Myrte Thoolen is currently a PhD Researcher at the Industrial Design department, Systemic Change group, of the University of Technology in Eindhoven. Her work focuses on design and technology that is centred around enhancing the lives of people living with dementia and the care ecology (i.e. family, caregivers) around them. In this practice she incorporates a person-centred approach working closely with people with dementia and the ecology of care around them. In this context she explores the potential of experience-centred design by involving all users in the innovation process. Practicing this approach does not means that she simply ask people she works with what they want. They don't know. As a design researcher and being design-led means she sets aside time to understand how a person's world works and build empathy - because without doing that, there’s only a small chance to create something that makes their world better. Therefore, she creates technological design probes to empathically engage people in this process and to pose questions as a means to make sense of their user experiences and create technologies that are tailored to individuals' needs, abilities, and desires. This same approach also holds true for for example staff members of a care organisation  because for a solution or new idea to survive within another organizational system, it has to align with the aspirations and goals of their staff. For it to yield meaningful results, it has to be embedded as part of a deeper cultural and systemic change within organizations. 


Current /

PhD Candidate

Industrial Design Department, Eindhoven University of Technology

Professional Experience /

Research & Teaching Assistant [May 2018 - Aug 2018]

Industrial Design Department, Eindhoven University of Technology

Lecturer User Experience & Interaction Design [Jun 2016 - Aug 2018]

Avans University of Applied Sciences, Breda

Graduate Intern UX/UI Design [Feb 2015 - Jul 2015]

Bachelor graduation in User Experience and Interaction

Design at Philips Design Eindhoven

Education /

MSc. Industrial Design [2015 - 2018]

Research Design & Development

University of Technology, Eindhoven



Premaster Industrial Design [2015]

Research Design & Development

University of Technology, Eindhoven


BSc. Information and Communication Technology [2011 - 2015]

Information and Interaction Design

Avans University of Applied Sciences, Breda

Havo [2009 - 2011] & Vwo [ 2005 - 2009]

Onze Lieve VrouweLyceum, Breda

Profesional Development /

Basiskwalificatie Didactische Bekwaamheid (Teaching Qualification)

Qualitative Research

Project Management

Design Thinking / Scrum

Development Educational Program

Projects & Activities /

Pleyade Innovation Team [Sep. 2018 - Current]

A cross-over collaboration between professionals from different sectors, consisting of designers, researchers, engineers, and care professionals. The Pleyade Innovation Team is part of the Dutch care organization, Pleyade. The teamwork together to develop innovative products and services for use in the health and care sector. All designs are extensively evaluated at the residential dementia care facility of Pleyade to allow the care professionals to provide better care and add quality to the lives of those living with dementia.

Dementia Dynamics in Design [Aug 2018 - Current]

In the Dementia Dynamics in Design project, the University of Technology Eindhoven works together with Tilburg University (Social and Behavioral Science) to design and test new technological solutions that help elderly people with early dementia to maintain social contacts. We investigate this together with them and their loved ones.

Dementia Lab 2019 Conference Organisation [Oct 2019]

Member of the organisation of the Dementia Lab 2019 conference, held in Eindhoven. Responsible for the exhibition during Dutch Design Week. 


Awards & Grants /

Herman Bouma Gerontechnology Research Grant [2019]

Herman Bouma Found grant for travel grant to the Designing Interactive Systems Conference in San Diego. 

TU/e Contest, 2nd

A shape-changing light regulation system that regulates light

using natural, intuitive interactions.

Thinkathon Identity Fraud, 2nd

Concept development for Ministry of Kingdom and Relations

for awareness of identity fraud.

Publications /

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

DIS '19 Companion Companion Publication of the 2019 on ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2019 Companion - San Diego, Verenigde Staten van Amerika

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

Proceedings Intelligent Systems Conference (IntelliSys 2018) - London, United Kingdom



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