Our Team


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.
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.
Derek Lomas
Derek is the principle researcher of the Positive AI project ─ systems for education and psychological well-being. He runs experiments to investigate theories of human value, including learning, motivation, aesthetics and well-being. Derek has a degree in Cognitive Science (Yale University, BA, ’03), Social Design (UC San Diego, MFA, 2009) and Human-Computer Interaction (Carnegie Mellon, PhD, 2014) with a certification in Interdisciplinary Education Research (Institute of Education Sciences, 2014). He received his postdoctoral training at the UC San Diego Design Lab with Dr. Donald Norman in 2015-2016. In his design practice, he helps large organizations use data for continuous improvement.

Post-doc researchers

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.
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.

Doctoral candidates

Alev Sonmez (Plamena Karova)
Alev (Plamena) is a Ph.D. candidate at Industrial Design Engineering faculty of TU Delft. As a part of ‘Design for Mood Regulation” project, her research focuses on mood phenomenon from a collective perspective. She is interested in how moods function and are manifested in group settings, how individuals’ moods affect the team ‘vibe’ and how mood-sensitive design can improve interactions and performance of work groups. Alev studied in Industrial Design (BSc) at METU and pursued her master’s degree in Design for Interaction at TU Delft. Besides positive design, she is interested in service design, behaviour change, speculative design, design for animals, and she enjoys philosophical discussions and dancing.
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.
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.
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.
Makiko Higashi
Makiko is a multidisciplinary designer (MA Royal College of Art) + researcher (MSc HCI, University College London), currently working on Design for Mood Regulation project at DIOP. Having a strong interest in the area around Psychological Wellbeing and Design Innovation, She integrates a critical and speculative design approach with a more empirically driven and principled manner in her research and creative process. With the experiences in both academia and industry, her strength is also translating research into sustainable design impact, with practical output.
Michelle Johnson
Michelle is an external PhD candidate at TU Delft based in Salzburg. She has a background in Industrial Design Engineering and Strategic Product Design. Her research focuses on increasing well-being through acts of kindness, and the role that design has in supporting such behaviours. She aims to integrate principles from positive design and design for behaviour change in designing user experiences to promote and sustain acts of kindness that result in individual and the other’s well-being. LinkedIn / Project page
Pelin Esnaf
Pelin is one of the three PhD candidates working for the Design for Mood Regulation research project. She has a background in industrial product design and holds a masters’ degree from TU Delft, Design for Interaction programme. She worked on a research internship project about mood & sleep and identified the products involved in the fifteen strategies to regulate mood. Then, in her master thesis, she focused on the empathic abilities of design students. Currently, she is exploring the relation between mood & performance. Her aim is to make the education better and to hopefully give inspiration to students, educators and designers.
Willem van der Maden
Willem is a Ph.D. candidate at Industrial Design Engineering faculty of TU Delft. As part of the Positive AI project, his research focuses on aligning AI systems with humanistic values. Currently, a method to translate humanistic values to feasible information for AI systems is missing. Therefore, a key component of his work is understanding the nuances and challenges of assessing human values with computational metrics. Willem has a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy of Aesthetics, and Cognitive Neurobiological Psychology and a master’s degree in Applied Cognitive Psychology.

Master students

Emanuele Gandini
Emanuele is a design for Interaction student at the Delft University of Technology. He previously studied industrial design in Politecnico di Milano. He likes to explore the boundaries of design and discover new areas where design can have a meaningful impact. Emanuele is stimulated by the psychological aspect of design, and how to incorporate it in new meaningful solutions to fulfill people’s needs. In particular, he is studying how design can support the need of spirituality within the LGBT+ community
Felipe Pierantoni 
Felipe is a master student of Design for Interaction at the Delft University of Technology. Previously, he studied Industrial Design with an emphasis in Visual Communication at PUC-Rio, Brazil. Felipe is particularly interested in how using digital technologies to consume content and communicate shape our behaviour. For his graduation project, he is studying the impacts of voice assistants to explore more positive ways to design voice interactions. Personal website: fpierantoni.com
Hannah Goss 
Hannah is pursuing a masters in Design for Interaction at the Delft University of Technology. Previously, she studied her bachelors of Industrial Design at Carleton University in Canada. She explores how design can influence people to experience daily life in unexpected, playful, and positive ways. She values a hands-on approach to design and believes in continuously prototyping and testing her assumptions in order to bring her ideas to fruition. Personal website: https://hannahgoss.com/
Ileana Diaz Couder Breceda
Ileana is a Design for Interaction Master student at the Delft University of Technology. She studied Industrial Design at Universidad Iberoamericana de Torreon, in Mexico. She believes that everyone could benefit from being able to laugh about themselves. As such, Ileana likes to add a touch of humor or playfulness to the (design) projects she’s involved in. She’s intrigued by human behavior and emotions.
Joy van Gogh
Joy is graduating at the department of Design for Interaction at the Delft University of Technology, where she also completed her bachelors in Industrial Design. She is a designer that believes societal issues can be addressed through design and wants to contribute to discussions around great societal themes through expositions, product design, film and more. This means she doesn’t keep her design conceptual, but loves to get her hands dirty and prototype to give life to her designs. Currently she is studying the phenomenon beauty ideals for female faces.
Maaz Khan
Maaz is a Strategic Project Design student at TU Delft. He has a diverse background consisting of mechanical engineering, graphic design and photography/videography. At the very core, he believes in spreading happiness through design and innovation. He strives to understand the influence of authentic happiness on creativity and how that creativity can be used to design practical ways to flourish positivity and well-being in social systems.
Marieke van Dijk
Marieke is a master student Design for Interaction at the Delft University of Technology, and studied the bachelor Industrial Design at the same university. Marieke is interested in how design can create solutions for societal issues in the bigger picture of context, but also what it can add to an individual’s everyday well-being. Throughout a project, she likes to switch between these levels. With an optimistic view Marieke explores new ways of reflection, alternatives to current perspectives and encouraging a positive mindset for those who are in need of seeing things differently.
Qianqian Zheng
Qianqian is a Master student in the track of Design for Interaction at the Delft University of Technology. She has a background in Industrial Design from Beijing. She is keen on meaningful interactions that enhance the communication of people’s inner feelings. In her study, based on project Mood Regulation, she explores the correspondence between moods and their physical representations. Personal website: https://www.whoisqianqian.com

Honorary members

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.
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.
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.