Dr Anke Jakob


I am an educator, researcher and practitioner with a continued interests in and commitment to human-centred design for wellbeing, health, social innovation and sustainability.

A textile designer by background, my work and research are interdisciplinary by nature with special expertise and experience in sensory design and designing therapeutic environments. I am interested in exploring the value of material, light and digital technology in this context, and how optimisation of sensory experiences through design can positively impact our wellbeing. 

I am an experienced research leader currently focusing particularly on design for dementia care environments. In this context, I led a major AHRC funded project as Principal Investigator, embarked on several research funding bids in collaboration with other academic institutions and partners, and authored/co-authored several publications on this subject.

I currently teach on the Sustainable Design master course at KSA, leading the modules Design for Social Innovation and Creative Futures. Apart from teaching I am also the Academic Liaison Officer for KSA's collaborative partnership with the British Academy of Jewellery (BAJ) who run a KU validated BA course for Jewellery Design and Production. 

Alongside academic engagements, I co-directed an architecture and design practice for 10 years and worked in textile industry before embarking on interdisciplinary projects and research.. 

Academic responsibilities

Senior Lecturer


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • PhD Design (Bath Spa University)
  • MA Textile Design (Central St Martins College of Art & Design, UAL)
  • Diplom (Master) Textile and Fashion Design (Burg Giebichenstein - University of Art & Design Halle, Germany)

Teaching and learning

My teaching practice is committed to pedagogy of the highest level. In my position as a senior lecturer for design within the 3D Department, I have contributed across all levels in terms of teaching, assessments, and evaluations. I embrace interdisciplinary and collaborative working, and approach teaching with empathy and an open mind. 

I currently teach on the Sustainable Design and Product & Furniture Design master courses across all modules supporting the students in their learning through the delivery of workshop-based learning activities, lectures, tutorials, and formative and summative feedback, in particular for following modules:

Design for Social Innovation DE7502 (Module leader) - Design for Social Innovation is the emerging mode of design practice and theory in which Design Thinking is applied to social and societal challenges. Students are introduced to human-centred design research and research methods (including ethnographic design, participatory design), and develop design outcomes based on their research.

Creative Futures DE7301 (Module leader) – This module seeks to enable students to develop an informed approach and clear focus to their future careers as creative practitioners. The first half of the module is dedicated to the Practical Project with students working in interdisciplinary groups across both courses developing projects according to specific live briefs. Here, I co-deliver the Design for Health project focusing on designing solutions that support and potentially improve people's physical and mental health. The second half of the module centres on developing a detailed Proposal for the Major Project that students work on in TB3.

The Major Project DE7302 – During this module students develop their capstone project consolidating the knowledge gained in earlier modules. Informed and supported by prior learning, students produce a body of self-initiated work addressing a range of topics related to sustainability in the broadest sense, demonstrating originality and critical analysis. 

My experience at PhD level includes supervising, examining and interviewing candidates focusing on practice-based research in design. I welcome MRes and PhD students who are interested in undertaking research in areas of Sensory Design, Design for Health and Wellbeing, Therapeutic Environments and Innovative Spaces, Social Innovation, Sustainability, and Textile and Surface Design. However, through my experience in developing research methodologies and delivering research outputs, I believe I can support students within a wide range of design research. 

Qualifications and expertise

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Postgraduate courses taught


Broadly interested in sensory design and design for therapeutic environments, my current practice-based research centres on designing for dementia care in particular, investigating the design of sensory enhanced environments and the facilitation of multi-sensory enrichment benefiting people living with dementia their carers (see Image Gallery below). Collaborating with experts from health science and care for older people, I led the AHRC funded, interdisciplinary research project "Multi-sensory Environments in dementia care: the role of design" as Principal Investigator. 

  • www.kingston.ac.uk/sensoryroom
  • www.kingston.ac.uk/research/research-showcase/research-case-studies/sensory-enriched-environments/
  • https://www.kingston.ac.uk/news/article/1410/22-oct-2014-kingston-university-design-expert-unveils-new-guide-highlighting-ways-sensory-rooms-can-improve-dementia-care/

Recently, I have become increasingly interested in revisiting experimental digital textiles and advanced material technology to inform sensory design solutions and exploring their potential for design for dementia.

I welcome PhD/ MA by Research applications in the areas listed below. Apart from my expertise, I believe I can be of help to any research student in design through my experience in developing research methodologies and delivering research outputs. I embrace trans-and interdisciplinary and collaborative working, and approach research supervision with empathy and an open mind. 

Qualifications and expertise

  • PhD supervision - applications welcome
  • PhD examination

Areas of specialism

  • Design for Health and Wellbeing
  • Sensory Design
  • Therapeutic Environments and Innovative Spaces
  • Social Innovation and Sustainability
  • Textile and Surface Design

Scholarly affiliations

  • Modern Interior Research Centre (MIRC), Kingston School of Art
  • Centre for Applied Health and Social Care Research (CAHSCR), Kingston University

Research student supervision


Number of items: 22.


