MyFutures is a Research-through-Design project funded by NWO/STW. Researchers from TU Delft and the Design Academy Eindhoven work together with user-centered design agencies Muzus, KoDieZijn, and STBY, care organisations Zuidzorg and Vivent, insurance companies Achmea and CZ, the cities of Rotterdam and Eindhoven, and the Vereniging Nederlandse Gemeenten. Together we will share experiences and knowledge, design tools and test these in real settings. The aim is to come to solutions to empower individuals to better confront their possible futures, think about them, and act toward them.



The Team

The project MyFutures is executed by the Research Team, led by Froukje Sleeswijk Visser.

Eefje Ernst (researcher TU Delft)
Froukje Sleeswijk Visser (researcher TU Delft)
Rens de Graaf (student assistent TU Delft)
Renee Scheepers (researcher DAE)
Pieter Jan Stappers (professor design techniques TU Delft)
Sanne Jongeling (student assistant TU Delft)
Alissa van Asseldonk (researcher DAE)
Bas Raijmakers (reader in strategic creativity DAE)


The project MyFutures is executed in collaboration with the following partners:

Project Overview

This 2-year project consists of a combination of research, education and case studies. In the first half year we have built the scaffolds of the framework on literature, interviews with experts on the topic and everyday people and workshops with our partners. As a result specific moments in people’s life times were identified where people seem to have a need to discuss their thoughts, feelings, expectations with others. We learned that ‘in discussion with others’ is an opportunity where it is rather natural  for people to  open up and reflect on people’s own thoughts, feelings and wishes. Three of these everyday moments were selected to investigate in further detail through case studies.
Case 1: PGB request
Healthcare provider uses the developed tool

“At that moment, we are all under such pressure to arrange things now that we can hardly look ahead.”

The first case zooms in on the moment of PGB request (Persoons Gebonden Budget aanvragen). In this moment care organisers and care requesters need to make a lot of decisions while underlying motivations, feelings and expectations play  roles, but are not currently addressed specifically in the current system. We designed a set of templates to support this meeting and trigger the involved people to think and discuss the more personal issues next to the practical urgent issues and take all into account when making the care plan.
Period: januari-july 2017
Case Team: TU Delft, DAE, KoDieZijn, ABZ, Vivent
Case 2: Family meetings
For this case, multiple tools have been tested.

“We never found the opportunity to talk this through at ease..”

The second case zooms in on the moments of family meetings. In our research we found that children often have thoughts, feelings and ideas about their parents aging, but find it difficult to start such conversations with their parents and other family members. Parents do not realise that children might have such needs and are rather protective to involve their children in their own possible choices in later life. We developed a toolkit that supports such discussions within family members.
Period: april-october 2017
Case Team: TU Delft, DAE, Muzus, CZ
Case 3: Socializing moments
As you get older, these things no longer come that easy.”
The third case zooms in on socializing moments. In Ontmoet en Groetpleinen organised by Zuidzorg older people meet to socialise. One finding in our research was that social needs are a dominant factor in organising futures arrangements. People can feel more lonely as they grow older. In this case study we plan to develop a set of activities in which feelings about personal drivers of social connections can be shared. This way we hope to support people to become more aware of their own wishes about social connections.
Period: juli-december 2017
Case Team: DAE, TU Delft, Zuidzorg, ABZ.

In the last half year we will digest all findings of the case studies and integrate them in the framework. We will share our findings through publications, expositions and presentations for diverse audiences; academic, designer and societal organisations. As well, we plan to organise a set of workshops to directly work on implementing promising results.


Besides the cases, MyFutures is implemented in multiple courses at the TU Delft. In the course DeepDive, twenty students study theory on cognitive biases, the reasons why people have difficulty in making decisions, thinking ahead, and seeing opportunities. Apart from discussing the literature, they look for concrete applications in design, especially how to make decision tools more supportive.

In the course Contextmapping Skills, some thirty students will conduct contextmapping studies for societal partners, finding out how people go about making choices and plans in specific situations such as buying a house, taking on financial services, and arranging informal care. Next to these group projects, several individual research and design projects have started. All these are expected to bring results by the end of this year.
MyFutures is also implemented in a course at the Design Academy Eindhoven. In the Design Research Space “Ethno-science fictions films” we take eleven Design Academy students on board as temporary research fellows. In a very short course of 5 weeks we speculate about possible future scenario’s based on the newest work of scientists all over the world. The open source video material of ‘the Mind of the Universe’ will be our starting point. The students will combine ethno fiction with science fiction and co create short films with older people as protagonists and experts. Adding the fictional element makes the ethno-science fiction films speculative and playful because it explores situations that might exist. This is a basic design skill and attitude that we aim to bring to everyone.