Johannes Willem Heesbeen

Reflective Conversations on Design

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Johannes is interested in the reflective habits within Design Practices. These habits can illuminate the various dependencies and forms of sub-ordination, which are at play in creative business and design practices in particular.

Visiting Scholar, Leiden University 2018-2021

Visiting Scholar, TUM University 2015 - 2018

Assistant Lecturer & Research Associate, AALTO University 2011-2013

PhD research description

Design has become an amalgamation of many strands. In this position, design can stake a claim to innovation and life’s improvement.

In practice however, design acts more subordinate and in service to, than it cares to admit (Dilnot 2016). The morphology that has evolved within design practices is malleable and adaptive. Taking the ubiquity of design and the multitude of instances where designers are contributing, and considering the nature of these interactions, the fluidity seems inevitable.

By continuously adapting to the codex defined by the particular situation, design is bound to the reification that underpins the challenges presented in each setting. Design will not change dogmas or doctrines, but designers can change the framing and perception in which the laws regulating behavior are contingent on human (in)action (Feenberg, 2020).

Although design is inherently reflective, the setting – again – can dictate how this reflection is modelled. The level of autonomy from the given, is a precondition to fully reflect on the possible and commit to de-reification of the setting and the fabrications it contains.

This project will study design practices in the operational and methodological sense. Aiming to include both internal exchanges and interactions with patrons; boundary objects and project reviews. Within these exchanges, we will attempt to determine variations in autonomy, both perceived and enacted, applied.

PhD supervisors

Interests and activities

Johannes had a personal interest in Cycling (fitness), Mountain biking (moderate), basketball, tennis, volleyball.