Our Team


Pieter Desmet
Desmet introduced cognitive emotion theory to the domain of design research, and is board member of the International Design and Emotion Society. Desmet was recently awarded a five year personal grant for research that aims to understand the nuances of positive emotions in human-product interactions.
Anna_Pohlmeyer Anna Pohlmeyer
Anna Pohlmeyer’s background is in psychology (Humboldt University Berlin). Furthermore, she completed her PhD research in engineering design at TU Berlin and the University of Luxembourg. Her thesis focused on early phases of product development in the design of human-technology interaction. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked at MIT AgeLab on ideas and technologies that can improve quality of life across the lifespan. As assistant professor at TU Delft, she investigates theoretical and empirical aspects of design-mediated well-being.

Doctoral candidates

Steven Fokkinga
Fokkinga introduced the possibility of involving negative emotion in product interaction, thus unlocking a whole new range of potentially enjoyable product experiences for designers. Fokkinga was recently granted a four year PhD-fund to explore and formalize these insights into an approach that will lead to richer, more meaningful product-user experiences.
Jay Yoon
Jay Yoon is a PhD candidate at Industrial Design Engineering of TU Delft. He has a background in industrial design and computer science. His research focuses on emotion-driven design, mainly concerning how understanding nuances of positive emotions can contribute to a design process. He has been developing design tools and techniques aiming to assist designers to be aware of differentiated aspects between distinct positive emotion types. He is currently working on identifying the opportunities to work with the awareness of nuances of positive emotions.
Personal webpage
Deger Ozkaramanli
Deeply inspired by people’s contradictions, I aim to develop new ways with which designers can tackle potential conflicts between virtuous and tempting goals. In this way, design can inform, seduce, or persuade people to choose a course of action that balances choices between virtues and temptations, contributing to their wellbeing
Mafalda Casais
Mafalda has a background in illustration, graphic design and industrial design (MSc). In her Master thesis Mafalda proposes that there can be behaviour changes inside a household through a “green” kitchen, considering that people’s goals and expectations about consumption are changing. Her PhD research at TU Delft focuses on the symbolic value of household products, its influence on personal values, behaviour and self-expression and its contribution to subjective well-being of the user.
Wan Jou She (Lavender)
Young, passionate, humorous, lovely and empathic.That’s all you should know about this lady. Wan Jou, who’d prefer to be called Lavender, has a general interest in loss experiences. Her interest can be dated back to a relationship dissolution experience with her ex, in which she struggled to find meanings and learning experiences from it. With the graphic design and English literature background, Lavender sometimes gets sentimental and philosophical in her research. Her PhD research deals with various types of relationship loss such as separation, death and breakup. She hopes to develop design interventions that can nudge and facilitate individuals’ loss coping processes and provide a meaningfulf and constructive ways of coping with loss.

(Postdoctoral) Researchers

Irene Kamp
After studying Industrial Design Engineering in Delft, Irene worked as a freelance designer on various comfort related projects. During her PhD project she worked at BMW in Munich and studied car interior features that increase the pleasure and comfort experience of the driver and passengers. As a postdoc researcher at the DIOPD she focuses on how to design and assess products contributing to the user’s happiness.
Alex Zakkas
With a background in visual arts and interaction design, Alex Zakkas explores possibilities for cross-fertilization between the two disciplines. He is a keen observer of the diverse ways in which people relate to their material environment, to themselves and to others. Through interventions and experiments, he attempts to access and reveal these relationships in a way that can inspire designers. In collaboration with the DIoPD, he intents to generate first-hand experiences that will widen and refine designers’ sensitivity to emotional complexity.


Juan Carlos Ortiz Nicolás
Doctoral candidate at the Imperial College London
PhD student researching user experience in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London. He is interested in understanding how consumers experience positive encounters with products. Juan Carlos was granted a three-year PhD-fund to explore and develop tools based on an emotion and user experience innovation approach.
Hans Ruitenberg
Interaction Designer at ICEMOBILE
Hans has worked on the domain of positive emotion and well-being from a design perspective. In his thesis ‘Design for Subjective Well-Being’, he developed designs to answer the question: ‘Can strategies for subjective well-being be translated into or supported by tangible designs that inspire and persuade people to adopt these strategies into their daily lives?’ Together with the DIOPD he has set up a pilot project for Tinytask; the product-service that resulted from his thesis.
Maria Sääksjärvi
Associate Professor at the TU Delft, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering
Maria Sääksjärvi is Associate Professor at the Department of Product Innovation Management at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. She holds a Ph.D. in Marketing. Prior to her academic career, she worked at Accenture as a management consultant. Her research interests lie in the areas of innovations, emotional well-being, and high technology. She has published 18 journal articles in journals such as Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Psychology & Marketing, Journal of Interactive Marketing, PLOS One, among others.


