Delft Technology Fellowship for new Professor Design, Culture and Society

News - 20 June 2018

The new Professor Design, Culture and Society, Bregje van Eekelen, has been awarded a Delft Technology Fellowship. She will start 1 October at the department Industrial Design, faculty of Industrial Design Engineering (TU Delft).

“I am thrilled to move to Delft, and the fellowship is the icing on the cake”, Van Eekelen says. “As an anthropologist/historian I am committed to study common-sense or seemingly cutting-edge objects, concepts, and practices as emergent phenomenona. Not in the sense of being ‘new,’ but in the sense that our current practices are an unfinished and shifting articulation of entangled histories. What is common sense nowadays often has a rich and particular history of emergence, and historical inquiries help make the everyday appear ‘strange’ and particular – a common anthropological trope.”


Dr. Bregje van Eekelen has a background in both social sciences and humanities. She received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology, ‘The Social Life of Ideas: Economies of Knowledge’, from the University of California, Santa Cruz (USA). Bregje van Eekelen is a Senior Researcher History of the Social and Human Sciences at the Department of History of Society at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Currently she is a member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (USA), where she is working on her research project ‘Brainstorms: A Cultural History of Creative Thought’. For this research project she received an NWO VENI grant in 2014. Dr. Van Eekelen co-founded the Erasmus Institute of Public Knowledge and she is also co-chair of the Young Erasmus Academy, a network of young researchers at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Bregje van Eekelen has been awarded a Delft Technology Fellowship (DTF). The DTF is an initiative of the TU Delft that creates high-profile positions for leading female scientists, including a start-up grant. It  creates the unique opportunity for the fellows to establish their own research programme at an international top level. She can thus give her own interpretation to the chair Design, Culture and Society, and develop a research agenda related to various topics in the domain. Van Eekelen: “This fellowship will fortify the study of the reciprocal relation between design and society. Unearthing the history of the present and looking at the dynamics of the present are vital instruments when designing for the future.”