Maarten Houben

Maarten Houben
Eindhoven University of Technology | TUE · Department of Industrial Design

PhD Candidate - Department of Industrial Design - Eindhoven University of Technology


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In my PhD research, I am exploring the potential of everyday sounds and soundscapes in design of technology for people with dementia. In my research, I adopt a design research approach for introducing and evaluating novel design interventions in everyday care routines and real-life care environments, by involving the perspectives of key stakeholders such as residents in care facilities, their relatives and care practitioners.
Skills and Expertise


Publications (9)
Conference Paper
Research in design and HCI is investigating the role of design interventions in adding value to the quality of life of people with dementia. However, the sustainable use of design interventions in care environments remains challenging due to the complex values and needs of all involved stakeholders. In this paper, we present the results of two work...
Conference Paper
The representation of sounds derived from everyday life can be beneficial for people with dementia by evoking memories and emotional responses. Despite this potential, integrating sound and sound-based interventions in care facilities has not received much research attention. In this paper, we present the findings from a field study that explored t...
Conference Paper
Memory loss is one of the most frequent symptoms associated with dementia. Losing the memories of meaningful social activities, such as visits from family, can be confronting not only for the person with dementia, but also for relatives and caretakers. Through an iterative design process involving people with dementia, caretakers and relatives, the...
Conference Paper
People with dementia often experience a lack of social engagement after moving from the home environment into long-term care. Professional caregivers aim to build social relations with residents in dementia care homes to empower and socially include them during everyday care. However, the natural imbalance between the caregiver and the cared-for po...
People with dementia often face problems during eating activities, due to the loss of physical and cognitive functioning. With an increasing amount of research suggesting how everyday sounds can have beneficial effects for people with dementia, we raise the question whether everyday sounds related to eating can improve dining experiences in care fa...
This paper explores how we can design personalised auditory experiences for people with dementia (PwD). We introduce a new product design called the SoundscapePillow. The SoundscapePillow is a long tubular shape changing pillow that enables personalised auditory experiences for PwD by listening to (nature) soundscapes. The built-in sound system pro...
Conference Paper
There has been an increased interest in researching the beneficial effects of everyday sounds, other than music on people with dementia. However, to turn this potential into concrete design applications, a qualitative understanding of how people engage with sound is needed. This paper presents the outcomes of three workshops, exploring the personal...
Conference Paper
In this demo we introduce our ongoing research on how to leverage the situated visualization of open and citizen science data within public space to inform and engage citizens. We developed an open-source toolkit, coined "Citizen Dialogue Kit" that is able to convey data visualizations on a set of interactive, wirelessly networked displays that can...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Current media architecture practice demonstrates the rich potential of interactive media in our built environment for various economic, social and cultural purposes. However, the meaningful integration of interactive media with(in) architecture remains challenging, as architects typically expect that media-specific qualities amplify the architectur...


Cited By


Project (1)
The project “Everyday Sounds of Dementia” aims to research the potential of sound and soundscapes in design of technology and services for people living with dementia. In this project, different partners will collaborate to achieve these objectives. Next to TU/e Industrial Design and Tranzo (Tilburg University), the zorggroep Archipel (care institute Archipel) and network organization cooperation Slimmer Leven 2020 will be involved. The main goals of the project are to: 1) investigate the effects of personalized soundscapes on people living with dementia and their carers and develop a framework and collection of sounds for ongoing research and development; 2) explore and analyze the opportunities for sound and technology design to develop person-centered technology in the development of everyday sound for dementia using research-through-design approaches; 3) develop new knowledge on collaborative approaches to enable people living with dementia and their caregivers to engage in co-design and participatory approaches. This project contributes to the positive well-being and quality of life of people living with dementia, and their caregivers, by supporting day-to-day functioning in their homes, and during times of transition to higher levels of care. It uses design-research and participatory approaches to develop interactive soundscapes (collages of everyday ambient sounds ) to calm, reduce agitation, stimulate, excite and engage people living with dementia in times of anxiety, stress or boredom, and promote meaningful activity in high-risk situations. The project will support social engagement and communication through the design process and through engagement with the soundscapes.