Henri Achten was born in Venlo, Netherlands in 1967. He studied architecture at Eindhoven University of Technology, where he graduated in 1992. In his graduation project, he used Virtual Reality, to present his diploma work. From 1993-1997 he did his PhD research on knowledge encoding in graphic representations, with supervisors Thijs Bax and Robert Oxman. After being post-doc, he became an assistant professor in the Design Systems group, headed by Bauke de Vries. In the DS group, he was responsible for design research, and design methodology in CAAD - until 2010.
Since 2005 Henri Achten works at the Faculty of architecture at Czech Technical University in Prague, where together with Dana Matejovska started a new CAAD group. In 2007 he obtained habilitation of associate professor, and in 2018 was named professor. In 2015 he was appointed a head of the design studio Achten-Pavlíček, and also runs a smaller design studio Achten-Nováková.
Since 1995 he is active in the European Association for Education and research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe (eCAADe). He served as board member since 1998, was Vice-President of the association 2001-2005, and President 2005-2009. Since 2018 he is Treasurer of eCAADe. Henri Achten has published over 100 papers, articles, and books on CAAD, digital design theory & methodology, Virtual Reality, collaborative design, and interactive architecture.