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PhD CANDIDATE & DESIGN RESEARCHER

August 2018 - Current

Hi! I am Myrte Elise Thoolencurrently a PhD candidate at the University of Technology in Eindhoven, cooperating with TRANZO scientific center for Care and Wellbeing, and a design researcher at Pleyade, a care organisation in Arnhem. With my background in Information and Communication Technology and Industrial Design, I am interested in designing HCI and novel technologies to enrich the lives of vulnerable populations, and add value to people's well-being. I am passionate about understanding the diversity of individuals and their vulnerabilities, and how we can empower each individual through person-centred and adaptable (self-learning) designs.

In my PhD, I am exploring the potential of designing sustainable technologies for people living with dementia. In my research, I investigate how to adapt novel technologies to the individual, and changing needs and circumstances. The emphasis is on finding a balance between personal monitoring and self-learning systems that adapt to the person with dementia and to the relationship between pwd and relevant actors. In doing so, I am embracing a design research approach in which experience-centered design interventions are evaluated in-situ (in the wild), together with all vital stakeholders.

 
 

current featured projects 

ONGOING PROJECTS

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Dementia Dynamics in Design 

Exploring the Design of Sustainable Technology to Support Social Health in Dementia Care

The Dementia Dynamics in Design project is a project in collaboration with TRANZO, scientific centre for care and well-being, that focuses on the design of sustainable technologies that could improve social health and promote agency and quality of life of community-living people with dementia. As dementia progression is heterogeneous within and between persons with dementia and originates both from the disease and individuals’ characteristics, technology should be designed in a way that enables its continuous adjustments to the changing needs and circumstances.  

view this project

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User and Context-specific Design 

Exploring Interactive Media Experiences in the Context of Residential Dementia Care

This project is in close collaboration with care organisation Pleyade and the Pleyade Innovation Team. Although research in HCI and dementia have shown that person-centered design yields positive results, little is known about designing media experiences in shared care spaces. To investigate this, we designed AmbientEcho, an interactive system that offers bespoke and curated media content through different modalities. AmbientEcho thereby aims to provide enriching personal experiences in residential dementia care. A prototype of this design was evaluated in a real-life care setting.

view this project

 

design research

PUBLICATIONS

2020

AmbientEcho: Exploring Interactive Media Experiences in the Context of Residential Dementia Care

Myrte Thoolen, Rens Brankaert,

Yuan Lu

DIS '20: Proceedings of the 2020 ACM on Designing Interactive Systems Conference

Designing Sentic: Participatory Design with People Living

with Dementia

Myrte Thoolen, Rens Brankaert,

Yuan Lu

Book chapter in HCI and Design in the Context of Dementia, 2020

2018 & 2019 

Myrte Thoolen, Rens Brankaert,

Yuan Lu

Sentic: A Tailored Interface Design for People with Dementia to Access Music

DIS '19 Companion: Companion Publication of the 2019 ACM on Designing Interactive Systems Conference

Eve: A Combined Physical-digital Interface for Insomnia Sleep Diary

Linkai Toi, Myrte Thoolen, Bram 

de Vogel, Loe Feijs, Wei Chen, 

Jun Hu

IntelliSys '18: Proceedings of the 2018 Intelligent Systems Conference

MY DESIGN WORK

featured design portfolio

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AMBIENTECHO
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SENTIC
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EVE
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XWEARAY
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DEMENTIALAB
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INTERFACE

IN THE MEDIA

my work mentioned

TU/e ontwerpt slimme systemen voor demente ouderen

Telegraaf

"Onderzoeker Rens Brankaert en zijn promovenda Myrte Thoolen ontwikkelen systemen waardoor ouderen met dementie worden geprikkeld."

Dubai Global Grad Show 2018 Trend: Human-Centered Designs for the Elderly

Core77

"At the world's largest grad show, students design for an aging population. Sentic, a music player designed for tactile interactions and encourages users to touch and play."

In de Beleefkamer van Pleyade komt een gesprek vanzelf op gang

Waardigheid en trots

"Het is een uitdaging om te zorgen dat zo’n complex systeem technisch goed en makkelijk werkt en dat het past bij de persoon. Zeker bij zo’n complexe doelgroep."

Five projects from Industrial Design at Global Grad Show during Dubai Design Week 2018

TU/e

"Dubai Design Week is one of the world’s newest and most ambitious international design events, conceived to shine a spotlight on Dubai as a leading design hub, and share the UAE’s thriving design scene with the world at large."

Telegraaf

Studenten TU/e bedenken techniek voor fijner leven met dementie

Eindhovens dagblad

"Deze draaitafel is zo simpel dat ook dementerenden ermee kunnen omgaan."

Vijf jaar

dementiecafé

Veldhoven

ED

"Thoolen demonstreerde een prototype van een muziekspeler dat toegankelijk blijft voor mensen met dementie. Met dit product kan iemand met dementie zelf de regie houden."

 
 

interested in sharing ideas, collaborate or just have a coffee?

LET'S TALK ABOUT YOU & YOUR EXPERIENCES!

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