Thomas van Rompay is an Associate Professor at the Department of Communication Science of the University of Twente (UT) in the Netherlands. He has a background in cognitive psychology. After obtaining his master degree at Leiden University, he pursued his PhD at Delft Technical University, Department of Industrial Design Engineering. Specifically, he studied design experience from an embodied cognition perspective, investigating how design communicates meaning and affect. Since 2005, he works at The University of Twente.
His current research projects take place on the threshold of design and psychology where he studies influences of environmental design (and ‘green’ / natural stimuli in particular) and technology on health and wellbeing, and the potential of innovations in packaging design (multisensory design and 3D printing) for promoting responsible (food and beverage) consumption.
In addition, Van Rompay collaborates in multi-disciplinary projects in order to develop design and technology for people with health challenges, amongst others in ZonMW's "Growing Roots: Connecting Elderly through Virtual Nature Spaces", in Horizon 2020's "MinD: Designing for people with Dementia" and in Connecting Industries' (Top Technology Twente) “Digital Nature - Enhancing patient care & control” (in collaboration with Philips Research])".
At the UT, he participates in tech-inspired programs in close collaboration with BMSLAB and teaches and works at the University’s DesignLab where he is a DL-fellow.
RESEARCH LINE 1: CONCEPTUALIZING, CREATING AND TESTING HIGH-TECH DESIGN INTERVENTIONS FOR PROMOTING PSYCHOSOCIAL WELLBEING AND MENTAL HEALTH FOR FRAIL PEOPLE
In this line, Thomas van Rompay focuses on the impact of healing environments and nature-based design elements on (mental) health and wellbeing. In this context, he is interested in the role of emergent technologies (including AR and VR) which offer tremendous opportunities for transforming static, ‘old-school’ environments into flexible and dynamic healing environments which can be aligned with specific needs of specific people. It is this fusion of design and technology which opens up endless opportunities to create adaptable and sustainable environments. For instance, in recent publications, the potential of creative (interactive) design solutions for frail elderly and people with dementia is described.
RESEARCH LINE 2: CONCEPTUALIZING, CREATING, AND TESTING TECH-ENHANCED DESIGN SOLUTIONS FOR THE PROMOTION OF HEALTHY LIFESTYLE MANAGEMENT AND DISEASE PREVENTION
The idea here is that we can boost taste and attractiveness of healthy food options through design and product/packaging innovations. In doing so, we contribute to a healthy lifestyle which is crucial when it comes to prevention of disease later in life. To illustrate: overweight is heavily influenced by dietary and lifestyle factors (especially consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and poor diet quality) and, in its turn, being overweight is an important risk factor for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and certain types of cancers. Several of his recent publications stress the potential of 3D-printed surface textures for promoting healthy food choices in particular (for which Van Rompay collaborates with Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology - KAIST).
Thomas van Rompay teaches in multi-disciplinary courses in which relationships between design & technology and societal challenges take centre stage, such as:
MA course ‘Design and Behavior Change’ (in collaboration with ET-IDE).
The goal of this course is to connect theory and practice and come up with a concept/prototype of a design intervention in the context of a specific societal challenge (e.g., active lifestyle promotion). Students work in mixed teams (CS/IDE/HMI) with the goal to enable a multidisciplinary perspective on current societal issues.
BA course ‘Communication by Design’
Focus in this bachelor course is on communication by means of creative technology (VR technology as a way to immerse people in restorative environments with the goal to enhance performance and wellbeing) and/or multisensory design (packaging design to promote healthy food consumption and healthy lifestyle development).
MA course ‘Societal Challenges’
Goal of this course is to engage students with stakeholders in the context of a specific (NWO/EU-based) societal challenge (e.g., green energy transition, mobile technology use and social dynamics, healthy living). It includes reflection on the role of communication in the specific challenge at stake. Through this course, we aim to complement students’ academic skills and mindset with an acute sense of where and how communication professionals can make a difference in the world of tomorrow.
Verbonden aan Opleidingen
Vakken Collegejaar 2023/2024
Vakken Collegejaar 2022/2023
Van Rompay collaborates in multi-disciplinary projects in order to develop design and technology for people with health challenges, amongst others in:
- ZonMW - Create Health: "Growing Roots: Connecting Elderly through Virtual Nature Spaces".
- Connecting Industries (Top Technology Twente): “Digital Nature - Enhancing patient care & control”
- Horizon 2020's "MinD: Designing for people with Dementia".
At the UT, he participates in tech-inspired programs in close collaboration with BMSLAB and the University’s DesignLab where he is a DL-fellow.
In de Pers