RTD 1: Getting a grip on Research through Design

Evaluating RTD Methodology

  • EXPO

In 2016 nine design projects within the programme ‘Research through Design’ started to explore the nature of design as a research method. After two years the projects are coming to an end. Join the project leaders in exciting round table discussions on the merits of doing ‘research through design'! Artefacts from the different projects will be at the heart of this conversation and dedicated exhibition. The ‘Research through Design’ programme is funded by NWO and SIA.

A selection of project leaders and researchers involved in one of the RTD projects form a panel and will reflect on a theme regarding ‘research through design’. During an interactive discussion the audience can join in the discussion with their questions and remarks.


Evaluation of RTD methodology regarding:

  • Differences between disciplines
  • Scale levels and types of products
    How do these two aspects above relate to the number of RTD iterations necessary, the amount and types of testing methods necessary, involvement of stakeholders, etc.?

Research Through Design Projects

Smart clothing for thermal control of the human body
New and innovative solutions for clothing which can actively control our body temperature are created by combining different heating and cooling technologies with sensors and actuators, while integrating these in new smart clothing prototypes.

Resourceful Ageing
This approach moves away from the idea of the elderly as frail, passive and technologically incompetent, a sterotype that underlies much of today’s healthcare technology. Instead, this project promotes a view of the elderly as being extremely capable of creatively dealing with the everyday challenges they encounter as they age.

Double Face 2.0
Few architectural works draw aesthetic advantage from technical aspects; technology is often seen as a constraint limiting creativity rather than inspiring principles that become part of the design identity. With the design of the novel type of Trombe wall system, we aimed to combine a high technical performance witht its engineering performances, demonstrating the value of an integrated design identity.

Symbiotic Machines for Space Exploration
Symbiotic Machines for Space Exploration are autonomous structures that will make a meaningful contribution to the stabilization of endangered ecosystems, conservation of biodiversity and creation of a new environment, focusing on environments with a huge concentration of carbon dioxide.

Beyond the Current
Many design solutions are produced without paying much attention to the architectural and cultural heritage quality, as well as not researching consumer preferences and means. These aspects are of increasingly important when designing non-row housing, particularly in the larger cities. This proposal aims to generate design solutions for the deep renovation of representative parts of the more complex housing stock, to increase both energy efficiency and architectural quality.

Mycelium-based materials for product design
How can we improve and standardise the technical and experiential qualities of naturally grown, mycelium materials? Depending on the chosen combination of fungal culture, substrate and post-treatment, a range of mycelium-based materials embedding different properties can be created, demonstrating the wide applicative potential of responsible bio-fabricated materials and highlighting the pivotal role of designers as agents of change.

Really cooling water bodies in cities
Urban heat problems will be exacerbated and peak rain fall will increase: these predicted climate problems need to be resolved quickly. By studying configurations of shading, evaporation and ventilation objects around bodies of water, we can improve ‘human thermal sensation in cities’

Tools to Support Thinking about Personal Futures
Local government, service providers, and individuals are increasingly expected to be responsible for their own futures. In this project, newly developed tools will enable individuals to create images of their own future, and use these when discussing and developing their options, arrangements, and plans, either alone and/or with personal and professional relations.

Participatory City Making
This new city making process is not only about bringing various disciplines together that address urban developments, but foremost seeks to establish a collaborative effort of defining a new way of working between professional designers, academics, policy makers and citizens.


Christine De Lille

Christine De Lille leads the Innovation Networks research group at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. They aim at designing systems by Research through Design in three contexts: retail, food and mobility. Christine also works at Delft University of Technology.


Sanda Lenzholzer

Associate Professor at Wageningen University and Principal Investigator at Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS). Sanda works on the relationship between research and design. Within her research she integrates urban climate science with urban planning and design practice. Through her projects (e.g. Climate Proof Cities, Climadaptool, Realcool) she improves the knowledge base of climate-responsive urban design. She advises design agencies, municipalities and provinces and gives guest lectures and master classes in many countries.

My Futures

Froukje Sleeswijk Visser

Froukje Sleeswijk Visser is assistant professor at Delft University of Technology, ID-StudioLab. She is a pioneer in user insight methods for service innovation. Her research focuses on involving stakeholders in design processes delivering products, services and complex product service systems. Froukje holds a PhD in Industrial Design Engineering.

Double Face 2.0

Martin Tenpierik

Dr. ir. Martin Tenpierik is an associate professor of Building Physics and leader of the section Environmental & Computational Design at the TU Delft faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. His research focuses on innovative and advanced concepts, materials and buildings for creating an energy efficient and energy positive built environment. Furthermore, he is a registered architect in the Netherlands.

Symbiotic Machines

Raoul Frese

Raoul Frese studied physics at the University of Amsterdam and received his PhD at VU Amsterdam. There he established his research group biohybrid solar cells investigating photosynthetic material interconnected in solar cells.

Resourceful Ageing

Lenneke Kuijer

Lenneke Kuijer is Assistant Professor in the Future Everyday research group at TU/e with a PhD from TU Delft. Her main interests lie in the areas of social practice theory, research through design, domestic energy demand and human-computer collaboration.