dr. D. Ozkaramanli - Leerkes (Deger)

About Me

I am assistant professor in Human-Centred Design at the Department of Design, Production and Management. I am fascinated by the richness of dilemmas people experience in daily life. That’s why as a designer and researcher, I pursue dilemma-driven design in my work. I developed dilemma-driven design as part of my doctoral studies by integrating psychology of dilemmas with human-centred design methodologies. This led to a new design approach that not only generates genuine empathy for people’s deeply-held aspirations and values, but it also stimulates critical thinking and creativity in design processes.

Currently, I work with the moral dimensions of dilemmas and research the ethical questions and moral dilemmas designers experience in their practices. For this, I weave together knowledge from design ethics, moral psychology, and critical theory to support systematic modes of ethical reasoning when dealing with such moral dilemmas.

Research areas:

Design research methodologies
Conceptual design methods
Design ethics
Participatory design
Systemic design
Dilemma-driven design

Research methods & techniques:

Qualitative analysis/coding
Phenomenological interviews
Case studies
Dilemma analysis


I am a research fellow at DesignLab - a cross-disciplinary ecosystem connecting science with society for tackling complex societal challenges (often within the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals).


I teach conceptual design methods and supervise graduation projects on a wide range of topics from food design to UX design. In addition, I co-coordinate Transdisciplinary Master-Insert 'Shaping Responsible Futures' - which is a six-month, extra-curricular master programme taught by enthusiastic academics from all over the university, and involve working in transdisciplinary teams on addressing complex societal challenges.


I have an interdisciplinary and international academic background with a BSc. and an MSc. degree in industrial engineering (Louisiana State University (2005) and University of Miami (2008), respectively) and a second-MSc. and a PhD degree in Industrial Design (Delft University of Technology (2010, 2017)). Before joining the University of Twente, I worked as an assistant professor at the University of Liverpool where I contributed to setting up a new bachelor programme in Industrial Design (February 2016 - July 2018).


Contact me if you are a student looking for a graduation project that may touch upon the above topics, or if you are a professional working in the creative industries and want to know more about new design methods, design ethics, or particularly about dilemma-driven design. I'd love to hear from you!

(If you are wondering how to pronounce my name – it is pronounced as “de’er” as if there is no “g” :))


Social Sciences
Product Design
Arts & Humanities
Subjective Well-Being
Business & Economics
Subjective Well-Being
Technology Development


My research focuses on unlocking the potential of dilemmas to inspire design activities at the early (i.e. conceptual) stages of the design process, such as problem framing, reframing, and idea generation. My aim is to add to the method repertoire of design students and practitioners through research-based, inspiring, and actionable design tools and methods that expands the boundaries of the design discipline.


Ozkaramanli - Leerkes, D. , Nagenborg, M. H., van Ditmar, D. F., Lehtinen, S., Schwobel-Patel, C., & Ferrarello, L. (2022). Design + Ethics: How is it more than the sum of its parts? In D. Lockton, S. Lenzi, P. Hekkert, A. Oak, J. Sádaba, & P. Lloyd (Eds.), DRS2022: Bilbao (DRS Biennial Conference Series). Design Research Society. https://doi.org/10.21606/drs.2022.921
Ozkaramanli, D. , & Nagenborg, M. H. (2020). Moral dilemmas and design methodologies. Abstract from 2nd Philosophy of Human Technology Relations Conference, PHTR 2020, Enschede, Netherlands.
Eggink, W. , Ozkaramanli, D. , Zaga, C. , & Liberati, N. (2020). Setting the Stage for Responsible Design. In S. Moes, M. Cheung, & R. Cain (Eds.), Proceedings of DRS 2020: Volume 2: Synergy (pp. 713-730). Design Research Society. https://doi.org/10.21606/drs.2020.116
Ozkaramanli, D. (2019). Dilemma-thinking as a Means to Enhance Criticality in Design for Wellbeing. In A. Petermans, & R. Cain (Eds.), Design for Wellbeing: An Applied Approach Routledge.
Ozkaramanli, D., Desmet, P. M. A., & Özcan, E. (2018). From teatime cookies to rain-pants: resolving dilemmas through design using concerns at three abstraction levels. International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, 6(3-4), 169-184. https://doi.org/10.1080/21650349.2017.1381042

Google Scholar Link


In education, I emphasise the importance of skill and competence development rather than measuring success solely through metrics and grades. In addition, I consider creating a diverse and inclusive learning environment an absolute 'must'. I truly enjoy discussing and debating the role of the universities in society and co-creating best practices with students and colleagues to deal with challenges facing higher education. 

I have completed the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) programme, which is a professional training programme that ensures teaching skills and educational competences of university teaching staff.

Affiliated Study Programmes


Courses Academic Year  2022/2023


I work on a diverse combination of research and design, funded or self-initiated projects. Forming a link between the university and society - through bridging the theory-practice gap - plays a key role in all of these projects.

Current Projects

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Drienerlolaan 5
7522 NB Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

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