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Personal profile


“Interacting with products usually means pressing buttons. A better way is rich interaction – starting with people’s skills and designing interfaces that unite form, interaction and function of the product.”

Research profile

Joep Frens is assistant professor. He leads the Connecting Rich Interaction in Growing Systems (CRIGS) squad and is member of the Industrial Design (ID) Departmental Admissions board and the ID board of Examiners, as well as a reserve member of the TU/e Examination Appeals Board. Frens is interested in the research question ‘How can we design for rich interaction in growing systems?’, which he explores in a hands-on, making approach together with his students.

Frens is an accomplished designer and researcher whose work is internationally known and recognized.

Academic background

Joep Frens has a background in Industrial Design (MSc from TU Delft) and obtained his PhD in Interaction Design from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in 2006. Frens held the prestigious invited position of Nierenberg Chair of Design at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Design, USA, from 2014 to 2015. He also co-edited a special issue on making for the IxD&A Journal.

Education and Teaching

Expertise area(‘s): CA (main), also: T&R, U&S (sub)

Squad: New futures- Connectivity in the home with energy, systems and sound

Research interest, projects I like to coach
“I would like to coach projects that focus on human-product interaction, connectivity, IoT, but I am also interested in projects that focus on making, or projects in the tension field between Smart Home and sustainability (Designing for growing systems).

Furthermore, I have a background in designing, so I am skilled in integrating the different expertise areas and in the overall competence of design."

Coaching style & Vision on education

“As a coach, I would rather not guide the student step by step during the process, but I prefer to act as sparring partner. I try to think along with the student, but let the student make the decisions.”

Exemplary graduation projects of students I coached:
Joep Elderman: Sphearical interactions
Anne Spaa: Disrupting clocks
Stijn Oude Lenferink: Crafting Future Manufacturing



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


Dive into the research topics where Joep W. Frens is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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