Skip to main content
Design Products (MA)

Zoë Schnegg

Zoë Schnegg is an Interaction Designer exploring the cityscape and how we engage with it. Her work focuses on how we shape technology to connect and support us in our local communities and beyond, inviting us to uncover what matters and helps us thrive. She is interested in physical interaction design, engaging the senses and thinking beyond the screen.

She was the Concept Designer for the Red Dot Award winning Bosch Rexroth Infinity Gates (2022), was shortlisted for the RCA Grand Challenge (2023) with the group project ‘Solid Sound’ and was awarded the Targa Rodolfo Bonetto (First Prize) with the group project ‘Hole Healer’ (2019).

She graduated with honours from Berlin-Weißensee Art Academy (BA Product Design, 2021), studied at Politecnico di Milano (BA Product Design, 2019) and the Royal College of Art (MA Design Products) in 2023.

A satellite map of London, with a drawn map of Londinium in 1057 overlayed

What hidden stories flow through our streets? How is our city shaped? What is lost and what is still there to un-cover? How is the landscape imprinted onto our lives and where are we leaving our mark?

An exploration of the public realm--un-screened in IRL; Echoes of the past resonating in the present; Initiating conversations of place and belonging; An invitation to look beyond the curtain. Celebrating cities through sound and movement, connection and interaction.

Curiosity as our guide; attention our reward; stories our future.

Gif of the knocker
Technical drawing of the knock knock
A collaged street view image of east London, with knock knock

A conversation between rings. Where do knocks fit within the urban soundscape?

Case Study: Lost Rivers of London, The Walbrook

The City of London is shaped by water. Trade and migration followed rivers, across the sea, building kinship, creating prosperity.

Roman invaders were held at bay by the Walbrook separating them from the local Celts until they put down roots, started to build bridges, made connections, created markets, invited exchanges.

Centuries later the Hansa League set up shop just at the Mouth of the Walbrook (Cannon Street) connecting the thriving Baltic with the medieval Guilds of London.

The Walbrook still flows across the Square Mile, encased and hidden under the vaults of the Bank of England silently witnessing the city and its inhabitants under layers of mud and sewage. Mushrooming new developments rising against the sky are making bold statements of power and presence at time oppressively overshadowing the city and its inhabitants. The water, its landscape feels incidental yet they still mark the streets shape the City and how we live in it.

Photo of a road near Bank tube station, with a dashed pink line across it symbolising where the lost river Walbrook was

Located just along the West bank of the Walbrook for almost a millennium, St Mary-Le-Bow has been immortalised by the famous nursery rhyme 'Oranges and Lemons'. Its bells rang out to true Cockneys for centuries, but the cacophony of the modern city has drowned out its sound. Today's newborns can no longer, even faintly, hear them ring.

'Rings About Town' acoustically links the modern cityscape to the church bells of yore. Strategically located along the run of the Walbrook 'Rings About Town' echoes the city's past by responding to passers-by's inquisitive knock, picking up their rhythm and passing it along the river's flow through the historic urban landscape: creating a soft soundscape, inviting conversation and discovery, a gentle nudge to listen, stand still and mark the present.

'Rings About Town' is an interactive project in the public realm, interlinking the senses (sight, touch, sound), weaving its way through our heritage using physical objects and human connection. Knock, knock who was there? Knock, knock I'm here!

The beginning of a conversation, reflective and curious.

Three images of the Knock Knock throughout London
Three black and white images of the prototyping process in the metal workshop
Four colourful illustrations of boxes with arms on an orange background

What if the environment around us responded to our actions?

Boox City Monsters are a playful exploration of surreal ways the city itself could react to or even protest against us, its inhabitants. The project uses physical computing to examine how we might rediscover and increase awareness of our local neighbourhood through low tech experiments. Each Boox is installed at specific locations and includes context specific reactions and responses.

A laser cut MDF robot, with many visible arduino wires and cable ties.

A week long RCA led MicroBrief: Designing for Protest

Regular cycle rides in London can include moments of frustration. The Bike Kaktus responds to drivers overtaking cyclists at close range. How could the unexpected and harmless reaction influence the drivers?

A car driving closely to a cyclist triggering the spray paint release
A laser cut MDF robot, with many visible arduino wires and cable ties.