My topic of research is the human perspective in design for societal issues. Designers who address social challenges, often do not deliver end solutions but are facilitators of change on long term change processes with multiple parties involved. How can designers orchestrate such processes and how to safeguard the human perspective in these processes?

Current PhD students:

  • Deanne Spek (started in 2024). First person perspective changes in Public Health. With Prof. Judith Rietjens TU Delft and associate prof Megan Milota about narrative medicines (UMC Utrecht).
  • Christa van Gessel (started 2023). CoDesign with physiotherapists. With Prof. PJ Stappers (TU Delft) and lector R. van der Lugt (Hogeschool Utrecht)
  • Sofie Dideriksen (started 2023). Redesigning justice system from feminist perspective and what AI can do in this. With associate prof. Dave Murray and Prof. PJ Stappers(TUDelft)
  • Timothy Overkamp (started 2021). Designing healthy behavior maintenance among adolescents. With associate prof. V. Visch (TU Delft) and assistant prof. Amy van Grieken ( Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Current projects:

  • BubbleGames (2020-ongoing): About decreasing tensions in a neighbourhood through a VR film that triggers empathy with the opposing group. With Fabrique, VR Gorillas, gemeente Eindhoven, Hogeschool Fontys. Social Cohesion Field Lab de Effenaar.

My current research interests in these projects and beyond:

  • theory and practice of empathic design
  • theory and practice of journey mapping
  • theory and practice of user- and stakeholder involvement in innovation process
  • developing design methodology for safeguarding the human perspective in social innovation
  • developing design education based on newest insights from design for societal challenges

My past research activities:

  • Researcher in project Learning Empathy (2019-2021). Comenius grant of Joke Mulder, Hogeschool Rotterdam.
  • Copromotor (2019-2023) in PhD project of Marieke Ziekhuis. Considering design practice.
  • Copromotor (2015-2021) in PhD project of Joanna Rutkowska. Actionable Service Design Deliverables.
  • Copromotor (2008-2012) in PhD project of Helma van Rijn. Meaningful Encounters.
  • Project lead MyFutures: How to support people in anticipating on their old age lives? (2016-2018)
  • Supervision of researcher Menno Manschot. Menno focuses on how a user-centred approach can be evaluated in terms of effectivity. He has been developing a measuring tool that involves ROI, customer satisfaction questionnaires and add qualitative data to measure the effect of a user centred approach. This project was part of an ongoing Service Design project with several design agencies for Utrecht Central Station. (2010-2013)
  • Project Lead Ford Service Innovation Methodology. Enabling Ford Research and Innovation Center with the service design methodology at our Faculty through a series of graduation projects, trainings and workshops. (2016-2018).
  • Project manager and coordinating role of action researchers in several user-centred design cases of service design agencies around Utrecht Central Station(2010-2013). This is part of the Innovation in Services Programme