Roderick Huijgen
Roderick finished a bachelor education at IDE in Delft and continued with a master Design for Interaction. During this period he discovered his interest in user centred design and took up courses to help him better understand and influence the user experience.
Roderick is now working on a graduation project to enhance the inflight experience of the airline KLM. By researching Reversal theory in the field of design he is trying to help other designers use this holistic theory on human behavior. Also, he will use the theory to come up with new concepts for KLM to improve their inflight user experience.
Christiaan Kieft
Christiaan did his bachelor programme IDE in Delft, where he continued with the master Design for Interaction. During his master he learned how design can have influence on social behaviour and subjective wellbeing. In his graduation project for D66, the Dutch democratic party, he is aiming to design a product that will increase the involvement of voters to their political party of choice. In his project he is focussing on the essence of democracy, the role and behaviour of voters in the current democracy and how affective involvement in politics can be a part of the subjective wellbeing.
Fleur van Midwoud
During her bachelor programme at IDE in Delft, Fleur discovered an interest in user-centred design, which became a leading topic during product design projects in her master Integrated Product Design. For her graduation project, she studies the application of Reversal Theory together with two other graduation students. What interests her is that the theory claims that a certain kind of instability is essential for a full and happy life. In order to bring this into practice, the group creates a guideline for other designers to show how the theory can be applied to design products and services that have a better impact on people’s emotions, motivations and needs. This guide forms the basis for the individual challenge to design a product for the KLM to create a better air travel experience, focussing on the changes in the passenger’s mental energy level.
Ilaria Scarpellini
Ilaria did her studies in several countries, acquiring a wide experience. Following a double master course at TU Delft (Integrated Product Design & Design for Interaction), she then turned her interest toward the ambit related to the role of emotions in user experience. She collaborated to the research about positive emotions in human-product interactions providing participants from her native country, Italy, helping the DIOPD to gain cross-cultural insights. She also developed the “Emotion Rainbow”, an interactive tool that shows the results of this research in an inspiring way to support designers that are willing to include emotional aspects in their projects. At the moment she is part of a team that is researching the implications of Reversal Theory in the field of design. The aim of this research is to create knowledge about how this psychological theory can be applied to the field of user research and product development and be of guidance for designers.
simon Simon Jimenez
Simon did his bachelor programme “Industrial Design Engineering” at EAFIT University, in Colombia. He continued his studies with the master Integrated Product Design at the IDE faculty in Delft. During his master he became really interested in how products evoke positive emotions in individuals, and especially in how products have a sustainable effect on the users’ well-being. In his graduation project for BMA ergonomics, he is challenged to design a product, product-service combination and/or office environment, that focuses primarily on the positive contribution to the workers’ well-being. His project is grounded on theories and frameworks of positive psychology and positive design.
Hester Hester van Zuthem
During her bachelor programme IDE at the TU Delft, Hester developed an interest in the social aspects of design. She continued her studies with a master in ‘Design for Interaction’ and ‘Design Cultures’ (VU Amsterdam), and seeks to understand how designers can (positively) impact society. Hester was assisting the Tinytask research project and got inspired by theories of the Positive Design movement: how can we increase the well-being of individuals and communities? Especially the latter aspect, community well-being, is an unexplored field in design practices that will be the scope of her graduation project. Hester will carry out her graduation project in collaboration with Waag Society. The context of her graduation project is ‘Stadsdorp Nieuwmarkt’, a group of local residents of the Nieuwmarkt neighbourhood in Amsterdam who wants to form a cohesive and active community that can serve as a local social safety net when needed. Leading question in the project will be: What are design opportunities to enhance community well-being in general, and in Stadsdorp Nieuwmarkt in particular?
Santiago Santiago De Francisco
Santiago studied Industrial Design at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. After a couple of years working as a concept and product designer, he decided to start the Design for Interaction (DfI) master program at TU Delft. During his working experience he became interested in the importance of people’s behaviors and how those behaviors could be translated into objects, products and services with powerful meanings. Currently he has started a research project about the act of saving, using a piggy bank product as a starting point. This research aims to understand the importance of saving as an experience and its relation to happiness. As part of his graduation project plan, Santiago wants to take this knowledge about the act of saving and implement it in a larger scale.
our team-Iris ploum Iris Ploum
Iris did her bachelor programme at IDE in Delft and continued with the
master Design for Interaction. Starting with this master, she became interested in how design can contribute to people’s happiness. She has always been fascinated by how people think and behave, especially in a social context. In 2012 she participated with four other Design for Interaction students, from TU Delft, to the Microsoft Design Expo. The team designed a social elevator, called Lift Life. Currently Iris is graduating on the topic Gratitude. She is collaborating with Creatuals, a company that designs creative rituals and supervised by Anna Pohlmeyer and Pieter Desmet. With a
new coffee / tea ritual, Iris aims to make people more aware of the good things in their lives, to become more grateful and happy.
anna Anna Pestalozza

Anna completed her bachelor in Product Design at the Politecnico di Milano, with a thesis focused on designing a piece of urban furniture for city suburbs that would contribute to improve the lives of residents in such areas. Inspired by this experience and by how design interventions can affect society, she applied for the Master in Design for Interaction at the TU Delft. She then turned her interest into Medisign, and into how the Positive Design approach could be integrated in the design of medical products. She is triggered by the challenge of combining the intrinsic beauty that characterises traditional design pieces with new technologies. For her graduation she worked on the redesign of telehealth products tailored to psychological profiles of chronic patients. The project was carried on in collaboration with Philips Research. It included psychological research to understand the motivational and behavioural patterns of patients belonging to different profiles and the development of different versions of a blood pressure monitor, each one tailored to one specific profile.