Mascha van der Voort (1974) is Vice-Dean Education at the Faculty of Engineering Technology of the University of Twente. Moreover, she is a full professor in Human Centred Design and scientific co-director of the DesignLab of the University of Twente. She is scientific co-director of Design United, the 4TU Research Centre for Design.
With a background in both civil engineering and human-centred product design, Mascha works across disciplines ranging from automotive, policy making, to healthcare in the aim to address the challenges we face as society in impactful and meaningful ways.
Mascha is convinced that true innovation can only arise from a cross-disciplinary approach and co-creation. As a full professor in Human Centred Design she continuously develops design approaches and tools that enable and empower all types of stakeholders to actively engage and participate in collaboratively exploring and defining potential futures. Overall aim is to elicit actual stakeholder needs, create commitment and understanding, and design products, services & systems that meet these needs and expectations. Acknowledgement of the use and context related expertise each stakeholder has is key herein. The approaches we develop are participatory and scenario-based. They facilitate and empower active stakeholder participation regardless of discipline, experience or role. Moreover, they contextualize the design challenge. Techniques as workshops, gaming, virtual reality and collaborative prototyping are frequently part of these approaches.
Concurrently, Mascha teaches subjects related to human-centred and scenario-based design. She was one of the founders of the Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) educational programs at the University of Twente in 2001. In 2014 she co-established the DesignLab, of which she is currently scientific co-director. Moreover, she is founder the new cross-faculty educational programme, the Transdisciplinary Master-insert programme 'Shaping Responsible Futures'.
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