Prof. dr. ir. Mugge, R.

Professor of Design for Sustainable Consumer Behavior
Head of Product Innovation Management Department
Department Product Innovation Management


Ruth Mugge is Professor of Design for Sustainable Consumer Behavior at the department Product Innovation Management. After finishing her Master’s degree in Industrial Design Engineering, she completed a PhD project on the topic of product attachment. Her current research focuses on investigating how product appearance influences consumer response to products. She has published on these topics in such journals as Design Studies, Journal of Engineering Design, Applied Ergonomics, British Journal of Psychology, Journal of Product Innovation Management, International Journal of Design, and the Design Journal. 

View the episode 'There Are Good Looking Crappy Things' in the IDE 'Out of the Blue' podcast series


  • 2001 - 2007
    PhD in Industrial Design Engineering (Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands), on “Product attachment”
  • 1995 - 2001
    M.Sc. (cum laude) in Industrial Design Engineering (Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands)
  • 1996
    Propaedeutics (cum laude) in Industrial Design Engineering (Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands)


  • 2013 - present
    Associate Professor (Delft University of Technology)  
  • 2005 - 2013
    Assistant Professor (Delft University of Technology)
  • 2003 - 2005
    Teaching assistant (Delft University of Technology) for Design courses and Statistics

Specialisation/field of research

Product perception and product appearance

  • How do consumers use the product appearance to draw inferences about functional attributes (e.g., quality, ease of use)?
  • How can product appearance affect the perceived meanings of products?
  • Why do consumers aesthetically appreciate certain products more than others?

Product attachment

  • Why do consumers become attached to certain products?
  • (How) can designers influence the experience of an emotional bond to products?

Product-service systems

  • What is the role of congruity in consumers’ evaluation of product-service systems?

Lectures and/or coaches students on:

  • IO1080 Research and Design
  • IO5135 Consumer Behaviour elective
  • Graduation projects on consumer research, product innovation, marketing, and product personalization.

Some examples of graduation projects that I supervised are:

  • Thomas Massink: What is premium? Developing a tool to determine premium branding in packaging design (Cartils)
  • Felipe Giraldo: Strategic development for a Philips’ lifestyle product that enhances mental wellness through sensory stimulation (Philips Research)
  • Anne Jochems: Research 2.0. The development of an online tool for qualitative consumer research, using web 2.0 (for Ruigrok/Netpanel)