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.

Post-doc researcher

Haian Xue
Haian is currently working at IDE and DIOPD as a post-doc researcher on the Design for Mood Regulation research project. He has a background in Industrial Design and acquired his Doctor of Arts (Finnish equivalent of PhD in Design) from Aalto University in Helsinki. In past ten years, he has lived and worked in Finland, the UK, and the USA as a design researcher and teacher. His research interests stand at the intersections of design, experience, and strategy. In addition, he also finds his (spare time) passion in philosophy, physics and history.

Doctoral candidates

yoon 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
Deger studied Design for Interaction at Delft University of Technology and received an M.Sc. degree with a thesis focusing on designing for sustainable eating habits using emotional dilemmas as a starting point. She continued to investigate the design-relevance of emotional dilemmas in her PhD project, which was finalised in March 2017. In this project, she developed tools and methods that can support designers in using emotional dilemmas as valuable starting points for user-centred design processes. Example domains in which this approach has so far been implemented include sustainability, physical and mental wellbeing, social play and more. Deger is a member of Delft Institute of Positive Design, and currently, she continues her research on dilemma-driven design at the University of Liverpool (February 2016 – present). See her personal webpage for more information.
Mafalda Casais
Mafalda has a background in illustration, graphic design and industrial design (MSc). 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.
Profile picture DIOPD website (cropped ID studiolab) Boudewijn Boon
Boudewijn is interested in how design can play a role in shaping the ways people live their lives. During his master thesis (MSc Industrial Ecology) and his work as a research assistant for Pieter Desmet, this interest was reflected in his research on how design can facilitate ‘the good life within ecological means’. As a PhD candidate he is currently exploring how design can engage children with cancer in physical play and thereby stimulate their physical development.
Gregor Waltersdorfer
Doctoral candidate at the University of Luxembourg
Gregor has a background in mechanical engineering and business economics. Since his studies he is interested and engaged in sustainability. In his research he is exploring the role of designers for sustainability. Specifically, Gregor investigates how designers can successfully convey meaning to users in order to foster eco-sufficient user behavior. This project is financed by the National Research Fund Luxembourg (FNR).
Katja Thoring
Katja is Industrial Designer with a Master degree (Dipl.-Des.) from the University of the Arts Berlin. She is currently professor at Anhalt University of Applied Sciences in Dessau, where she teaches the Product Design Foundation class and Research Methods courses on Bachelor and Master level. She is also experienced in coaching design thinking and creativity techniques in various organizations. Her PhD topic ‚Creative Space‘ is focusing on the intersection of Design and Architecture, analyzing the influence of the physical environment on the creative work process of designers and design students. Moreover, she investigates the possibilities of new technologies for design research in general and emotion measurement in particular.
Lisa Wiese
Lisa is an external PhD candidate at TU Delft based in Berlin. Her background is in psychology, statistics and neuroscience. For the last ten years, she’s been conducting user research for eBay EU and helped shaping the user experience across different eBay subsidiaries (currently at brands4friends). Her PhD research at TU Delft focusses on the development of measurement instruments to assess products’ contribution to well-being.


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.
Simon Jimenez Simon Jimenez
User-centered designer and design researcher www.simonjj.com
Simon Jimenez is a user-centered designer and researcher inspired by human behaviour and flourishing. Simon completed the ‘Integrated Product Design’ master’s programme at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. As a designer, Simon wants to understand people, and how they interact with and within their environments, in order to create meaningful products and services that add value to people’s lives. Simon is co-editor of the ‘Positive Design Reference Guide’.
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.

Guest researchers

Angela Patricia Villareal Freire
Doctoral candidate at Electronic Sciences in the Universidad del Cauca, member of the Investigación y Desarrollo en Ingeniería de Software research group (IDIS) in Colombia with background in Systems Engineering and Computing. Working in the software sales department and in the programming area, she perceived the impact of a good interface design since it completely influences the users perception. In that moment it was initiated her principal interest, that is in Human-Computer Interaction area and how to improve web interfaces through good practices of design. Nowadays she is working on how to build more attractive interfaces for the children’s attention deficit disorder treatment under the belief that with good interface design it can be enhanced their concentration level.
Andrés Felipe Aguirre Aguirre
Andrés is a doctoral student in Electronics Sciences at the University of Cauca (Colombia) where he also did his Master’s degree in Computer Science and his undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering. He has worked in different areas of computing, but his main interest is the user experience. He has always been passionate about studying the inherent components of digital experiences. Now his work is focused on evaluating user satisfaction from an emotional approach.


