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.

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.

Değer Özkaramanlı

Deger is an assistant professor at Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology. She is fascinated by the richness of dilemmas people experience in daily life. That’s why as a designer and researcher, she has developed dilemma-driven design, which she still pursues in her work. Her aim is to advance knowledge and methods that can address the ethical and political questions that arise in design processes through a focus on design dilemmas. Deger’s work spans the full spectrum of design knowledge from theory to practice as she firmly believes that these two aspects can inform and inspire each other. She often works with qualitative and participatory research methods and adopts a phenomenological and critical stance in studying design practices.

Haian Xue

Haian is an assistant professor at Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology. Previously, he worked at DIOPD as a post-doc researcher for the ‘Design for Mood Regulation’ project funded by NWO. His research interests include design for experience, positive design for well-being, and alternative (artistic/humanistic) epistemology and methodology. Before joining TU Delft, he had worked as a design researcher and teacher at several design schools in Finland, the UK and the USA. He holds a Doctor of Arts (the Finnish equivalent of PhD in Design) from Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

Derek Lomas

Derek is the principal 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

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. adopts a phenomenological and critical stance in studying design practices.

Siyuan Huang

Siyuan is a postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology. She has a background in Media and digital communication and Industrial Design (Hunan University and the Polytechnic University of Milan). In 2022, she obtained her PhD degree (cum laude) from the Polytechnic University of Milan on a thesis exploring the power of metaphor in design to build meaningful human-product interactions to foster attitude and behavioral change. Currently, she is involved in the Positive Design research team and works on the project of Fundamental Needs for Human-Centred Design.

→ project information

Tjaša Kermavnar

Tjaša is a postdoctoral researcher involved in the Design for Mood Regulation research project. She has a background in Medicine and Industrial Design (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), and obtained her doctoral degree studying the ergonomics of exoskeletons (University of Limerick, Ireland). Her postdoctoral research in Ireland focused on 3D printing of medical devices, and in May 2021, she joined TU Delft to investigate the possibilities of improving people’s mood through design. Her research interests include all aspects of human-centred design, aimed at improving people’s comfort, safety, efficiency, and psychological well-being.

Sahar Samavati

Sahar is a guest researcher at TU Delft. She has a background in urban design and architecture (TMU). She is interested in how designing cities, public spaces and built environment can enhance happiness of citizens. Her PhD research focuses on the Mechanism of Public Urban Space Effects on Happiness. She is now an associated researcher of world database of happiness.

Doctoral candidates

Alberto Iberbuden

Alberto is a PhD candidate with a background in product design. He has come a long way before coming to Delft and has seen design processes from many angles: as a founder of a 3D printing lab, as a project manager in an art museum, and as a master student of Integrated Design in Dessau. Currently, Alberto is part of the Design for Mood Regulation research project. He is exploring how mindfulness can help designers in their work and well-being. His other interests include psychology, yoga, visual thinking, and storytelling.

Alev Sonmez

Alev (Plamena) is a PhD 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.

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.

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.

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.

Zhuochao Peng

Zhuochao is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. He has a background combining design and engineering: For his B.Eng. he studied Mechanical Design & Manufacturing at Hebei University of Technology (Tianjin, China), and for his M.Eng. he studied Product Design at Hunan University (Changsha, China). Now Zhuochao is involved in the Design for Mood Regulation project and his research will focus on the mechanism behind people’s mood-regulating activities towards positive mood states. Besides experience-driven design, his research interests also include user perception, service design, system design, and technical toolkits development.

Master students

Avanika Pradeep Yammiyavar is an Architect and a Design for Interaction master’s student at the Delft University of Technology. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Architecture from India. She believes in designing for happiness and kindness. She is inspired by the secret ‘stories’ that emotions tell. Currently, she is exploring a positive design approach in the architectural context by studying the role of emotions in built environments and their influence on happiness.

→ Avanika’s portfolio

Erika is finishing her Design for Interaction degree at the Delft University of Technology. In her previous education, she studied product design – first at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BSc), followed by the University of Leeds (MSc). Her interests lie in supporting personal development, knowledge, and wellbeing through design research, and firmly believes that all things we create should bring value and meaning to society. She is especially passionate about people’s stories and their connection with their ‘stuff’.

Jack hails from a combined engineering and design background at Northwestern University (US) and now pursues his master’s in Integrated Product Design at TU Delft. He believes that experiences, not possessions, define our lives and seeks to allow people unfettered access to the richness of lived human experience. His graduation project researches how touch-mediated product interaction can encourage deeper sensory appreciation and thereby enable people to consciously self-regulate emotions.

Honorary members

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 the project manager of the DIOPD.

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 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.