Anita van Essen | Researcher | Co-design research group / Research group Behaviour & Conversation in digital transition

Anita van Essen


Anita van Essen obtained her master's degree with distinction in Applied Communication Science at Wageningen University & Research. She also studied Communication and Multimedia Design at the Willem de Kooning Academy (WDKA) in Rotterdam and worked in Creative Industries.

After her studies at WDKA, Anita worked as a designer for various e-learning projects. During her master’s studies she conducted research into the role of entertainment-education as a persuasive tool in the prevention of alcohol abuse. She subsequently did research into the use of behavioural science in designing publicity campaigns for the Public Information and Communications Service (DPC) of the Ministry of General Affairs.

Anita specialises in research regarding the role of design in behavioural change. She is passionate about exploring ways in which scientific research can be combined with creative processes. Her practice-based research therefore includes concrete interventions or methods with which designers (such as CASI) are able to incorporate behavioural insights in their practice.

Fields of expertise

  • Designs for behavioural change
  • Human-Centred Design (HCD)



  • Behavioural lenses
    • Research groups: Co-design, Innovation of Movement Care, Lifestyle and Health
    • 1 January 2021 - 1 January 2025
    The Behavioural Lenses Toolbox
  • Oudere mensen lopen
    • Research groups: Co-design, Innovation in Healthcare Processes in Pharmacology, Innovation of Movement Care, Innovative Social Services, Marketing & Customer Experience, Proactive care for elderly people living at home
    • 1 January 2020 - 12 January 2023
    FRIEND Fall Prevention Implementation Study
  • Children exercising outside
    • Research groups: Co-design, Communication in Digital Transition, Lifestyle and Health, Participation and Urban Development
    • 1 November 2018 - 1 October 2020
    What moves you? Children with disabilities and movement

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