The Readership in Places and Traces focuses on design research into spatial, social, technological and sustainability issues in the urban environment. In particular, it pays attention to the role of design in understanding and transforming public and collective spaces, and flows of people, information and materials.

Reader (lector): dr. David Hamers.

Challenges, concepts, representations, and materialisations

The Readership’s design research engages with current and future spatial, social, technological, and ecological design challenges; new representations (e.g. imaginaries, scenarios, stories, maps) of spaces, places, and connections, and (individual and collective) identities of people; and the development of innovative urban design concepts, methods and materialisations.

Relevant disciplines

The Readership takes an interdisciplinary approach. Its research projects are positioned at the crossroads of public space design; landscape design; architecture; spatial planning; transportation studies; human geography; urban sociology; ethnography; critical cartography; urban studies; cultural studies; media studies; and science and technology studies.


Fitting with Design Academy Eindhoven’s overall conception of design research, the Readership’s central approach is so-called thinking-through-making,  a process in which making and thinking alternate back and forth in rapid iterations (; In addition to conducting design research projects, the Readership aims to further develop the field of design research in general, both within Design Academy Eindhoven and outside of it.


Within Design Academy Eindhoven the Readership Places and Traces collaborates with the Readership in Strategic Creativity. Both Readers also act as chairs of the academy’s Knowledge Circle. The Readership’s external network consists of art, design and design research schools; scientific and scholarly research institutes; government bodies; private enterprises; and social organisations. Currently, the Readership is a partner in the TRADERS program, the project Mycelium-based materials for product design, and Innovatieprogramma Mobiliteit en Ruimte.


In addition to conducting design research projects and developing the design research field in general, the Readership contributes to Design Academy Eindhoven’s educational program. Design students are taught to both use research skills to improve the design process (research for design) and use design skills in research projects (research through design).