MSc. van Essen, A.
Anita van Essen is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering exploring Design for Behaviour Change and Social Systemic Design. Anita is specialized in researching the crossover between behavioural science, design methodology, and social design. Her PhD is titled 'Designing for complexity from a social-systemic behavioural perspective'. At her previous position in the research group Co-Design (HU) she worked on different projects aimed at designing for behaviour change. By applying different methods from behaviour science and co-design she investigated the integration and challenges of these methods in design processes. Amongst others, one of these challenges is that current theory-informed methods do not sufficiently support designing for complex behavioural issues. This inspired her to write her own PhD proposal which was granted by the HU focusing on taking a more social systemic perspective on designing for behaviour change.
As an external PhD candidate, Anita works as a teacher and researcher at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht (HU). At the HU she is part of the Research Group Co-Design and the Bachelor Communication and Multimedia Design. Before working as a researcher, she completed a Master Applied Communication Science at the Wageningen University (Cum Laude, 2012) and completed a design education at the Willem the Kooning Academy in Rotterdam (2006). In between these educations she worked a few years as a project manager and creative concept-designer at a small design agency.