Our research group brings people with different points of view and skills together to work on complex innovations. We study how designs can contribute to social change, in particular in the field of health and sustainability.

Lines of research within the research group

There is a need for theoretical knowledge and methodologies that help deal with complex issues in a structured way. Designers are increasingly playing a role in these issues. They apply their creativity, designing tools and skills to facilitate changes in people and organisations.

They are also capable of making future developments tangible or ‘real’ through the design of prototypes. A systemic approach is the guiding principle during this process. This is based on the understanding that complex problems can only be approached from an awareness of the functioning of the system as a whole.


  • Future probing
  • Surfing the data wave

On the one hand, society is becoming increasingly complex. On the other hand, citizens are expected to participate more and to become more self-reliant. One precondition for this is that people know how to use technology. Co-designers can help in this regard.

In this line of research, we design services and products aimed at improving the quality of living together in cities. Smart technological solutions can support and encourage self-reliance, empowerment and social participation, provided the technology is used in the right way.


  • Millow
  • Smart Solar Charging

Technology is ubiquitous. This means there are opportunities for making technology accessible and usable by everyone. For example, based on user information, we can personalise and contextualise the information they require.

In this line of research, we focus on the possibilities that technology offers in adapting its use to the specific context and individual abilities of the user. Intelligent, self-learning systems can respond to changes in the user or their environment. These systems can also be used to encourage desirable behaviour.


  • Powertools
  • GoApp
  • Acts



The aim of this research group is to stimulate design as a way of thinking, of doing research and of innovating - also referred to as ‘design thinking’ - both inside and outside the HU. We are also committed to embedding and disseminating this approach in education, and to improving the quality of education.

Design with LEGO bricks Remko van der Lugt

“The designer is like a midwife: guiding, nudging and pushing if necessary, but always aware that real change comes from the people involved. They are the ones who perform and secure the eventual transformation.”

Remko van der Lugt Professor of Co-Design


Fundamentals, Ideate, DIG, UMC Utrecht, DIO, Panton and Delft University of Technology / Eindhoven University of Technology / Radboud University Nijmegen

Our professors and researchers

Anita Cremers | Professor | Research group Co-Design

Anita Cremers

Professor Co-design Show profile
Remko van der Lugt | Professor | Research group Co-Design

Remko van der Lugt

Professor Co-design Show profile
Dirk Ploos van Amstel | Researcher | Research group Behaviour & Conversation in digital transition

Dirk Ploos van Amstel

Researcher Co-design Show profile
Tanja Enninga | Researcher | Research group Co-Design

Tanja Enninga

Researcher Co-design Show profile

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