GYoung is a master student at the design for interaction, IDE, TU Delft. Her project focuses on empowering the children who study in the multicultural backgrounds by positive design education. She studied industrial design and business and technology management in South Korea. She believes in that design can bring positive and meaningful changes to everyday.
Geert Brinkman
My name is Geert Brinkman and I am a Design for Interaction student at the Delft University of Technology. As I believe a design’s function is experiential, taking emotions into consideration when designing is necessary to make truly engaging products. As a research intern I’m part of a collaboration adapting Hans Ruitenberg’s Tiny task concept to the work environment. Working with psychologists from the Positive Organizational Psychology Lab of Erasmus University Rotterdam makes this internship really interesting.
Hazal Ertürkan
Positive design acquainted me with new ways to shape the future as a designer. I’ve gained a different perspective in addition to my industrial design background through DFI Master Programme. I became passionate to create meaningful experiences through interactions. My recent study is based on the Tiny Task concept, which aims to transform happiness enhancing activities into small tasks. The goal of the project is to adopt the concept into office environments to stimulate work engagement and increase happiness of employees.
Linxi Li
I studied creative media in my bachelor in China. During that, I was charmed by the diverse roles design can play in people’s daily life. As a graduating student within master program of Design for Interaction, I’m currently doing a graduation project on design for meaningful goals and well-being.
Nathalie Nieuwhof
During her master Integrated Product Design , Nathalie discovered positive design as a way for her to create meaningful products and to add to the beauty of everyday life. Her passion for various creative pursuits, such as knitting and printmaking, has been rekindled over the past few years. For her graduation she is now exploring how design can encourage engagement in such creative hobbies, with the aim to make leisure time be experienced as more fulfilling.
Maurizio Filippi
Maurizio is a Design for Interaction student at the Delft University of Technology. Previously, he has studied Industrial Design at Politecnico di Milano and at Lahti University in Finland. He believes that the very essence of designing lies in awareness, reflection, critical thinking and attention to detail. In his everyday life he tries to pursue those virtues in order to create products that bring quality into people’s lives.
Pelin Esnaf
As a student who has an industrial product design background from an art university, Pelin is fascinated by the freedom that art and painting gives. Doing research on emotion, mood and the motivation behind people’s behavior was the missing piece in her bachelor studies. She finds the profoundness which art gives in the science of behaviour and mind. She is now working on a research internship project about mood and sleep. Her aim is to identify products,objects,services involved in the fifteen strategies to regulate mood and to hopefully give inspiration to designers and students.
Jin Li 
Jin Li is a Design for Interaction student in TU Delft. With a background of product design in China, she started to explore the possibilities of positive design. She is always fascinated about creating special gifts and she believes that gift has more potential than bringing happiness to others. Her graduation project is to develop an online gift selecting tool for gift givers to find out what will contribute to their recipient’s well-being.
Gracia Murris 
Gracia was always fascinated with the interactions between humans, as well as between humans and products. It is only natural she chose to develop herself through the master Design for Interaction. Here she became intrigued with the emotions and motivations that drove human interactions. However, as an animal lover, she recognizes we are not the only living beings on this planet: it is essential to also look to the interactions with animals. Her graduation project aims to create meaningful interactions between human and cats to develop their relationship in a positive way in order to prevent the relinquishment of cats.
Josephine Vlaanderen
Her whole life, Josephine has been wanted to make others feel good about themselves.  For her graduation, she got the chance to bring a bit of happiness to lives of very sick children, who are hospitalized on the Intensive and High Care in the Wilhelmina Children’s hospital in Utrecht. She found that these children start to feel different and lonely, when being there for longer times. During her graduation, Josephine will explore how the new playroom can facilitate the means to get in contact with peers, at times they have the need to play and socialize.
Paula van den Boer
From the moment she was introduced to the DIOPD approach in design Paula felt home. It covers the responsibility she feels as a designer to not just design things that make people’s lives easier or more efficient. The data-driven world we’re living in often does not leave much room for people to ‘simply’ experience human moments. As a (interaction) designer Paula uses her skills to empathize and synchronize with people in diverse situations to recognize the essence of what matters to them. As graduation student at the DIOPD she dedicated herself to design for happiness in offices by fostering prosocial behaviors in organizations.

Honorary members

jaya_cumar Jaya Kumar
Jaya Kumar is former president of PepsiCo’s global nutrition group. He is currently senior vice-president for strategy in Asia of Mondelez International (an American multinational confectionery, food and beverage conglomerate), heading the Southeast Asia division.
Eapen George Eapen George
Eapen George is the former V.P. R&D for Innovation at PepsiCo. Eapen is passionate about creating brands and products in the pursuit of positive emotions. He understands that with the right story, we can create powerful sensory signatures for core brands. With his new company, Round Feather, he is currently setting up a global network of like-minded people to undertake projects around the world that apply the principles of positive design.
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. He explored and formalized these insights into an approach that leads to richer, more meaningful product-user experiences.
Beatrijs Voorneman
Beatrijs Voorneman works on the domain of positive emotions and well being from a design perspective. In her Master thesis ‘Improving the welfare of pigs’ she discovered a new field within this domain: design for animal welfare. In 2011 and 2012, Beatrijs was project manager of the DIOPD.