I am a systems thinker and industrial designer passionate about sustainability and social innovation. I have a PhD in Design for Sustainably from the Delft University of Technology. In my doctoral research, I developed a systems design approach to tackle complex societal challenges like those outlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Looking at systems theory and practice, I examine how systems approaches, methodologies, and tools support design engineers in responding to the increasing complexity of societal challenges in low-income markets.
After my doctoral studies, I investigated citizen-driven transitions supported by advances in ICT (e.g., desktop manufacturing technologies) that move people from their traditional role as passive consumers to producers and co-creators of value. Although promising, the emergence of manufacturing at a personal or domestic level increases material consumption, artefact production and waste disposal, generating adverse risks, such as rebound effects and overproduction. The postdoctoral research findings pointed towards design and fabrication guidelines for supporting solutions for open-source, circular and distributed production systems, leading to sustainable personal fabrication practices.
My research at the University of Twente investigates the impact of systems thinking in design and the implications of integrating systems approaches, methodologies, and tools into design competencies. To tackle societal challenges such as climate change, social digitalisation and health, I look at how systems thinking helps design engineers better understand, visualise and bring about positive change in complex socio-technical systems.
Global challenges associated with society's production and consumption methods have given serious cause for social, economic, and environmental concerns. My research focuses on understanding, exploring, and shaping design theory and practice through adopting systems thinking. This research agenda is part of a broader discussion on the interactions linking design, systems thinking, emerging technologies, and societal transformations in modern society. These thought-provoking topics prompt questions such as: "What systems thinking approaches and methods can and should we use to foster positive societal transformations? How to design socio-technical interventions to support societal transitions to more sustainable futures?”
With my research, I aim to develop socio-technical interventions addressing current and future societal challenges affecting society and our planet. Those are complex and real-life problems affecting the everyday lives of people, communities, and organisations. Herein, I use empirical and research-through-design methods to investigate socio-technical interventions in the context of contemporary societal challenges.
This research is part of the Interaction Design research group and is strongly connected with other research themes from the Department of Design, Production and Management (e.g., Human Centred Design, Systems Engineering and Multidisciplinary Design), as well as the central research themes of the University of Twente (e.g., Digital Society, Resilient World).