Prof. dr. Stappers, P.J.

Pieter Jan Stappers is professor of Design Techniques at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. Key elements in his work are 'research through design', 'experiential prototypes' and contextmapping.

Academic Background

After an education in experimental physics (MSc 1984), Pieter Jan Stappers made the switch to Industrial Design Engineering at TU Delft, and followed a research path which led from human perception, spatial imagery, Virtual Reality (PhD in 1992), to design tools and participatory design techniques. Key elements in his work are 'research through design', 'experiential prototypes', contextmapping, which can be found on his webpage (see column on the right).


  • 1992
    Dr. (PhD) Delft University of Technology
  • 1984
    Drs. (MSc) in Experimental Physics & Informatics, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • 1978
    VWO Gymnasium-b. Canisius College, Nijmegen


  • 2012 — 2020
    Director Graduate School and Research, Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) TU Delft
  • 2003 — present
    Full professor, Design Techniques, Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) TU Delft
  • 1996 — 2003 
    Associate professor, Design Techniques, IDE-TU Delft
  • 1984 — 1996 
    Assistant professor, Form Theory, IDE-TU Delft 

Specialisation / field of research

Design techniques, especially tools and techniques for the early phases of design. Early concept prototyping and contextmapping.

Lectures and/or coaches students on:

  • Visualisation and communication to support designing
  • Experiential prototyping
  • User studies, contextmapping in particular
  • Research methods, research through design in particular
  • New media tools
  • Design tools and techniques 

Involved in the research project(s):

Convivial Toolbox: generative research for the front end of design

Liz Sanders, Pieter Jan Stappers

Published in 2012