Can design contribute to the wellbeing of individuals and communities? If so, how?

These questions are central to the Positive Design Day, hosted on May 24 by the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, TU Delft. Three international speakers have presented their ideas on design for wellbeing, and the Delft Institute of Positive Design (DIOPD) has been officially launched.

In addition, there were  interactive exhibitions in ten locations in the faculty that represent an overview of the diversity of experience-driven design research at Industrial Design Engineering. In the afternoon, Pieter Desmet gave his inaugural lecture ‘Positive Design’ at the TU Delft auditorium. He discussed current opportunities to design for wellbeing, and present his vision on the developments in experience-driven design research.


How does design mediate, facilitate, or foster user well-being?
What are the universal principles of human experience?
If you find yourself asking these questions, then this guide is for you.

The Positive Design Reference Guide focuses on the why, what and how of human experience – both in general, and in relation to design for well-being. The guide provides you with a quick entry point into the variety of theories that we believe can be relevant for well-being-driven design. It comprises 29 models, theories and frameworks, separated into two sections. The first section presents a collection of theories drawn from (positive) psychology, and the second section presents a collection of theories and frameworks drawn from (positive) design research.

The Guide is online available and can be ordered via the Delft Institute of Positive Design


Marc Hassenzahl

Marc Hassenzahl is professor and head of the "Experience Design" group at the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen, Germany. His research interests revolve around the positive aspects of (interactive products), their beauty and the question of how to design for positive experiences. In 2010 he published "Experience Design: Technology for All the Right Reasons" (Morgan&Claypool).

Marije Vogelzang

Designers who work with the subject of food are often called 'food designers'. According to Marije, food is already perfectly designed by nature. Instead, her designs focus around the verb 'to eat'. Marije is inspired by the origin of food and the preparation, etiquette, history and culture around it. For this reason, she doesn't consider herself a 'food designer', but as the first 'eating designer' in The Netherlands.

Andrew Shoben

Andrew is the founder of greyworld, a world renowned artists' collective who create art in public spaces. Primarily, greyworld's work is about play, and allowing some form of creative expression in areas of the city where there is usually none. Greyworld has created works in some hugely coveted locations across the world, and they now have permanent installations in fourteen countries. Andrew is a regular contributor to television, radio and print, and lectures extensively around the world. After lecturing at the Royal College of Art for four years, he became Professor of Public Art at Goldsmiths University.

Pieter Desmet

Pieter Desmet is full professor of Design for Experience at the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering of the Delft University of Technology. He chairs a research group that focuses on the fields of design for emotion and subjective well-being. Main research questions are: how does design evoke emotions and influence the wellbeing of users? How can the effects of design on emotion and wellbeing be measured? And how can we wilfully design for emotion and wellbeing?


Positive Design Day - the seminar

Inaugural lecture of Pieter Desmet