Collier, Lesley and Jakob, Anke (2017) The multisensory environment (MSE) in dementia care : examining its role and quality from a user perspective. HERD : Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 10(5), pp. 39-51. ISSN (print) 1937-5867

Jakob, Anke and Collier, Lesley (2017) Sensory design for dementia care - the benefits of textiles. Journal of Textile Design Research and Practice (RFTD), 5(2), pp. 232-250. ISSN (print) 2051-1787

Jakob, Anke and Collier, Lesley (2017) Sensory enrichment for people living with dementia : increasing the benefits of multisensory environments in dementia care through design. Design for Health, 1(1), pp. 115-133. ISSN (print) 2473-5132

Jakob, Anke and Simonson, Caryn (2008) Light : virtual cloth and digital textile. Textile, 6(3), pp. 254-261. ISSN (print) 1475-9756

Book Section

Jakob, Anke (2022) Paradise Room : how the sensory room can become a desirable destination for residents in care homes. In: Rodgers, Paul A., (ed.) Design for people living with Dementia. London, U.K. : Routledge. ISBN 9780367554750

Jakob, Anke (2011) Digital media and architecture: an observation. In: Rieser, Martin, (ed.) The mobile audience: media art and mobile technology. Amsterdam, The Netherlands : Rodopi. pp. 141-154. (Architecture: Technology: Culture, (5)) ISSN (print) 1871-0115 ISBN 9789042031272

Conference or Workshop Item

Jakob, Anke, Collier, Lesley and Ivanova, Ninela (2019) Implementing sensory design for care-home residents in London. In: Designing with and for People with Dementia: Wellbeing, Empowerment and Happiness : International MinD Conference 2019; 19 - 20 Sep 2019, Dresden, Germany.

Jakob, Anke, Treadaway, Cathy and Manchester, Helen (2017) Design for Dementia Care: Making a Difference. In: Nordes 2017: DESIGN+POWER, 7th Nordic Design Research Conference; 15-17 Jun 2017, Oslo, Norway.

Jakob, Anke, Treadaway, Cathy, Collier, Lesley and Fowler, Fiona (2017) Introducing a designing attitude in dementia care. In: Cumulus REDO Conference; 30 May - 02 Jun 2017, Kolding, Denmark.

Jakob, A., Manchester, H. and Treadaway, C. (2017) Sensory design for dementia care : 3 stories. In: Dementia Lab 2017 : stories from design and research; 06 - 07 Sep 2017, Dortmund, Germany.

Jakob, Anke (2015) How to make a Sensory Room for People Living with Dementia. In: Include 2015; 17 - 18 Sep 2015, London, U.K.. ISBN 9781910642061

Jakob, Anke and Collier, Lesley (2015) “How to make a Sensory Room for people living with dementia” – developing design guidance for health care practitioners. In: Third European Conference on Design4Health 2015; 13 - 16 July 2015, Sheffield, U.K.. (Proceedings of the Third European Conference on Design4Health 2015) ISBN 9781843873853

Jakob, Anke and Collier, Lesley (2014) Improving the experience and benefits of Multi Sensory Environments for people with dementia: the role of design. In: 9th UK Dementia Congress; 10-12 Nov 2014, Brighton, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Collier, Lesley [Contributor], de Waal, Hugo [Contributor], Fowler, Fiona [Contributor], Jakob, Anke [Contributor], Mears-Owen, Maizie [Contributor], Tancock, Karin [Contributor] and Chamberlain, Paul [Contributor] (2014) Designing interventions to support dementia care : presentations and panel discussion. In: Inside Out Festival 2014; 20-26 Oct 2014, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Jakob, Anke and Collier, Lesley (2013) Multi sensory environments (MSE) in dementia care: the role of design. In: ISNA - MSE International Conference; 01 - 02 Nov 2013, Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Unpublished)

Jakob, Anke and Collier, Lesley (2013) Multisensory environments (MSE) in dementia care : the role of design : an interdisciplinary research collaboration between design and health care. In: 2nd European Conference on Design 4 Health 2013; 03 - 05 Jul 2013, Sheffield, U.K..

Jakob, Anke (2012) Improving the emotional well-being of people living with dementia. In: 8th International Conference on Design & Emotion : D&E 2012; 11-14 Sep 2012, London, U.K..

Jakob, Anke (2009) Light, surfaces and illusions. In: Integration of design and science: light, materials, colour and environment; 24 Jun 2009, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Jakob, Anke (2008) Blurring boundaries between the real and the virtual: about the synthesis of digital image and physical surface. In: ISEA2008 - The 14th Symposium on Electronic Art; 25 Jul - 03 Aug 2008, Singapore.


Jakob, Anke [Designer] and Collier, Lesley [Other] (2014) Sensory rooms: designing interventions to support dementia care. Sensory rooms: designing interventions to support dementia care. .

Jakob, Anke [Artist] (2009) Blurred Boundaries. The Personalised Surface. New Approaches to Digital Printmaking. .


Jakob, Anke and Collier, Lesley (2014) How to make a sensory room for people living with dementia: a guide book. (Manual) Kingston upon Thames, U.K. : Kingston University. 70 p.

This list was generated on Tue Jun 25 07:21:11 2024 BST.

Professional practice, knowledge exchange and impact

My research into design for dementia care has created international impact upon care providers and developers of activity products, as well as on community projects in the UK, transforming the caring environment as well as the dialogue regarding how to best engage people living with dementia. 

The core pathway to impact has been our freely available online publication How to make Sensory Room for people living with dementia – a guidebook (Jakob and Collier, 2014, kingston.ac.uk/sensoryroom/)This unique resource is the first ever guidebook advising on design of MSE for dementia care, and supports carers, care-home staff, and healthcare practitioners by helping them to provide environments appropriate for residents with dementia and their families. As a result, care practitioners and carers are now in a stronger position to support suitable activities and social interaction, thereby helping people with dementia, particularly in later stages, to (re)connect with their environment, regain a sense of purpose, maintain dignity, and reduce isolation.

In 2021, we collaborated with Chinese care provider Tai Kang Healthcare who translated the guidebook into Chinese making it freely available and subsequently benefiting 15 million people living with dementia in China.

On the basis of our research and these achievements, an Impact Case Study was submitted to REF2021.

  • https://www.kingston.ac.uk/research/research-showcase/research-case-studies/multi-sensory-environments/

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