Imperial College London

Dr Weston Baxter

Faculty of EngineeringDyson School of Design Engineering




+44 (0)20 7594 6894weston.baxter




Dyson BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Weston Baxter is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Dyson School of Design Engineering. He leads a research group with a focus on developing deep human insights and linking these to product, service and experience design including design for behaviour change. The group has active projects with startups, SMEs, multinational organisations (e.g. NestlĂ©, GSK), and government bodies.

He is a tutor on the Innovation Design Engineering and Global Innovation Design programmes run jointly between the Dyson School and the Royal College of Art. Previously, Weston was a Design Research Fellow with the Design United Scheme based within the Industrial Design Engineering faculty at TU Delft. 

Weston's research addresses various topics relating to user experience design and behaviour change. The group places a strong emphasis on developing new design theory and methodology. Below is a list of interrelated topics currently being explored within the group. 

Behaviour Change

Research into the design process to create innovative interventions for behaviour change. The key focus is on developing the design tools and methods underlying successful behaviour change. Application of these tools and methods are applied across a range of areas including nutrition, public health, sustainability, financial decision making, civic/organisational engagement and safety. The research is particularly interested in behaviour change which goes across cultural boundaries. 

Human Connectivity

Life is made meaningful in large part due to the connections we make and keep throughout our lives. Connectivity is the study of the quantity and quality of connections. The research group is particularly interested in the experience of connection in order to create more organic and pleasant experiences rather than imposing policy-driven approaches coming from government (e.g. to address loneliness) or management (e.g. to de-silo and encourage innovation).

Psychological Ownership

Ownership is increasingly about what we feel is ours rather than what is legally ours. This work explores why and how people develop a sense of ownership for ideas, spaces, products, services and other targets of ownership. We help companies encourage, discourage or adapt the ownership customers and employees feel in a given situation from enabling new leasing business models to rethinking the modern workplace.

Contaminated Interaction

Companies spend a lot of time creating positive experiences but much less attention is given to how such experiences can be maintained over time. Contaminated interaction is the name for interactions (understood broadly as things people do, feel, think) which have changed in some way due to prior or concurrent use. This work has developed a set of tools to aid researchers and designers in identifying contaminated interaction among user groups and how to design innovative solutions to address negative contamination. This work is relevant to shared spaces (e.g. parks, offices, social media) and products with multiple lives (e.g. recycled, reused, and shared goods).  

Ritual Design

Rituals are heightened experiences with notable measurable outcomes. Many rituals are emergent in society or have long-standing traditions. This research develops methods for the intentional design of new rituals or adapting existing rituals. 

Organisations or prospective PhD candidates interested in any of the above areas are encouraged to send an email to




Ratcliffe E, Baxter WL, Martin N, 2019, Consumption rituals relating to food and drink: A review and research agenda, Appetite, Vol:134, ISSN:0195-6663, Pages:86-93

Piselli A, Baxter W, Simonato M, et al., 2018, Development and evaluation of a methodology to integrate technical and sensorial properties in materials selection, Materials & Design, Vol:153, ISSN:0264-1275, Pages:259-272


Baxter W, Aurisicchio M, Mugge R, et al., Decontaminating experiences with circular offerings, Product Lifetimes and The Environment (PLATE) 2017

Bahrudin F, Aurisicchio MARCO, Baxter WESTON, 2017, Sustainable materials in design projects, EKSIG 2017, TU Delft Open

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