Dr. ir. Schifferstein, H.N.J.

Rick Schifferstein is Associate Professor of Food Design at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. His research focuses on the factors that determine how people perceive and experience products, and how this information can be used to help companies design and produce better products. His topics of interest include design in the realm of food products, (multi)sensory perception, and experience-driven innovation.

Academic Background

After completing a Master degree in Human Nutrition and a PhD on Taste Perception, Rick continued to work on taste and smell perception and consumer behaviour with regard to food products at Wageningen University. In 2000 he transferred to Delft to engage in research on consumer-product attachment, the multisensory perception of durable products, and product experience.
He contributed to more than 75 papers in international scientific journals, including Acta Psychologica, Food Quality and Preference, Chemical Senses, Materials & Design, and International Journal of Design. He is principal editor of the International Journal of Food Design, and co-editor of the books Food, People and Society (2001), Product Experience (2008), From Floating Wheelchairs to Mobile Car Parks (2011), and Advanced Design Methods for Successful Innovation (2013). 


  • Director of the Delft Food & Eating Design lab.
  • Principal Editor of academic journal: International Journal of Food Design (since October 2015).
  • Associate Professor on the Multisensory Product Experience, Delft University of Technology (since May 2006).
  • Senior Researcher on the project ‘Multimodal Experience: Implications for Product Design’, Delft University of Technology (2002-2007).
  • Postdoctoral Researcher on Consumer-Product Attachment at Delft University of Technology (2000-2002).
  • Assistant Professor in Consumer Behavior and Marketing Research at the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group, Wageningen University (1996-2000).
  • Consultant for sensory research in the foods area for Unilever Research in Vlaardingen (1997-2001).
  • Project manager at the TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute in Zeist. Main research areas: Sensory Evaluation and Consumer Research (1995-1996).
  • Assistant Professor in Sensory Evaluation at the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group, Wageningen University (1993-1995).
  • Investigator on the project 'Sustainable food consumption in the year 2010' for the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group (1993).
  • PhD research, 1988-1992, supervised by Prof. Dr. Jan E.R. Frijters, Department of Food Science, Wageningen Agricultural University. The research project was entitled 'Sensory integration in mixtures of tastants'.

Specialisation / Field of research

The education and the supervision that I provide, center around multi-sensory perception and experience (taste perception, smell perception, product experience): which role do the different senses play in the perception of durable products?


  • Coordinator of Manage Your Master (ID4060), a course that supports students in choosing the components of their Master education.
  • Coordinator of the Master elective course Food and Eating Design (ID5295), a theoretical course connecting industrial design students with challenges related to food production, consumption, and disposal.
  • Supervision of projects (research projects, graduation projects, PhD projects) in which people’s interactions with food products play an important role.

From Floating Wheelchairs to Mobile Car Parks: A Collection of 35 Experience-Driven Design Projects

Pieter Desmet, Rick Schifferstein 
ISBN: 978 90 5931 612 6

Published in 2011

Product Experience

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

Published in 2007