Humans and Technology

Understanding the relation between humans and technology is key to responsible development and acceptance of future technologies in almost every application field, be it energy, mobility, health, work, living, learning or entertainment. 


Aims of Center for Humans and Technology

The overall aim of the Center for Humans & Technology is to foster and enhance high-quality multidisciplinary scientific research at the intersection of humans and technology, and to translate fundamental research insights into viable applications, services, and policies.
The Center for Humans & Technology is your single-point of entry for Humans & Technology related research at TU/e 

Our goals:

  • to enhance technological developments - by taking the human perspective into account - in collaboration with technological fields at TU/e;
  • to realize further synergy between the Humans & Technology related groups at TU/e in order to foster cross-disciplinary approaches towards the design and development of improved technology;
  • to open up new opportunities for research funding with partners in the Brainport area and beyond, both private and public.

Adaptive and engaging technologies

Future technologies need to be based on human needs and values at a personal, organizational and/or societal level. They will have to adapt their functionality to maximize these needs and values, and in some applications fields will have to engage humans at these different levels. This is one of the conditions for their successful adoption and diffusion.
Examples of adaptive and engaging technologies that currently have scientific interest are technologies aimed at behavioral change, health and well-being, life-long employability, or a sustainable society. The development of these technologies should take into account that human needs and values vary across cultures and regions, and that the creation and implementation of these technologies has become more and more a complex multi-actor process.

The core methodology for this research approach is user-centered design with iterative cycles of designing new technology and evaluating the related human values through experimenting in a controlled lab setting or "in the wild".

Understanding the impact of technology on humans and society

We need to understand better how past technologies have fundamentally changed human existence, and how future technologies may impact human beings and their society. This refection will help to design technologies with maximal value and minimal friction in a responsible way. 
Research questions related to this theme are: How will a robotized world impact people? What will be the consequences of cognitive human enhancement? What can we learn from past failures in technology adoption? And how did our technological choices in the past affect our current societal challenges? 

Common methodologies for this research theme are related to modelling humans from a psychological, economical, historical, philosophical, ethical and transition perspective, based on a combination of reviewing existing literature and experimenting "in the wild". 


Interacting research approaches

Both research approaches should not be interpreted as independent of each other; they interact via feedback loops. Understanding the impact of technology on humans and society leads to improved adaptive and engaging technologies, where the impact of these improved technologies on humans and society needs to be analyzed. Ultimately such cycles should lead to optimized technology, implemented in a responsible and acceptable way. 

Research themes


“Despite the increasing reliance on technology in our society, in my view, the key to designing a different future is to focus less on technology and engineering, and far more on the humanities and the design arts.
This is not a paradox. Technology certainly is a catalyst and will play an important role in what is to come. However, the deep issues holding back progress are more social and behavioural than technological. The skills of the engineer alone are simply not adequate to anticipate, much less address the relevant issues facing us today.
Hence, fields such as sociology, anthropology, psychology and industrial design, must be at least equal partners with engineering and technology in framing how we think about, design and manage our future.” 

Bill Buxton, Principal Researcher
Microsoft Research, TU/e Honorary Doctor

Meet our board


Quantified Self meetup, 13 May

The center for Humans and technology and Quantified Self Netherlands organize the next QS Meetup at TU Eindhoven.  Join us if you are interested in self-tracking, personal informatics, auto-analytics, life-logging, etc. 

The program allows you to meet QS community, talk about your personal tracking project and see and hear great Show & Tell stories from various speakers. From TU/e, Elcin Hanci and Iris Loosman will be sharing their experience as “quantified researchers”.

When: Monday May 13th at 19:00

Where: TU Eindhoven, De Senaatzaal in Auditorium

Entrance: Free

Limited seating. R​​​​egistration is required


Kenny Chow - talks about 'Animation Thinking on Human-Technology Relationship', 16 May

On 16 May, Kenny Chow visits the Center for Humans and Technology. He will also be giving a talk 'Animation Thinking on Human-Technology Relationship'

Today’s mainstream design practice is to make technologies seamless and convenient in everyday life, which inevitably leads to issues like privacy and misassumption. I argue that we should make technologies more “animated” and design user experiences with the concept of “Animation Experience Design” that enables people to imagine, reflect, and gain insight into invisible, distant, indirect, or even inconvenient relationships between behaviors and consequences. This talk will focus on today’s huge amounts of data generated via ubiquitous sensors around our behaviors and suggest a way of transforming them into a kind of “animated parable” for people to experience, understand, and change or reinforce attitude in daily living.

When: Thursday, 16 May 2019

Time: 16.00 - 17.00 hrs.

Where: TU Eindhoven, Room 1,240, in building Luna

Entrance: Free

Limited seating  ​​​​
Please register
(provide your name, affiliation and mail address)


About Kenny Chow
Kenny K. N. Chow is an Associate Professor in the School of Design at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, directing the Interaction Design Lab, Master of Design in Interaction Design and Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Media. Chow received a Ph.D. in Digital Media from Georgia Institute of Technology U.S.A., an M.F.A. from the City University of Hong Kong, an M.Sc. and a B.Sc. from the University of Hong Kong. He is interested in “Animation as Experience” - the influences of “lively” artifacts, interfaces, or environments enabled by technology on individuals’ imagination, emotion, reflection, and behaviors, with impact areas including healthy habits, mental and psychological wellness. He is the author of Animation, Embodiment, and Digital Media: Human Experience of Technological Liveliness published by Palgrave Macmillan. He has papers published in International Journal of Design, International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, Interacting with Computers, as well as conference proceedings including Persuasive Technology, Creativity and Cognition, and International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference. He also has book chapters in Language and the Creative Mind (The University of Chicago Press) and Japanese Animation: East Asian Perspectives (University Press of Mississippi and Hong Kong University Press). Before joining the academia, Chow gained extensive work experience in film, animation, broadcast, and multimedia productions.


Flashback on events

An overview of past events organized by and in cooperation with the Center for Humans & Technology

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