design para processos metamórficos enquadrados no património industrial: o estudo de caso da Fábrica Centro Ciência Viva de Aveiro. In Livro de atas UD22: metamorfose – 8o encontro de doutoramentos em design (pp. 230–238). Chapter, UA Editora. ISBN 978-972-789-845-9 DOI 10.48528/pbag-9511 Link
  • Pillault, G., Tvedebrink, T. D. O., Pombo, F. (2023). Designing micro-architecture for embodied experiences of industrial heritage. The case of the Fábrica Centro Ciência Viva. Heritage and Affect online conference. The University of Oklahoma. Nov 27, 2023.
  • Pillault, G., Pombo, F. (2023). Holistic Design Driven by the User Experience for the Renovation of Industrial Cultural Heritage. 14th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE) and the Affiliated Conferences 2023. Online conference, San Fransisco. Jul 20 – 24, 2023.
National conferences
  • Pillault, G., Tvedebrink, T. D. O., & Pombo, F. (2023). Experiencing built heritage trough embodied experiences. The design of spaces and atmospheres (pp. 397–397). Research Summit 2023, Universidade de Aveiro. In book of abstracts. Aveiro; Ua Editora. ISBN 978-972-789-892-3 Link
Other publications
  • Pillault, G. (2019). Rádio con:vida: contributos do design da concepção a realização da exposição. Dissertação de mestrado. Universidade de Aveiro Link

Scientific, artistic and cultural production

Other relevant cultural production
  • Pillault, G. (2021). 2nd prize International Design Competition for Students. Craft Cultural Heritage. A Chair with a Story: Design a chair with a strong element of Cultural Heritage
  • Pillault, G. (2019). Autora do Projecto Museográfico da exposição “E se Mendeleev estivesse aqui?”. Museu da cidade de Aveiro (out-nov 2019), Pavilhão do conhecimento, Lisboa, Portugal (dez-jan. 2020), Fabrica Centro Ciencia Viva de Aveiro, Portugal (2021).
  • Albino, Cláudia (2019) Co-autora com Gaëlle Pillault pelo Projecto Museográfico da exposição “Rádio Con:vida” Aveiro: Fábrica da Ciência Viva (1 de julho de 2019 a 30 de Junho de 2020)
  • Pillault, G. (2018). Membro da equipa do projeto “SOMA – Sounds and Memories of Aveiro”. Projecto de construção de um arquivo colaborativo de som e de memória para a região de Aveiro. (refª FCT-FEDER-02/SAICT/2017 ). Início em Julho de 2018.