Arnold Jan Quanjer

Researcher at the research group Civic Technology at The Hague University of Applied Sciences


Arnold Jan Quanjer works as lecturer and researcher. He is a member of the research group Civic Technology at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. This team of creative researchers  develops knowledge on designing and applying interactive technology that constructively contributes to society, in areas such as democracy, citizen participation, smart city development, community-building, and social media.


Current and past projects from the research group Civic Technology:


Public Dialogues #goodtalk

Changes in society invariably lead to feelings of discomfort, tensions and social unrest, also in our present time. Media, and social media in particular, quickly and effectively make such feelings publicly visible and therefore have a magnifying effect on the sentiments in society: tweeting your opinion is a piece of cake, just like reacting to opinions, but a dialogue will not easily get started and polarisation is imminent. In this project we address this problem as a design challenge.


We do this in four work packages:

  • Formulate a model of skills for public dialogues;
  • Operationalise the model in practical guidelines for how to guide dialogues;
  • Design and experimental evaluation of dialogical forms of social media;
  • Evaluation, quality assessment and effect analysis of online and local dialogues.


The project team consists of ca. 30 professionals from the participating organisations, a mix of researchers, designers, and professionals in the involved metropolitan neighbourhoods.

Artificial Intelligence in Public Spaces


Artificial Intelligence is not a hype. After a slow start in the 20th century, we now see more and more applications of AI, particularly indoors (robot vacuum cleaners, smart installations for climate control) and our personal space (bio-sensors). In the outdoor space, AI is seen much less often, but the technical infrastructure is developing rapidly and new possibilities emerge. We investigated which innovations can be realised with AI in the public outdoor environment.


Virtual Reality for citizen participation in urban development


In the Mariahoeve neighbourhood of The Hague, a park is being revamped. The neighbourhood manager, as representative of the municipality, invited inhabitants to design three variants for the park, with the aid of specialists and using 3D modelling tools. The three designs were then presented to all neighbourhood inhabitants, using Virtual Reality, who voted for their preferred design. Three forms of VR were utilised and evaluated in this research project.


In this project, we closely collaborated with the officials of the district Haagse Hout and with the urban development department of the municipality of The Hague. The 3D models and the VR environment were created by, respectively, Plan34 and Skeye.






Using Lo-Fi Prototyping to Envision Conversational Agents in Public Settings


Quanjer, A.J., Jylhä, A., van Leeuwen, J.P. 2019. “Using Lo-Fi Prototyping to Envision Conversational Agents in Public Settings.” In: Proceedings of European Conference on the Impact of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Oxford, UK, Oct. 2019.



Speech interactions are often associated with virtual assistants and smart home devices, designed primarily for private contexts. A less developed domain is speech interfaces in public contexts. In a smart city development project, we explored the potential of distributed conversational speech interfaces in lampposts.


Full text in pdf >>


Designing an Intervention for Creating Awareness in Motorists about Vehicle Emission Consequences on Human Health


Jylhä, A., Harraou, I., Quanjer, A.J., van Leeuwen, J.P. 2019. “Designing an Intervention for Creating Awareness in Motorists about Vehicle Emission Consequences on Human Health.” In: Schnädelbach, H. and Kirk, D. (Eds.) People, Personal Data and the Built Environment. Springer Series in Adaptive Environments. Springer International Publishing.



Exhaust emissions from motorized vehicles are not only harmful to the environment but also to human health. However, motorists are not necessarily aware of the adverse health effects resulting from their emissions. In this work, we use the health aspect as a primary motivation factor in the design of an intervention targeted at reducing exhaust emissions.


Effectiveness of Virtual Reality in Participatory Urban Planning


van Leeuwen, J.P., Hermans, K., Jylhä, A., Quanjer, A.J., Nijman, H. 2018. “Effectiveness of Virtual Reality in Participatory Urban Planning.” In: Proceedings of the Media Architecture Biennale, Beijing, China, Nov. 2018.



In urban planning, 3D modeling and virtual reality (VR) provide new means for involving citizens in the planning process. For municipal government, it is essential to know how effective these means are, to justify investments. In this study, we present a case of using VR in a municipal process of civic participation concerning the redesign of a public park.


Full text in pdf >>


Using Virtual Reality to Increase Civic Participation in Designing Public Spaces


van Leeuwen, J.P., Hermans, K., Quanjer, A.J., Jylhä, A., Nijman, H. 2018. “Using Virtual Reality to Increase Civic Participation in Designing Public Spaces.” In: Proceedings of the European Conference on Digital Government, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Oct. 2018.



Municipalities increasingly seek to include citizens in decision-making processes regarding local issues, such as urban planning. This paper presents a case study on using Virtual Reality (VR) in a process of civic participation in the redesign of a public park. Through the civic participatory process, we studied the effectiveness of using VR technology to engage the community in participating in the co-decision process.


Full text in pdf >>


Kunstmatige Intelligentie in de Publieke Ruimte – Projectrapportage


van Leeuwen, J.P., Quanjer, A.J., Jylhä, A., et al. 2018. Kunstmatige Intelligentie in de Publieke Ruimte – Projectrapportage. Den Haag: De Haagse Hogeschool, Okt. 2018.



This document reports on the project “Artificial Intelligence in the Public Space.” The Hague University of Applied Sciences investigated, together with local creative entrepreneurs, the possibilities for applying AI and sensor technology in public spaces. The  municipality of The Hague has the intention to create a Smart City Infrastructure, consisting of “Smart City Hubs” – WiFi stations with plugin-sensor technology – in light poles in the public space.


This project deliberately took a citizen perspective in identify desirable solutions and opportunities for innovation. Two prototypes were created and evaluated, that demonstrated the potential and social value of Smart City technology. The project was co-financed with a KIEM-subsidy from Regieorgaan SIA and the partner organisations.


Full text in pdf >>


Breaking Usability Rules to Enable Reflection


Quanjer, A.J., Lamers, M.H., Breaking usability rules to enable reflection. Proceedings of the Chi Sparks 2014


We propose a different view on user interface design and argue that, when designing an interface to encourage reflection, usability rules should be intentionally broken. In our study one of the most influential lists of usability heuristics is evaluated and assessed for its applicability in the design of interfaces that emphasize reflection. We explore the impediments of these heuristics and rephrase some in a complementary or even contrary way that fits the design process of an interface that specifically encourages reflection.


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Arnold Jan Quanjer Msc

Senior Lecturer and Researcher User Experience Design

The Hague University of Applied Sciences

The Netherlands