I am an assistant professor with the Interaction Design (IxD) group in the Department of Design, Production and Management in the Faculty of Engineering Technology.

As a health geographer and design researcher, I am interested in how the design of built environments and technology can enhance human interaction, health and well-being. I am interested in transdisciplinary, mixed-method research, evaluation frameworks and policymaking that support inclusive, accessible and socially sustainable design.

My post-doc research focused on the ethics of using technology and design to modulate the mobility of people with dementia living in residential care environments in the Netherlands and Germany. While my PhD research (Department of Demography, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen) focused on the mobility, social health and well-being of people living with memory problems and dementia in public space. During this time, I also worked in the private sector as a research associate with Adema Architecten. As an evidence-based designer, I translated scientific research into the design and construction of healthcare facilities to support positive health outcomes of patients, staff and families. 


  • Psychology

    • Health
    • Scoping Review
    • Wellbeing
  • Nursing and Health Professions

    • Dementia
    • Older Adult
    • Patient
  • Social Sciences

    • Support
    • Problem



“If you just sit at home and look out of the window, then there is no life.” An ethnographic study of how home-dwelling people with dementia use the cityscape’s life in practiceSSM - Qualitative Research in Health, 5, Article 100448 (E-pub ahead of print/First online). Tiemensma, M. D., Andersen, P. T., Meijering, L. & Sturge, J.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssmqr.2024.100448A Systematic Review of Research Gaps in the Built Environment of Inpatient Healthcare SettingsHERD (E-pub ahead of print/First online). Elf, M., Lipson-Smith, R., Kylén, M., Saa, J. P., Sturge, J., Miedema, E., Nordin, S., Bernhardt, J. & Anåker, A.https://doi.org/10.1177/19375867241251830

Research profiles

I coordinate and teach Multi-sensory Design (1b) for students enrolled in the Master of Industrial Design Engineering, Interaction Technology and Robotics.

In design, there is a lot of emphasis on the visual aspects of products. However, people experience the world around them and products and services through all of their senses, which can influence their well-being. In order to design for all modalities, designers need to understand how people perceive products through the different modalities, how the different modalities interact and how, in the end, a complete product is experienced. In this course, we explore “multimodal design” or “multi-sensory design” (designing for all of our modalities) in healthcare environments. The course includes applying scientific research to design (evidence-based design) and theoretical concepts, which are illustrated with examples from design research and design practice. 

I also give guest lectures throughout the academic year on ethics, healing environments, and research positionality in the IDE Bachelor program and other faculties.

Affiliated study programs

Courses academic year 2023/2024

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

I am the project coordinator, and lead the Dutch research, for the Ageing Right Care(fully) (ARC) project. ARC is a transdisciplinary, transnational research project which is funded by NWO under the framework the co-fund partnership of Transforming Health and Care Systems, THCS, (GA N° 101095654 of the EU Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme. The three-year project will explore and map an understanding of the care pathways between ageing in place and hospitalization of older adults. By combining multi-level knowledge, the results from this project will inform the future of healthcare for older adults. The project will begin in September 2024.

Current projects


Socially Sustainable Living Environments for Older Adults

There is a shortage of suitable, affordable, secure housing in several countries that promote social inclusion for inhabitants, especially for older adults. The aim of the SoHo project is to provide an overview of the existing literature and practices on design features that support socially sustainable living environments for older adults. We will use a systematic scoping methodology to identify and summarize the findings. In addition, the results will be shared and validated with international, interdisciplinary stakeholders with expertise in housing, building planning, architecture, social and health services. The consultations will provide content expertise to the literature findings and an opportunity to build evidence-based solutions that promote socially sustainable living environments for older persons. The SoHo project is led by Dr. Susanna Nordin and funded by Formas (FR-2022/0002 (Reference number: 2022-00034). I am a co-investigator for this project.

Positive health solutions for social inclusion of older adults in Twente

The research project 'Positive health solutions for social inclusion of older adults in Twente' is a collaboration between the University of Twente and Stichting IkkanWelzijn Samen1Enschede/Samen1Twente. This new collaboration, funded by the Citizen Science Hub Twente, brings academic researchers and citizens together to find solutions for the social inclusion of older adults living in Twente. We will develop and test new ideas and local solutions through design research activities. The project will be based on the concept of positive Health to ensure solution-oriented solutions that impact a wide range of interests and skill levels of the community. The project will begin in September 2024.



B-Sure: The B-SURE project is led by Dr. Marie Elf (Dalarna University) and funded by Formas (grant 2021-01455). The project has an interdisciplinary team with experience in rehabilitation, architecture, urban planning and environmental psychology. It is a collaborative project with researchers from Dalarna University and Lund University in Sweden and Melbourne University in Australia. The project aims to produce conceptual models of built environments to support rehabilitation and recovery after stroke. I am a researcher on this project.

Queens of Science, Kings of Change, Ace of Identity

Queens of Science, Kings of Change, Ace of Identity

Exploring sex and gender in health research is an exhilarating and crucial endeavour. However, it is often a challenging, isolating, and confusing task for researchers to implement, especially when developing a common understanding within a research consortium. Some may wonder where to begin and how to convince their colleagues or supervisors of its importance. With this proposed tool, ‘Queens of Science, Kings of Change, Ace of Identity’, we explore how biases and misunderstandings about sex and gender can be discussed and transformed. This project aims to create a conversation tool that can spark conversation and spread awareness and knowledge about sex and gender in health research. The tool will focus on creating a common cross-discipline understanding of sex and gender considerations within health research consortiums. I am the supervisor of this research project conducted by Arianna Macias Honti, an IDE Master student in the Human Technology. Relations track. Arianna has a Bachelor Degree in Industrial Design from Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico. This research is part of a research consortium in collaboration with Holly Mathias (PhD Researcher, School of Public Health (University of Alberta), Anne Marieke Doornweerd, PhD candidate in Clinical and Experimental Psychology (Utrecht University), Janneke Mulder, MD is a PhD candidate in Internal Medicine at Erasmus MC and Michiel de Graaff is a PhD student in Sociology at Maastricht University. All five team members bring a multidisciplinary and multimethod approach to gender in health research. They will contribute to acquiring stakeholder input and piloting the project at their respective institutions in the Netherlands. This project is funded by the ZonMw - Gender in Research Award 2023.


University of Twente

Horst Complex (building no. 20), room W254
De Horst 2
7522 LW Enschede

Navigate to location


Scan the QR code or
Download vCard