1st Edition

Introduction to Design Psychology

By Eleni Kalantidou Copyright 2025
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    In the age of climate change, psychology and design have been employed through impromptu collaborations to validate solutions and future scenarios.

     Introduction to Design Psychology contests this approach by proposing an ideological framework for an intentional, joint endeavour between psychology and design. Intentional design psychology is presented as a critical proposal grounded in unpredictability, nominating ways to activate new production, consumption, and habitation patterns. It unfolds

    through chapters exploring urban environments, technology, and consumption culture, making evident the need for new definitions of social resilience and adaptation. As part of this process, adaptive designs that enable resilient psychologies are revealed. By challenging the disciplinary status quo of psychology and design, this book aims to activate a new field of knowledge.

    Introduction to Design Psychology is essential for psychologists, designers, and urban planners, as well as professionals from affiliated fields, willing to reconfigure their own thinking and practice.



    List of figures



    Chapter One: Setting the Scene for Design Psychology - Where from and where to

    Design Psychology: Where from

    Psychology and Design Ontologically Situated

    Psychology and Design Epistemologically Situated

    The ‘Scientification’ of Psychology and Design

    Psychology as a Science

    Critiquing the Natural-Scientific Model and Modern Psychology

    Design as a Science

    Critiquing the Natural-Scientific Model and Design as a Science

    Psychology and Design

    Psychologies and Designs




    Chapter Two: Psychology and Design - An Opportunity for Change

    Impromptu Design Psychology

    Defining Impromptu Design Psychology

    Cognitive Psychology and Design

    Behavioural Psychology and Design

    Design and Emotion

    Impromptu Design Psychology as a Response to Social and Environmental Challenges

    Impromptu Design Psychology and User-Centred Design

    Intentional Design Psychology

    Plural Psychologies and Designs

    Place-Based and Lived Experience Approaches

    Design Psychology: Where to




    Chapter Three: The Design Psychology of Urban Environments

    The Evolving Relationship Between Cities and Psychologies

    Urban Schizophrenia

    The Urban Psychologies of Housing Precarity

    The Housing ‘Problem’

    Psychologies of Displacement

    Designing Psychologies of Adaptation

    The Technocratic Approach

    The Degrowth/Commoning Approach

    The Just Transitions/Green New Deal Approach

    The Intentional Design Psychology of Adaptation




    Chapter Four: The Design Psychology of Technological Dependence 

    The Design Psychology of Technocracy

    From Technê to Technology

    From Homo Faber to Posthuman

    The Design Psychology of Informational Revolution

    The Role of Design

    The Role of Psychology

    The Role of Design Psychology

    The Intentional Design Psychology of Critically Living with Technology





    Chapter Five: The Design Psychology of Waste

    The Condition of Waste

    The Making of Consumption Culture

    The Sociology and Psychology of Consumption Culture

    The Design of Consumption Culture

    The Design Psychology of (Un)Happiness

    Steps Toward Redemption: Design, Psychology and (Impromptu) Design Psychology



    Impromptu Design Psychology

    The Verdict

    Repair As Intentional Design Psychology

    Learnings From Lived Experience for Intentional Design Psychology




    Chapter Six: Intentional Design Psychology - An Introduction

    Intentional Versus Impromptu Design Psychology

    Di/De- with Care





    Intentional Design Psychology: A Loose Ideological Framework

    Bringing Psychology and Design Together

    Disrupting Normality

    Community-Led Behavioural Change

    Handling Fr/Agility with Care


    Next Steps





    Eleni Kalantidou is a design psychologist, strategist, researcher, and senior lecturer at Griffith University, Australia.  Her research activities are focused on environmental and social resilience, design strategy, social impact, and social innovation. Kalantidou’s research on repair, community-led behavioural change, resilience, and adaptation has been published in books and journals and funded by grants and consultancies. As a researcher and consultant, she has collaborated with various international, national, and local NGOs, as well as the public sector. 

    “This subversive book challenges commonly accepted notions of stability and attachment to make a radical proposition that calls for care-fully embracing the axiologies of “Di/De”:  Positive destruction, disassembling, detaching and discomforting are advocated as new epistemological and ontological orientations in the face of unsettlement, unhoming, and precarity. Bringing dominant approaches to design and psychology under scrutiny, and criticizing the pitfalls of their mutual trajectories of universalism, cartesian dualism, and scientification, Eleni Kalantidou reads the two fields in conjunction with each other urging us to overcome their misconceptions and malpractices while restoring their potency of transformation.”


    Jilly Traganou, Professor of Architecture and Urbanism, Parsons School of Design, The New School


    “For years, critical academics have argued that the discipline of psychology must learn about mental life by including the psychological humanities. Eleni Kalantidou thoughtfully expands the boundaries of psychology and demonstrates that psychology and design studies mutually invigorate their theories and practices. This relevant book is thoughtfully articulated and convincingly affirms that design psychology is a program that deserves significant intellectual and applied attention.”  


    Thomas Teo, Professor of Psychology, York University


    “Psychology is intrinsic to design practice, is elemental in acquiring a design habitus, and is mobilised in numerous environmental contexts. Yet for all this, design psychology mostly resides in the domain of the unthought. So, what exactly is it? How should it be understood? And, how can it be moved directly into the consciousness of designers, and with what consequence?  Eleni Kalantidou’s informative and challenging book provides the means for designers to answer these questions.”


    Tony Fry, Adjunct Professor of Architecture and Design, University of Tasmania