Julieta Matos Castaño is a researcher at DesignLab and also part of the Human Centred Design Research Group.

At the DesignLab, Julieta works on co-developing, testing, and learning the Responsible Futuring approach with a team of researchers, practitioners, and quadruple helix stakeholders. Responsible Futuring is an approach that provides mindsets, tools and techniques to address societal issues and co-shape the futures we want to live in. Its focus is on exploring a plurality of futures to enable transdisciplinary collaboration and innovation, and foster ethical reflection. More information at:

Participatory and critical design is at the core of Julieta's work. Her expertise lies in developing and experimenting with designerly methods and tools to bring a diversity of stakeholders and communities together to imagine desirable futures. Besides, a common thread of Julieta's work is the exploration of ways to make constructive use of societal dilemmas and controversies, to stimulate ethical reflection and creativity. Link:

From 2018 to 2022, Julieta has been working as a postdoctoral researcher for the project "Designing for Controversies in Responsible Smart Cities" ( In this project, together with her colleagues and a consortium of public and private stakeholders, Julieta has co-created methods to reflect on and debate the impacts of technology on our cities, and to explore ways to develop innovative and responsible smart city futures. The work that her colleagues and Julieta have done has been showcased at the Dutch Design Week in 2019 (link: and 2021 (link:

Her PhD dissertation at the University of Twente was about multi-stakeholder dilemmas during the design and decision-making of multifunctional projects. During her PhD, Julieta developed a collaboration tool (“the dilemma cube”) to make dilemmas explicit and help to establish multi-stakeholder dialogues about conflicting values and goals. Link:

Julieta is also part of the Faculty Innovation Fellows. The Faculty Innovation Fellows (FIF) program is part of the University Innovation Fellows program organized by the Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (link: It is a two-year experience designed to help faculty and staff expand the innovation and entrepreneurship movement at their schools and beyond. 

In 2019, Julieta co-founded the Speculative Futures chapter in The Hague where she frequently co-hosts events for practitioners, researchers and wider audiences. With her work as a chapter co-leader, Julieta aims to foster futures literacy and establish discussions around varied relevant societal topics such as privacy, smart city controversies or future digital economies amongst others.

Julieta enjoys working in transdisciplinary teams and has experience in various fields: she is an airport planner and, after obtaining her PhD, she worked as a change management consultant supporting organizations in big transformations in the fields of sustainable energy or logistics. Julieta enjoys putting her research efforts into practice. She uses her more than 13 years of research and industry experience to collaborate with public institutions, businesses and citizens to co-shape desirable futures.


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.

Courses academic year 2022/2023

Designing for Controversies in Responsible Smart Cities:!/project/586053/responsible-smart-city-design

Current projects

Designing for Controversies in Responsible Smart Cities

It is a commonly heard term in policy documents and the social media posts of city officials: the “smart city”. The messages are optimistic and emphasise the fact that a smart city utilises modern technology and new forms of collaboration to improve urban facilities and the quality of life in the city. Smart city theories are not immune to criticism, however; mainly because of the use of the loaded term “smart” (who decides that?) and because of the belief that the smart city is mainly supported by officials, scientists and engineers and less so by the residents themselves. This research project seeks to make a critical and positive contribution by putting people first and bringing together the interests of all stakeholders in the smart city. How can we achieve this? We are developing an architecture for a smart-city collaboration platform. It supports the role division between partners in the so-called “quadruple helix” (government-citizens-academics-industry). The exact nature of this platform – online, offline or a combination of the two – will be decided by the partners together. The goal is for the platform to encourage stakeholders to give substance to their smart city using the latest technological developments and a degree of ownership.


University of Twente

Horst Complex (building no. 20), room W258
De Horst 2
7522 LW Enschede

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