Design & Emotion

> Emotion is a central quality of human existence, and most of our behaviour, motivation, and thought is enriched with and influenced by emotions.
> A product, or using a product, can elicit disappointment, attraction, shame, pride, disgust, contempt, admiration, satisfaction, fear, anger, and any other emotion a person may also experience in response to events, people, or actions of people.
> Ignoring the emotional side of product experience would therefore be like denying that these products are designed, bought, and used by humans.


I am currently Professor of Design for Experience in the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology. In 2002, I defended my PhD thesis titled ‘Designing Emotions,’ which reported the development and application of a non-verbal self-report instrument to measure emotional responses of product users. In 1999, I obtained my MSc degree in industrial design engineering with mobile phones that were designed to have ‘an added emotional value.’

In October 2010 NWO (the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) awarded me an ‘innovational Research Incentives Scheme’ VIDI grant, funding five years of research with a focus on the roles of emotion in human-product interaction.


I am passionate about the significance of emotion for the design discipline. My background, combining design with psychology, stimulates me to bridge the gap between behavioural sciences and design practice. My research is published in several books and journals, such as, Design Studies, Advances of Consumer Research, and the International Journal of Design, and presented my research at international platforms.

I am responsible for several design courses at the Delft MSc programme ‘Design for Interaction&’, including the design project ‘Exploring Interaction’ and the ‘design for emotion and subjective well-being’ course. In addition, I frequently lecture at other design faculties, and organize design & emotion workshops for both students and professionals in Europe (e.g. Germany, Portugal, Norway), USA (e.g. Chicago, New York, Seattle), and Asia (e.g. Korea, Taiwan, China).

Besides my academic activities, I am co-founder and board member of the International Design for Emotion Society. I am currently program chair of the 7th International Design & Emotion conference (IIT Chicago), scientific advisor of SusaGroup, an organization that facilitates design for meaningful experiences, and consultant to several international companies who develop products and services with an added emotional value.


Delft Institute of Positive Design
Recently, we launched the Delft Institute of Positive Design. This institute aims to stimulate and initiate the development of knowledge that supports designers in their attempts to design for human flourishing. Check out the site for projects, tools, and initiatives:

House of Happiness
On February 15, we will present the ‘Happy City’, which is a co-production of TU Delft and ‘Kaap de Belvedere’, a society that takes care for the non-material inheritance of Rotterdam. In this project, 26 students created happiness locations in the city of Rotterdam. Each location was designed for one particular Rotterdam-based person. The presentation will includes an exhibition, lectures, music, an exhibition and food. More information, see: Note: main language of the evening is Dutch.


TIPS  – archive

book presentation
On January 27, the book “From floating weelchairs to mobile car parks; a collection of 35 experience-driven design projets’ will be presented in a seminar. The seminar is organised by the IDE Alumni Society. More info, see: bookpresentation

Design for Happiness Project
Hans Ruitenberg has published a blog on his graduation project ‘design for happiness’ in which he aims to develop tangible strategies for being a happy person. If you’re interested, check his blog:


7th International Design & Emotion conference
The International Conference on Design & Emotion is a forum held every other year where practitioners, researchers and industry leaders meet and exchange knowledge and insights concerning the cross-disciplinary field of design and emotion. The conference will offer workshops, research paper presentations, design case presentations, and poster presentations. The next edition will take place on October 4-7, 2010 in Chicago, and is hosted by the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology.
Check out the conference site:

New tool from my friends at SusaGroup: easy to use stickers with emotionally expressive characters to use in generative research sessions. Each sheet holds 48 stickers; eight rows of emotions with six stickers per emotion. The stickers have a comfortable size of 3cm to be big enough to see and understand clearly and small enough to be precise.
Check it out at: lem-emotions

PrEmo is now available!
Over the years we received many requests of researchers interested in using the PrEmo (Product Emotion Measurement) instrument. Recently we started a cooperation with the company SusaGroup. SusaGroup has developed several options for PrEmo usage. An example is an online version of the instrument that can be used to design and run experiments. If you are interested, please contact me ( or visit

International Journal of Design 
High quality new design research journal. All papers free online. The International Journal of Design is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal devoted to publishing research papers in all fields of design, including industrial design, visual communication design, interface design, animation and game design, architectural design, urban design, and other design related fields. It aims to provide an international forum for the exchange of ideas and findings from researchers across different cultures and encourages research on the impact of cultural factors on design theory and practice. It also seeks to promote the transfer of knowledge between professionals in academia and industry by emphasizing research in which results are of interest or applicable to design practices.

check out my interview with Marco van Hout at: interview D&E

ENGAGE is bringing together industry, research and design in the field of affective engineering, to create a knowledge community and realise best use of both current and future knowledge. The ENGAGE consortium consists of 21 project partners from 9 European countries, working together to make sure all the ENGAGE objectives are successfully reached. To create a valuable knowledge community, everybody interested in Affective Design is invited to become a member. ENGAGE is funded by the European 6th Framework Programme. Visit the

design & emotion society
The Design & Emotion society is a non-profit organisation that raises issues and facilitates dialogue among practitioners, researchers, and industry in order to integrate salient themes of emotional experience into the design profession. If you are interested in design & emotion reserach, you may want to consider becoming a (free) member of this society. Be sure to check the student showcases and the knowledge base. Visit the website:

Designing Emotions
The designing emotion research resulted in a dissertation that reports the development, validation, and application of an instrument to measure product emotions. In addition, the book reports a model that explains how products elicit emotions, and workshops in which the model is applied to generate emotional designs. More information: dissertation