Iskander Smit appointed Visiting Professor at TU Delft

19 June 2017

Iskander Smit, Strategy and Innovation director at, is set to join the TU Delft’s Connected Everyday Lab as a Design United Visiting Professor. Smit will be at the forefront of a new theme, Designing the future of intelligent cities, which taps into the issue of citizen-led smart cities and Internet of Things.

Citizen things

Working together with the Connected Everyday Lab at TU Delft’s faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Smit aims to establish a research programme that investigates how smart connected objects can play a role in improving cities, particularly in addressing the issue of air pollution.

“A lot of discussions on smart cities are always about city structures and the understanding that a city is made by the diversity of people who live there,” Iskander says.

We want to set-up the research construction together with different stakeholders to look into this citizen-led smart cities but also 'citizen things' in a way that can help make cleaner air in cities.

In the past years, open hardware tools and the creation of online data sharing platforms have fostered the design of low cost sensors that citizens can use to engage in environmental action. By collectively measuring and making sense of their environment, citizens can become aware of air pollution and avoid it.

Design the future

With the rapid development of machine learning and the Internet of Things, Iskander is convinced that designers must shift their focus from the manifestation of products to designing rules and behaviors. More importantly, designers have a responsibility to consider the social and ethical implications, and standards of their work.

“Design has some real new challenges now. Not only human-centered design, but users do design too by using things, and so we need to understand the new role of things.”

As part of his role, Iskander Smit will collaborate with the TU Delft’s Connected Everyday Lab, an interdisciplinary research group led by Prof. Elisa Giaccardi.

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