Prof. dr. Hekkert, P.P.M.

Paul Hekkert is Professor of Form Theory at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering.

Academic Background

Prof. Paul Hekkert is full professor of Form Theory, and chairs the Design Aesthetics group.

Paul conducts research on the ways products impact human experience and behavior. In 2011 he received a VICI grant from the Dutch Science foundation (NWO) to develop a Unified Model of Aesthetics (UMA). The UMA project is likely the largest research program on aesthetics ever conducted; it involves close collaboration with Swinburne University (Melbourne) in addition to a number of international partners. 

Paul has published articles dealing with product experience and aesthetics in major international journals, and is co-editor of Design and Emotion: The experience of everyday things (2004) and Product experience (2008). Together with Matthijs van Dijk, he published Vision in Design: A guidebook for innovators (2011), a book that describes an approach to design and innovation that has been widely applied in both education and industry. He regularly lectures on the above topics at (inter)national events, and serves as a member of the editorial boards of The Design Journal, Empirical Studies of the Arts, and the International Journal of Design.

Paul is co-founder and chairman of the Design and Emotion society and chairman of the executive board of CRISP, a national collaborative research initiative for and with the Dutch creative industries.

If you want to see Paul live, check his upcoming events.


  • 1995
    PhD dissertation, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Title: Artful Judgements
  • 1988
    Drs. (equivalent to MSc) in Human Movement Science, Free University, Amsterdam


  • Since 2003
    Full professor of Form Theory, Department of Industrial Design, Delft University of Technology
  • 1998 - 2003
    Associate Professor of Design, Department of Industrial Design, Delft University of Technology
  • 1995 - 1998
    Assistant Professor of Design, Department of Design Aesthetics, Delft University of Technology
  • 1993 - 1995
    PhD-position, Section Form Theory, Department of Design Aesthetics, Delft University of Technology
  • 1991 - 1993
    Researcher, Department of Human Movement Sciences, Free University, Amsterdam
  • 1990
    Research Assistant, Department of Child and Youth Psychology, Free University, Amsterdam

On an irregular basis Paul works together with companies and design firms on conceptual design & innovation projects based on a design for experience strategy and/or Vision in Product design approach (e.g. Schiphol, Proctor & Gamble, Rijksmuseum, KVD, Fabrique).

Specialisation / field of research

  • Product experience, general
  • Aesthetics, visual and cross-sensory
  • Figurative meaning; product expression
  • Design methods; vision in design; design for social change

Lectures and/or coaches students on:

  • Visual aesthetics
  • Product experience/ Design and Emotion
  • Vision in Product design (ViP approach)
  • Reflection on designing

On a regular basis Paul teaches these subjects at other national (e.g. EURIB, University of Twente) and international (design) schools (e.g. METU, Ankara; Hong Kong PolyU; University of Vienna; Technical University Berlin).
Over the years Paul has given many invited and keynote lectures at international events (e.g. 4th D&E Conference, Ankara; Hong Kong Design Centre June conference, Hong Kong; P&G seminar, Cincinatti; ICSID conference, ERA seminar on education, Lund; 1st KEER conference, Sapporo).

Vision in Product Design

Paul Hekkert, Matthijs van Dijk
ISBN:  978 90 6369 205 6

Published in 2011

Product Experience

Hendrik N.J. Schifferstein, Paul Hekkert
ISBN: 987 00 8045 089 6

Published in 2007