Action & Design Lab

Miho Nishizaki, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Faculty of Software and Information Science, Iwate Prefectural University

Address: 152-52 Sugo, Takizawa city, Iwate 020-0693, JAPAN

Email: miho_n[at]


Our lab studies how humans and animals perceive and behave in their everyday environment, analyzing it from an ecological perspective that sees the environment and animals as complementary, and working on design applications. Among other things, we explore the potential of design and technology to help identify and solve social problems.

Students in our lab: 14 members in FY2022 (eleven undergraduates, three graduates), 11 members in FY2021 (undergraduates).


Design: Visual communication design, Accessible design, Design thinking

Ecological Psychology: Development, Affordance, Locomotion

Application Development: AR application, Web application, Database


Ph.D., Education, University of Tokyo

M.A., Education, University of Tokyo

B.A., Art and Design, Musashino Art University, Tokyo



(AR App)

Baby Database

Home Hazards by Size

(Web App)





  • 2009 University of Tokyo Akachan Project (led by Prof. Masato Sasaki) Academic Film Expo 2009 Academic Film Competition

  • 2009 Tokyo TDC, The Best in International Typography & Design

  • 2009 The Japanese Association of Qualitative Psychology Excellent Frontier Paper

  • 2008 Tokyo ADC, Tokyo Art Directors Club

  • 2007 Japan Student Services Organization, Independent Administrative Institute Ph.D. Scholarship


Nishizaki, M. (2016). Drawings and traces: development and emergence of depiction on the surfaces. Tokyo, Japan: Taga Press. (in Japanese).

Nishizaki, M. (2008). The act of trace-making in infancy. In M. Sasaki (Eds.), Affordances in Infant Development. 72-83. Tokyo, Japan: Shougakukan. (in Japanese).




  1. Design Theory and Practice

  2. System Design Theory

  3. System Design Practice

  4. Group Project Practice I, II, and Introduction to General Education II

  5. Accessible Design Practice

  6. Basic Graphic Design

  7. Basic Design

  8. Information Literacy

  9. Design and Observation

  10. iOS Programming and Design


Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research(KAKEN)

  1. Nishizaki, M (PI)., Visualized RPG for injury prevention at home environment. Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C). KAKENHI, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Apr 2022 - Mar 2025

  2. Nishizaki, M (PI), Iwate Prefectural University and Morioka city., Analysis of issues of forming a regional ICT support organization to provide digital support to the elderly people. Iwate Prefectural University, Apr 2022 - Mar 2023

  3. Nishizaki, M (PI)., Visualizing affordances in the home environment: Building a data utilization platform for injury prevention and development of infants. Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C). KAKENHI, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Apr 2019 - Mar 2022

  4. Nishizaki, M (PI)., Visualization of exploratory behaviors in infant locomotion. Young researchers overseas dispatch support system, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Oct 2016 - Mar 2017

  5. Nishizaki, M (PI)., A system for the prevention of accidents and the support of motor development through affordance visualization in infancy. Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B). KAKENHI, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Apr 2016 - Mar 2019

  6. Nishizaki, M (PI). Drawings and traces: development and emergence of depiction on the surfaces. Grant-in-Aid for Publication of Scientific Research Results (Books). KAKENHI, Apr 2015 - Mar 2016

  7. Nishizaki, M (PI)., Using augmented reality to visualize affordances in the daily environment during the first year of life. Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B). KAKENHI, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Apr 2014 - Mar 2016

  8. Nishizaki, M (PI)., The relationship between dwelling and locomotion: Discovering the house during the first 2 years of life. Grant-in-Aid for Research Activity Start-up, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Apr 2011 - Mar 2013

PUBLICATIONS (Peer-Reviewed Journals)

  1. Nishizaki, M. (2018). Visualizing Affordances of Everyday Objects Using Mobile Augmented Reality to Promote Safer and More Flexible Home Environments for Infants, Advances in Science, Technology and Engineering Systems Journal, 3(6), 74-82.

  2. Nishizaki, M., Nonaka, T., & Sasaki, M. (2011). Creative process involved in drawing: role of visual perception in changes of posture. Japanese Journal of Qualitative Psychology, 10, 64-78. (in Japanese).

  3. Nonaka, T., Nishizaki, M., & Sasaki, M. (2010). Dynamics of the act of drawing from life. Cognitive Studies, 17(4), 691-712. (in Japanese).

  4. Nishizaki, M. (2007). The act of trace-making in infancy: fundamental graphic/plastic act before scribbling. Japanese Journal of Qualitative Psychology, 6, 41-55. (in Japanese). [Winner of the Excellent Paper Award 2007-2009]

  5. Nishizaki, M. (2005). Trace-making in infancy. Journal of Ecological Psychology, 1(1), 135-140. (in Japanese).

  6. Nishizaki, M., & Imai, M. (2001). Research on color and finishing on the skyway,Japan Society for Finishings Technology, 12(1), 161-164. (in Japanese).

PUBLICATIONS (Refereed Conference Proceedings)

  1. Nishizaki M. (2019) Visualization of Infants’ Behavior at Home Using Augmented Reality for Promotion of Development and Prevention of Accidents. In: Cocchiarella L. (eds) ICGG 2018 - Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Geometry and Graphics. ICGG 2018. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 809. Springer, Cham

  2. Nishizaki, M. (2017). Visualizing Positive and Negative Affordances in infancy Using Mobile Augmented Reality. In Proceedings of Intelligent Systems Conference. 1136-1140. September 2017, London, UK.

  3. Nishizaki, M. (2017). Visualizing Positive and Negative Affordances in the Home Environments from the View of Infants Using Mobile Augmented Reality. The 48th Environmental Design Research Association Conference. 339. June 2017, Madison, USA.

  4. Nishizaki, M. (2015). Visualizing a Positive and Negative Affordances in the Home Environment During the First Year of Life Using Augmented Reality. Proceedings of EuroAsianPacific Joint Conference on Cognitive Science (4th European Conference on Cognitive Science 10th International Conference on Cognitive Science), 582−586, September 2015, Turin, Italy.

Participate in our studies

You and your child can participate in our studies right from your own home!

We are studying how children perceive and act, and how they move in their home environment through interactions with objects. Based on theses observations, we design and develop applications to promote more child-friendly environments.

We are currently looking for 3- to 4-month-old infants to participate in our longitudinal study. Every child receives a special gift and you receive compensation for your time.

If you would like to participate in our studies or to be added into our database for future studies, you can fill out the short form below or email us at miho_n[at]