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Assistant Professor in Design for Systemic Change

Assistant Professor in Design for Systemic Change

Design approaches, methods, tools and theories for navigating transforming societies,
Universitaire docent
Industrial Design


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e): Where innovation starts, and people matter! TU/e is a young university, founded in 1956 by industry, local government and academia. Today, this spirit of collaboration is still at the heart of the university community. We foster an open culture where everyone feels free to exchange ideas and take initiatives.

TU/e offers academic education that is driven by fundamental and applied research. Our educational philosophy is based on personal attention and room for individual ambitions and talents. Our research meets the highest international standards of quality. We push the limits of science, which puts us at the forefront of rapidly emerging areas of research. 

Eindhoven University of Technology combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on mentality. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. We understand things by making them and we make things by understanding them.

Our campus is in the center of one of the most powerful technology hubs in the world: Brainport Eindhoven. Globally, we stand out when it comes to collaborating with advanced industries.

Together with other institutions, we form a thriving ecosystem with one common aim – to improve quality of life through sustainable innovations. The TU/e puts emphasis on knowledge valorization: research results are translated into successful innovations and serve as a basis for creating new products, processes, and enterprises.

The Department of Industrial Design (ID) is one of the nine departments of TU/e and has an internationally leading position because of its core commitment to research through design (RtD) and its strikingly original conceptual work. ID’s ambition is to be recognized as one of the top departments in the world that conduct exciting research in the intersection of Design, Technology, Human-Computer Interaction, and Social Sciences and Humanities. In particular, the department aims to inspire and educate a new generation of design engineers who can contribute with their novel designs, their fluency in AI/ML algorithms and data, and their academic critical questioning, to the imminent and complex societal challenges our world is facing nowadays.

The ID education program is competence-centered, self-directed and challenged-based. ID focuses on educating students to design through five different perspectives (called Expertise Areas), through core courses and electives:

  • math, data and computing
  • user and society
  • technology and realization
  • business and entrepreneurship
  • creativity and aesthetics

Students also learn to make connections between the different perspectives within project groups called squads. In addition, the ID education curriculum encourages and empowers students to take the ownership of their personal and professional development.  Supported by their academic coaches, through ID curriculum and their personal, industrial and research projects, students develop a unique competence of designing and related design approaches individually. Next to self-directed learning and competence development, the educational model of ID is challenge-based. ID students work together on challenging and authentic projects in which multiple perspectives or disciplines are incorporated to solve the challenge (for example by working within interdisciplinary groups) using an entrepreneurial mindset.

At the Industrial Design department we have two research groups: Systemic Change and Future Everyday. For information about Systemic Change and their vacancy read further below. For more information about the Future Everyday group and their current opening click here.

The Systemic Change group aims to define and explore new design approaches, methods, and theories that can drive creative, often technological, propositions for how to address contemporary complex societal challenges. The technological interventions that we create and research are tailored to the societal context with explicit attention for the people involved. The complexity of the societal systems that we design for implies that we make use of and contribute to inter-, cross- and transdisciplinary approaches. Our research mission involves a broad spectrum of interventions, from prototypes of products and services that can help to address concrete societal challenges, such as stimulating physical activity in diverse segments of the population, through developing new collaborative design methods and tools that support the design of socio-technical systems, to making theoretical contributions to the field of design, as, for example, in Transforming Practices.

Current qualities of the Systemic Change group:

  • Reputation in research through design, user experiences, real-life data acquisition and representation, design-philosophy correspondence, and interdisciplinary approaches
  • Track-record in design conferences (CHI, DIS, TEI, DRS, …) and top-ranked journals
  • Ambitious research facilities for making, realizing, and evaluating prototypes in the everyday context through living labs
  • Innovative and fruitful collaboration between research, education, private and public organizations, government, and civil society


To further strengthen these competences, the Systemic Change group is looking for a highly motivated and qualified academic with a strong affinity with design, capable of defining and exploring new design approaches, methods, tools and theories, that can support sensemaking of and designing for systemic change. We are looking for an academic with experience of working in cross-, inter-, or transdisciplinary settings, and with an affinity for emerging technologies.

We are looking for an aspiring assistant professor who will focus on one or more of the following areas:

  • Design correspondence in cross-, inter-, transdisciplinary collaborations
  • The notion of systemic change, transformation and transition
  • New approaches, methods, tools and theories for designing for systemic change
  • Design for complex, open, dynamic and situated eco-systems
  • Technological mediation to navigate transforming societies
  • Making interactive designs in everyday multistakeholder settings for researching alternative paradigms
  • Scaffolding shared imagination with tangible designs to study alternative practices
  • Design philosophy correspondence in the realm of emerging technologies (related to, e.g., (post-)phenomenology and enactivist approaches)
  • Aesthetics in complex socio-technical systems (e.g., aesthetics of transaction aesthetics of becoming, aesthetics of complexity, aesthetics of transforming organizations/practices)
  • Designing for ethics and co-responsability in a growing digitalized environment
  • Embodied and situated experienceable data visualization to support addressing complex societal challenges (e.g., researching the relevance of digital twins)

Specific Requirements

  • A relevant PhD degree (industrial design, humanities, social sciences, computer science/engineering, or a comparable domain).
  • Ability to conduct high quality academic research, demonstrated for instance by a relevant PhD thesis and/or publication(s).
  • Strong affinity with designing for systemic change and transformation
  • Experience in and being creative and dedicated to cross-, inter-, or transdisciplinary collaboration
  • Ability and interest to teach, shown by experience or assistance in teaching and positive evaluations of these teaching efforts. Experience in a competence-centred, self-directed and challenge-based learning program is a plus.
  • Good communication and leadership skills and willingness to utilize these in projects, working groups and committees.
  • Excellent proficiency (written and oral) in English.
  • Experience in acquiring grants will strengthen your application.


  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the autonomy to develop your own research line and participate in the curriculum of the department.
  • A Tenure Track of five years with the prospect of becoming Associate Professor. After a maximum of four years the tenure decision will be made.
  • You will have free access to high-quality training programs for academic leadership, the university teaching qualification program, research and valorization competences, and a dedicated mentoring program to help you get to know the university and the Dutch (research) environment.
  • Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary;
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as the Dual Career Opportunity program to support accompanying partners, an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Informatie en sollicitatie

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact Caroline Hummels (primary contact; c.c.m.hummels[at] or Jean-Bernard Martens (group leader; j.b.o.s.martens[at]

For information about terms of employment, click here or contact Sam van Kampen, HR Advisor Industrial Design, s.q.v.kampen[at]

Are you inspired to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit 


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page.
The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of
    three references.
  • List of five self-selected ‘best publications’.
  • Description of your scientific interests and plans (1-2 pages).
  • Statement of your teaching goals and experience (1-2 pages).

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it. Screening will continue until the position has been filled.

We do not respond to applications that are sent to us in a different way.

Please keep in mind you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. If necessary please combine files.