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 (soon to start). First person perspective changes in Public Health. With Prof Judith Rietjens TU Delft.
  • Christa van Gessel (started 2023). CoDesign with physiotherapists. With PJ Stappers (TU Delft) and R. van der Lugt (Hogeschool Urecht)
  • Timothy Overkamp (started 2021). Designing healthy behavior maintenance among adolescents. With V. Visch (TU Delft) and Amy van Grieken ( Erasmus University Rotterdam)
  • Marieke Zielhuis (started 2019). Extracting Design Knowledge from Research through Design projects. With pj Stappers TU Delft (TU Delft) and Daan Andriessen (Hogeschool Utrecht)

Current projects:

  • BubbleGames (2020-2023): 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 journey mapping
  • theory and practice of empathic design
  • 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

My past research activities:

  • Researcher in project Learning Empathy (2019-2021). Comenius grant of Joke Mulder, Hogeschool Rotterdam.
  • Copromotor (2015-2021) of Joanna Rutkowska. Actionable Service Design Deliverables.
  • Copromotor (2008-2012) in PhD project Helma van Rijn. Helma investigated how designers can get insight into difficult to reach user groups, e.g. children with autism or people with dementia (2007-2011)
  • 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