Short CV/Education and training

  • 1985 – 1991
    Heilig-Hart Instituut (Lating-mathematics), Heverlee, Belgium

  • 1991 – 1993
    Bachelor of Science in Engineering: Architecture, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

  • 1993 – 1996
    Master of Science in Engineering: Architecture, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium (summa cum laude)

  • 1995 – 1996
    ERASMUS exchange program, ETH, Zürich, Switzerland

  • 1996 – 2000
    PhD Fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), Department of Architecture, Urbanism & Planning, KU Leuven, Belgium

  • 2000 – 2006
    Post-doctoral Fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), Department of Architecture, Urbanism & Planning, KU Leuven, Belgium

  • 2001
    Visiting Research Associate, Harvard Graduate Design School, Harvard University, Cambridge, US

  • 2002
    Visiting Research Fellow, College of Environmental Design, University of California – Berkeley, Berkeley, US

  • 2004 – 2005
    Visiting Research Fellow, College of Environmental Design, University of California – Berkeley, Berkeley, US

  • 2006 – 2009
    Research professor (assistant professor), Department of Architecture, Urbanism & Planning, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

  • 2008 – 2013
    Starting Grantee of the European Research Council (ERC)

  • 2009
    Research professor (associate professor), Department of Architecture, Urbanism & Planning, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

  • Since 2013
    Research professor (professor), Department of Architecture, Research[x]Design group, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

  • 2013 – 2014
    Proof-of-Concept Grantee of the European Research Council (ERC)

  • Since 2019
    Research professor (full professor), Department of Architecture, Research[x]Design group, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Selected publications

  • Bianchin M., Heylighen A. (2018). Just design. Design Studies, 54, 1-22.

  • Heylighen A., Bianchin M. (2018). Building justice: How to overcome the inclusive design paradox?. Built Environment, 44 (1), 23-35.

  • Dong A., Heylighen A. (2018). Central coherence and the shaping of expertise in design: evidence from designers with autism spectrum conditions. Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, 32 (3), 321-330.

  • Heylighen A., Van der Linden V., Van Steenwinkel I. (2017). Ten questions concerning inclusive design of the built environment. Building and Environment, 114, 507-517.

  • Heylighen A., Schijlen J., Van der Linden V., Meulenijzer D., Vermeersch P-W. (2016). Socially Innovating Architectural Design Practice by Mobilising Disability Experience. An Exploratory Study. Architectural Engineering and Design Management, 12 (4), 253-265.

  • Heylighen A. (2014). About the nature of design in universal design. Disability and Rehabilitation, 36 (16), 1360-1368.

  • Heylighen, A., Bianchin, M. (2013). How does inclusive design relate to good design?. Design Studies, 34, 93-110.

  • Heylighen, A., Van Doren, C., Vermeersch, P. (2013). Enriching our understanding of architecture through disability experience. Open House International, 38 (1), 7-19.

  • Heylighen, A. (2012). Inclusive Built Heritage as a Matter of Concern: A Field Experiment. In: Langdon P., Clarkson P., Robinson P., Lazar J., Heylighen A. (Eds.), Designing Inclusive Systems, Chapt. 21 (pp. 207-216). London:. Springer-Verlag.

  • Heylighen, A. (2011). Studying the unthinkable designer: Designing in the absence of sight. In: Gero J. (Eds.), Design Computing and Cognition DCC10 (pp. 23-34). Springer.

  • Heylighen, A., Cavallin, H., Bianchin, M. (2009). Design in Mind. Design Issues, 25 (1), 94-105.

  • Heylighen, A. (2008). Sustainable and inclusive design: a matter of knowledge?. Local Environment, 13 (6), 531-540.

  • Heylighen, A., Martin, W., Cavallin, H. (2007). Building Stories Revisited. Architectural Engineering and Design Management, 3 (1), 65-74.

  • Heylighen, A., Neuckermans, H. (2002). Are architects natural Case-Based Designers?. The Design Journal, 5 (2), 8-22.



Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • How do disabled architects design?, KU Leuven Research Council, 2016 – 2020

  • Spatial clues for orientation: Architectural design meets people with dementia, KU Leuven Research Council, 2012 – 2016

  • The Experience of Lying: designing architecture for a wholesome hospital environment, Agency for Innovation by Science & Technology, 2010 – 2015

  • Architectural design In Dialogue with disAbility – AIDA, ERC Starting Grant, 2008 – 2013

  • The eyes of the mind. Architecture and autism, Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), 2008 – 2012

  • Deriving haptic design parameters from the experience of persons born blind, Agency for Innovation by Science & Technology, 2007 – 2011

  • Towards a model for knowledge transfer in architectural design, Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), 2003 – 2006

  • Exploiting/Exchanging design experience, Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), 2000 – 2003

  • Case-Based Reasoning in architectural design. A critical study, Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), 1996 – 2000

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Member of the Design Research Society

  • Member of the KU Leuven Industrial Research Council

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