Kristel Van Ael


Specialises in: service design, strategy and systemic design 

Kristel’s background is in industrial product development. She is one of the managing partners at Namahn with her main focus geared towards strategic design and knowledge development. 
At Namahn, Kristel constantly develops new methods and tools. She is the lead author of the service design toolkit ( and systemic design toolkit ( For the latter, she collaborates with Philippe Vandenbroeck of shiftN, Alex Ryan of the MaRS Solutions Lab (Toronto) and Peter Jones who manages the international Systemic Design Association. She’s also the co-author of the Design Journeys through Complex Systems.

Kristel is also a co-teacher in product-service-system design and lead-teacher in systemic design at the Antwerp University (UA – product development).  

Kristel is hooked by systemic design and believes that designers can and should contribute to systemic change by understanding how everything is interrelated and how products can be designed and deployed as leverages towards a better future. 

Outside the world of design, Kristel is very interested in graphic novels such as Maus (Art Spiegelman), Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi) or Buddha (Osamu Tezuka) and loves spending her Sunday afternoons reading them.