Jan Buijs

A heart for education, innovation and thinking outside the box

Jan Buijs graduated in 1976 from the Technical University as an industrial designer. In 1984, he was the first PhD student at the faculty of Industrial Design. With his dissertation ā€˜Innovation and Interventionā€™, he won the Dutch prize for best management book of the year.

From 1986, Buijs was the first alumnus of his faculty to become a professor at Delft University of Technology. He supervised more than 300 graduates and 15 PhD students. In 2007, he received the ā€˜Leermeesterprijsā€™, an award that is presented annually to aDelft scientist who has excelled in education, research and who has made a mark on professional practice. Buijsā€™ rhombus shape model - in Dutch ā€˜wybertjesmodelā€™ - has influenced generations of students and managers. His model, intended to give structure to the creative process, is based on a phase of divergence - coming up with as many ideas as possible - and convergence: choosing the best idea and developing it.

Buijs also fulfilled various managerial tasks, and was chairman of the European Association for Creativity and Innovation. He was, however, very outspoken about protocol and backroom deals: he did not believe in them. He encouraged students to colour outside the lines, to take risks and to try things out. Even after his retirement in 2014, he remained involved with students and the Technical University. Buijs passed away in 2015, but left a lasting mark on the Faculty of Industrial Design.

Dr. Jan Buijs is receiving this award because of his passion for industrial design and his great influence on the educational programme at Delft University of Technology.