Creative Collaborations with Machines

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 15 Sep 2021


Industrial Design, Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences, Built Environment

Reference number


Job description

Are you interested in how we can collaborate creatively with, against and alongside intelligent machines? Are you a dedicated maker and designer? Would you like to study how machine learning can be used in creative design processes? If so, then apply for this PhD position at Eindhoven University of Technology and join the CREATIVE AI MACHINES project.

Project Background       

The CREATIVE AI MACHINES project aims to research creativity and develop creative AI methods to (a) generate creative design solutions, and (b) emerge and promote creativity in (human) design processes through close interaction between AI and humans.                                      

Current AI research is limited by a tendency to mimic the output of human creativity and simply generate vast sets of solutions. However, human creativity is driven in part by friction and embodied engagement with the physical world. In this project, you will explore this by working with small scale co-bots and fabrication machines engaging in collaborative creative tasks. 


As a PhD researcher, you will focus on developing new methods and possibilities for creative interaction with AI systems, in close collaboration with a Human-Technology Interaction PhD researcher, who will focus on creating a creative AI system with an accessible "inner world". Your focus will be on designing and collaborating with these systems through iterative and explorative processes, making use of small embodied robots and fabrication machinery. You will develop methods for embodied human-machine creativity and investigate the interaction between design and AI. You will publish your findings in top-tier academic journals preferably with a multi-disciplinary audience and proactively disseminate the methodology that you will develop through education, conferences, and workshops.


You will be one of two PhD candidates, working in parallel under the supervision of a highly interdisciplinary team. The research will be done in a multi-disciplinary approach across the departments of Build Environment (BE), Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences (IE&IS), and Industrial Design (ID). You will become part of the department of Future Everyday, Industrial Design as well as the EAISI institute (Eindhoven Artificial Intelligence Institute) with daily supervision from Kristina Andersen (ID) and close collaboration with a team of Sanne Schoenmakers (HTI, IE&IS), Herm Hofmeyer (BE), Pieter Pauwels (BE) and Wijnand IJsselsteijn (HTI, IE&IS). 


The Eindhoven Artificial Intelligence Systems Institute (EAISI) was established in the summer of 2019 as a cross-departmental institute that brings together all AI activities of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). EAISI stimulates, supports, and organizes collaboration between TU/e AI researchers and companies and societal partners. EAISI’s goal is to stimulate multidisciplinary AI research on the combination of three of TU/e’s traditionally strong research domains of Data Science, Humans and Ethics, and Engineering Systems. EAISI aims to develop AI technology for autonomous decision-making in engineering systems that interact with and support humans. Working for EAISI means you are supported in creating new and exciting AI applications with a direct and positive impact on the real world, especially focusing on the application areas of health, mobility and high-tech industry.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e, ) is one of Europe's leading research universities. The Eindhoven area, in the southern part of the Netherlands, is one of Europe's top 'innovation ecosystems', with many high-tech companies and institutes. TU/e is intertwined with many of these companies and institutes, and research at TU/e is characterized by a combination of academic excellence, industrial relevance and societal interweaving.  

Job requirements
  • A Master’s degree in an industrial design related discipline (e.g., Industrial Design, Product Design, Fashion, Graphics) and demonstrated competences in one or more of these domains: Human-Computer Interaction, Design and other relevant fields. 
  • A design portfolio demonstrating skills and knowledge in design exploration, digital fabrication and Research through Design.
  • Ability to conduct and deliver high quality research both independently and as part of an interdisciplinary team.
  • Openness, interest and good soft skills to work closely with people from other disciplines and across organizations.
  • Fluency in English is a must (written and spoken).
  • Well-structured, consistent, and clear writing skills.
  • Equally important to a particular degree or skill set is your approach to design and your interest in this research topic: Are you a dedicated maker and designer? Are you interested in exploring the complexity and opportunities of intelligent and digital machines? Are you a conceptual thinker? Do you thrive in interdisciplinary and collaborative environments? 

Conditions of employment
  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
  • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program ).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called ‘30% facility’, which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Information and application

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact Assistant Professor Kristina Andersen, h.k.g.andersen[at] or Professor Wijnand IJsselsteijn, W.A.IJsselsteijn[at]

For information about terms of employment, click here or contact HRServices.IEIS[at]

Please visit to find out more about working at TU/e!


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page.

Your application must contain the following documents (all in English):

  • a written application letter with a clear motivation section
  • a portfolio and a short academic writing sample
  • description of your MSc thesis
  • a curriculum vitae.

The deadline for applications is 15th of September 2021.
Screening will continue until the position has been filled.

We do not respond to applications that are sent to us in a different way.

Please keep in mind you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. If necessary, please combine files.

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it.

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