The research group Co-design brings people with different perspectives and skills together to work conjointly on complex innovations. We explore how design can contribute to societal changes, mainly in the field of health care and sustainability.

Lines of research within the research group

Developing solutions for complex issues requires a cross-domain approach, in which stakeholders look for possible solutions and interventions in a design process. The research group presents two lines of research that both influence and contribute to the designing capability of professionals, including both professional designers and non-designers. This capability involves a complete range of knowledge and skills, the availability and ability to use tools, methods, and a repertoire of case descriptions for systemic and inclusive designs.

Systemic design connects the strong, creative aspects of design thinking with existing perspectives on complexity of system thinking. Through a systemic approach - taking into account the past, present and future - new and innovative solutions can be designed for challenges in our complex and dynamic society. When designing these solutions, the system, the organic set of collaborative individual components, must be considered with all interconnected parties involved and how they are connected to each other. 


  • Chiwawa: Creative research methods
  • Future probing
  • Ontwerpen voor duurzaam gebruik van producten binnen product-dienst systemen
  • Smart Solar Charging
  • TAK

Inclusive design takes into account a diversity of stakeholders in the co-design process, it does not exclude anyone. The various actors who are part of the system are involved in the development, evaluation, and implementation of solutions. They are the experts or professionals involved, and the users of the solutions, such as citizens, clients, and students. All stakeholders take this diversity into account when designing solutions, so all intended users can make optimal use of it. Inclusivity is therefore about both inclusive participation in the process and design choices.




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

PhD candidate Co-design Show profile

Marry Bassa

Researcher Co-design Show profile

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