Imperial College London

Dr Weston Baxter

Faculty of EngineeringDyson School of Design Engineering

Senior Lecturer



weston.baxter Website




M202Royal College of ScienceSouth Kensington Campus





Weston Baxter is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in the Dyson School of Design Engineering where he directs the Interaction Foundry, an interdisciplinary research group working at the intersection of behavioural science and design. The group has live projects on four continents and works with the public, private and third sector to create digital and physical product, service and experience interventions. 

Weston is the Year 1 Programme Lead on the Innovation Design Engineering programme run jointly between the Dyson School and the Royal College of Art. Previously, Weston was a visiting Design Research Fellow within the Industrial Design Engineering faculty at TU Delft. 

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

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. 

Working with organisations

Weston regularly runs professional training courses and consulting projects with organisations that face behavioural and human-centred challenges.  

Training courses focus on methods or topic areas. Methods relate to the research areas above and include several novel approaches to behavioural design. Topic areas are framed for organisations to address challenges around things such as the future of work and human connectivity. 

Consulting includes strategic thinking into a challenge area which may be days or deeper projects that explore a challenge for several months. Such projects may include developing insights for companies through to conceptual and pilot intervention creation. 


Weston leads two modules currently. 

Designing Interventions for Behavioural Change is an elective taught to third and fourth-year students within Design Engineering in which students are taught several frameworks for scoping, generating insights and designing interventions for behavioural challenges. Project teams select a topic and do a deep dive which involves research and intervention prototyping. 

IMPACT is a core module in the first year of Innovation Design Engineering. This module focuses on context-driven innovation where we work with partner organisations to understand and respond to challenges faced in their context. For students, this offers a real brief and for organisations, this provides accelerated insight into challenges and a range of potential solutions. 

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




Ratcliffe E, Baxter W, Aurisicchio M, et al., 2023, The role of ritual communication in consumption: A consumer coffee experience, International Journal of Food Design, ISSN:2056-6522

Brial E, Aunger R, Muangi WC, et al., 2023, Development of a novel hand cleansing product for low-income contexts: the case of tab soap, Plos One, Vol:18, ISSN:1932-6203, Pages:1-30

Collis B, Baxter W, Baird HM, et al., 2023, Signs of use present a barrier to reusable packaging systems for takeaway food, Sustainability, Vol:15, ISSN:2071-1050, Pages:1-15



Patel AM, Porat T, Baxter WL, 2023, Situation Awareness Failure Factors: Characteristics of Barriers to Situation Awareness in Primary Care & Implications, Pages:505-509

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