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.

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.
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.
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.
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.

Master students

Deniz Söğütlü
Deniz is collaborating with the DIOPD in 2019 for his graduation project. His interest towards experience design grew as he studied design ethnography and cognitive psychology as part of his Service Design MSc Courses in Politecnico di Milano. Design for sustainability has been one of his main aims since his bachelors degree years and driven by his passion for cognitive science, Deniz decided to graduate with a project that aspires to sustainability, through the study of product emotions. With Pieter Desmet and Anna Meroni as his supervisors, his research addresses hedonic adaptation from a design perspective.
Karen Gonzalez
Karen is a Design for Interaction student in TU Delft. She studied Industrial Design in Spain where she became interested in experience design, user research, and medicine. She believes that multidisciplinary projects are key to create impact. During the master she has become especially interested in how design and user research can add value to the healthcare technology industry in order to have a positive impact on users’ lives. Her graduation project is focused on how to create meaningful conversations with users through the data of smartwatches to improve peoples’ wellbeing and health.
Lara de Graaf
Lara is a Design for Interaction student at the Delft University of Technology. Previously, she studied Industrial Design Engineering at the same university. During her master, she became especially interested in social design and the impact design, and contextual changes can have on people their lives and the way they fulfill their fundamental needs. Her graduation project focuses on how to create relatedness and belonging among younger football supporters to elevate the social relevance of football.
Omar van der Heijden
After finalizing his bachelor at the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Omar continued with the master Strategic Product Design at the same faculty of the TU Delft. For Omar strategy and happiness are like two peas in a pod; Every strategy carries a desire for happiness in one way or the other, and to achieve happiness is to apply the right strategies. For him design is about stimulating human flourishing, be this by solving problems or taking on possibilities. He believes this can be achieved by reflecting on the past, evaluating the present, and envisioning the future. Personal website
Petra Salarić
Petra is a Design for Interaction student at the Delft University of Technology. Previously, she studied Product Design at the School of Design in Zagreb, Croatia. She is fascinated by human behaviour and emotions, and how design can influence the way a person feels and acts. She loves colourful graphic design and is mesmerized by its effect and composition on creating positive emotions. Currently, Petra is working on using design for wellbeing methods and tools to combat the taboo of menstruation in India.
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
Ruocha Wang
Ruocha is an Integrated Product Design student following Specialisation Medisign at TU Delft. She studied Mechanical Engineering and Arts & Design at Tsinghua University in Beijing and worked as a design research intern at HK PolyU in Hong Kong. She has a keen interest in healthcare. “To cure sometimes. To relieve often. To comfort always.” She believes that product design has the power to bring comfort and positivity to patients and their families. Her graduation project is focused on sexuality and intimacy care for young cancer patients.
Thijs te Velde
Thijs te Velde is an Integrated Product Design student. Doing his Bachelor’s in Eindhoven, he came here with a strong focus on speculative interaction design and research. He came to Delft wanting to combine those skills with the more practical direction of IPD. He believes design can have a large impact on people by integrating it into daily life and is interested in working at the fringes of human experience, which are oftentimes very emotional contexts.
Veronika Szabó
Veronika is an Integrated Product Design student at the Delft University of Technology. Previously, she studied Industrial Design Engineering at Budapest University of Technology and Economics in Hungary. She founds that positive design can complement the more technology-oriented approach of her master programme. For her, design is a means to improve the quality of lives of people who need it the most. This steered her in the direction of healthcare and medical design.
Ward van Hoeven
Ward is a student Design for Interaction at the TU Delft. He believes that people could sometimes use a little help in enhancing their wellbeing and that of people around them. Inspired by psychological theory on behaviour and human needs, he seeks to design ways in which people can gain new perspectives on the world. And through this new set of glasses, a sustained feeling of wellbeing.
Wies Kruisdijk
Wies is a Design for Interaction student at the Delft University of Technology. Previously, she studied Industrial Design Engineering at the same university. With a love for research, she believes in user-focused design and targeting psychological aspects of well-being, while specifically focusing on emotions and moods as a basis for design. Hereby creating products that fit the user’s needs and desires and improves their lives.
Yancheng Du
Yancheng is a Design for Interaction student at the Delft University of Technology. Previously, he has studied Industrial Design at Hunan University. He believes that design makes the life better and let everything possible.

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.