TU Eindhoven

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Call for PhD student: Temporalities of More-than-Human Care

With societal concerns related to sustainability and inclusivity, there is a need for alternative care relations beyond the dominant (often exploitative) relationship centered around human values and temporalities. Time as material for design, in relation to processes of aging and degradation, practices of repair, and more recently, characteristics of living materials all have been emphasized in design and HCI literature. However, time is often a taken-for-granted aspect of thriving with humans and nonhumans through care. The risk of not looking into the temporalities of more-than-human care is in overextending our (humans’) agency in the ecosystem which threatens the livelihoods of humans and nonhumans. This PhD project aims to investigate the temporalities of more-than-human care for designing with and/or living with living artifacts.

Over the last two decades, design and HCI scholars have turned to live materials that grow, adapt, and regenerate, exploring novel forms of fabrication and co-habitation with nonhumans. Biological and AI-driven non-humans are increasingly mingled in conceptions of technological systems that are self-sustained by design or alternatively require humans to care for them and keep them alive over time. Pertaining to both trajectories is the need for posthumanism in conceptualizing more-than-human care. In this, a consistently overlooked aspect is temporality, i.e., how ways of caring depend on various notions of time in which the human-centered temporality should be critiqued as the baseline of how we care. Can living with and designing with living materials or artifacts proliferate more-than-human care by including temporalities of humans and non-humans?

The PhD candidate will approach this topic in four broad steps:

  1. Exploring care relations in living-with biological non-humans (e.g., microorganisms) over time.
  2. Exploring care relations in living-with AI-driven non-humans (e.g., chatbots) over time.
  3. Synthesizing nonhuman and human care relations and conceptualizing alternative care relations across humans and nonhumans (both living and non-living) time.
  4. Designing with and through temporalities of multispecies and interdependent lifecycles and fostering new (co-constructed interdependent) relations of care, possibly in future-oriented, biological, and AI-driven, combinatory practices.

For questions, please contact hrservices.ID[at]tue.nl.


Ideally, you have the following qualifications:

  • Completed (or are about to complete) a Master’s in Design, Human-Computer Interaction, Interaction Design, Design Research, Biology, Physics, or mixed educational degrees.
  • Experience or keen interests in new material explorations, material experimentation, biology, and bio-inspired designs
  • Experience or keen interest in applied ethics and morality
  • Experience with research through design approaches and (preferably) prototyping of interactive systems/research products
  • Experience working in multidisciplinary teams
  • The potential to publish academically or a track record of publications in related research areas
  • Good communication skills: fluency in English is mandatory.
  • 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.

You will be situated in the Future Everyday cluster, which investigates the everyday interactions between individual people and the highly interconnected technology that surrounds them. We measure, model and design for the user experience when individuals interact with social-technological networks in their homes, at work, in transit, while doing sport,s or going out.

Informatie en sollicitatie

About TU/e, Industrial Design and Future Everyday.
TU/e is a leading international university specializing in Engineering Science & Technology. With high quality education and research, TU/e ensures the progress of technical sciences and the development of technological innovations. TU/e is located in a highly industrialized region in the Netherlands, known as the ‘Brainport’. This region is internationally recognized as a top technology area with a special focus on the integration of design and technology. The department of Industrial Design at TU/e is internationally recognized for its scientific research on the design of systems with emerging technologies in a societal context. We excel at the acquisition and execution of projects where “integration of emerging technology into everyday life” and “application of technology in a societal context” play a major role. The Future Everyday research group investigates the everyday interactions between people and the highly interconnected technology that surrounds them.

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact
Minha Lee, m.lee[at]tue.nl or Bahar Barati, b.barati[at]tue.nl.

For information about terms of employment, click here or contact hrservices.ID[at]tue.nl.

Please visit www.tue.nl/jobs 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 before 15th of June 2022. The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • Brief description of your MSc thesis.

We look forward to your application and will screen your application as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled. Tentative starting date 1st of Sep 2022.

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.

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