Research and education


The strategy of our Department is based on a strong coupling of research and education. Right from the start of the ID Department we chose to develop and implement a unique educational concept. The educational model is strongly focused on the integration of teaching/learning on the one hand and exploration/research on the other hand.  

The ID student is trained to explore and to develop new knowledge. There is a direct and essential relationship between research and education in the field of industrial design as it is realized within the TU/e context. This approach to industrial design adheres to the important idea of Alexander von Humboldt, who emphasized the necessity for a mutual relationship between ‘Forschung’ (research) and ‘Lehre’ (education).

Our Industrial Design curriculum is competency-centered; an educational model in which learning and working-as-a-professional come together. This competency-centered educational model is grounded in the constructivist perspective on learning. The notion of competency is defined as ‘an individual’s ability to acquire, select and use the knowledge, skills and attitude that are required for effective behavior in a specific professional, social or learning context’. It is from this definition that the role of knowledge acquisition appears: acquiring knowledge is no longer an end, but a means to develop a particular competency needed to perform a specific task or role.  The tenured staff devote equal amounts of time to both research and education.

DI and education
For the Educational program, the DI group is the owner of the competencies Integrating Technology, Design and Research Processes, and Mathematical modeling, providing the content and organizing the activities such as assignments, modules, master classes, experts meeting, projects and workshops. The DI group also offers the students infrastructure and support in both dedicated educational facilities such as e-atelier, and research laboratories such as the Cultural Computing Lab, the Robotics Lab and the Simulation Lab.

Our staff reflect a wide variety in background, nationality and specialization. The ambition level for both teaching and research is to be world first-class. Evidence for the achievement of this ambition is provided by scientific publications in important journals and conferences, proven design results, and in the cooperation with prestigious research institutes and industries worldwide.