I am a curious and visual designer with an interest for designing artefacts that change the relation we have with the world.

Identity

I am a curious and visual designer with an interest for designing artefacts that change the relation we have with the world. In the design process I take on a role of an analytical and responsible individual with a great overview over the process and design (16Personalities, n.d.).

I would define myself as a maker. The prototyping skills I learned in and outside my studies, give me the possibility to create design artefacts to test with users. It is necessary to be able to experience prototypes to find out what behaviour is encouraged, and thus what values a design supports. Being analytical in nature, I can quickly identify the values of stakeholders.

As a young boy, I built magic tricks with my grandfather, to perform with at school. I learned how objects, in this case a magic trick, could, for a brief moment, take people to a world were impossible things were possible. This is also represented in my designs, where I try to change the users perception of the world.

During my studies at Industrial Design, I have learned how the technology mediates between human and the world and how I can create technology taking the values of multiple stakeholders into account. In my future designs, I continuously want to ask myself the question: How can I create designs that change your way of looking at and behaving in the world?

Vision

We are witnessing a number of changes that may irrevocably change the planet’s complex dynamic system. These changes include a decline in global governance, and the development of technologies that can dramatically transform the social fabric (Brand, 2019).

As designers, we need to better understand how the relation between human and world is influenced, so we can design technologies that transform the social fabric, taking the values that we want into account. For example, take social media. It gives us the possibilities to connect with people we would not could have contacted otherwise, but it often also results in people becoming detached with the world around them.

I believe that, to find out how technology mediates between human and world, we need to be able to experience the technology, and consecutively critically analyse our experience. I applied this in my Final Bachelor Project, where I created a tangible discussion tool and analysed peoples experience, using the theory of Technological Mediation (Kiran, 2015). 

  • 16Personalities. (n.d.). Anonymous Mediator – Turbulent Mediator (INFP-T) | 16Personalities. Retrieved 15 January 2020, from https://www.16personalities.com/profiles/cab9665dcd3b8

  • Kiran, A. H. (2015). Four Dimensions of Technological Mediation. In P. Verbeek & R. Rosenberger (Eds.), Postphenomenological Investigations: Essays on Human– Technology Relations (pp. 123–138). Maryland, USA: Lexington Books.

  • Brand, Reon. (2019). Co-Emerging Futures A model for reflecting on streams of future change.

Discussions about Technological Mediation in the Energy Transition

What will energy related devices in the future look like? Using a tangible device, the way technology mediates is explored in the context of an energy sharing community.
Four dimensions of Technological Mediation, as described in “post-phenomenological investigations” by Asle Kiran, offer a way of structuring a discussion with stakeholders, finding their values and behaviours. What role does an energy sharing interface play in an energy community?

In this project, I developed my skills in using theory to develop new value propositions.

  • Creativity & Aesthetics
  • Technology & Realization
  • Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Math, Data & Computing
  • User & Society

Internship: UX design for E-waste Arcades

At E-waste Arcades, I designed waste solutions that are enjoyable to use and in the meanwhile promote sustainable behaviour. Think of old-school arcade machines in which you can recycle your old mobile phone and bins for at festivals that create fun sounds when you throw in trash. The products of this company are circular: everything gets reused. After my internship I continued working at E-waste Arcades as a UX designer, working with clients such as Eurosonic Noorderslag, Rijkswaterstaat and Weee Nederland.

  • Creativity & Aesthetics
  • Technology & Realization
  • Business & Entrepreneurship
  • User & Society

Research Project: Mattress Topping with Varying Insulation for Auping

During the night the skin- and core body temperature change. It would be beneficial to have the bed help accommodate for these changes in temperature. However,  there are no practical solutions for this yet. This study aimed to explore ways to change the microclimate in bed during the night, by creating a ticking (top layer of the mattress) with a variable insulation value. To achieve this, several exploratory methods were tested to see what effect these have on the insulation value.

  • Technology & Realization
  • Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Math, Data & Computing
  • Research Processes

Project 2: Eindhoven Museum

In commission of the Eindhoven Museum, a mobile interactive installation about mobility is designed that can show the museum’s collection, inspire visitors and collect data. The result is a working prototype and a detailed concept, useful for the Eindhoven Museum.

  • Creativity & Aesthetics
  • Technology & Realization
  • Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Math, Data & Computing
  • User & Society

Project 1: Menora

An interactive and intelligent desk lamp that helps work productivity by analysing the fidget
behaviour of the user. It helps the user work more productively by giving them short, non invasive breaks at the right moments. Principles of light and colour theory are used to affect the mood of the user, to get them into a more productive state of mind.

  • Creativity & Aesthetics
  • Technology & Realization
  • User & Society

Sketching, Visualising and Illustration

I have an extended personal and professional visual interest. In the course Exploratory Sketching, I have developed a workflow to use this efficiently in the design process. Over the years, I have done personal commissions, visualisations for small companies and illustrations for Studium Generale.

  • Creativity & Aesthetics

Creativity & Aesthetics

As mentioned in my Identity and Vision, I am a visually oriented designer. Because of my extended interest in this area, I have not only followed the basic courses, but I have also done multiple electives within this area of expertise. In the course Tactile Experience I gained insights in how the feeling of a material can influence the connected experience. Cardboard Modeling has taught me how to create products with rich & embodied interaction. From personal interest I had already developed a lot of sketching skills, but with the course Exploratory Sketching I learned how to use these skills in a workflow suitable for design. In Aesthetics of Interaction I learned how inherent, augmented and functional feedback and feed forward can be used to improve interaction design. In addition to this, I have developed this area of expertise during my internship, where I designed the visual appearance of the products. This learned me how to design for different clients and thus different corporate identities. In all of the design projects, I was for the major part responsible for the aesthetics of the design.

During my FBP, I have had a constant critical attitude towards the aesthetic quality of my designs. By finding a balance between intuition and knowledge-driven design, I was able to make a design that invites nuanced, aesthetic interaction. Besides that, I strived for an overall friendly and clean aesthetic in my design artefact, in which I succeeded according to feedback from peers.

Outside the curriculum, I am very active in developing this expertise area. I love to sketch and draw in my free time, participating in challenges such as Inktober. In 2018, Studium Generale asked me to illustrate the workshop booklet they spread around campus. In 2019, a friend and I were asked to create an artwork for the Bosch Parade, which we designed and realised. After my internship I continued to work at this company as a UX designer, creating designs for companies such as Rijkswaterstaat, Eurosonic Noorderslag, Cinekid. In addition, I created visualisations for EELT theatercollectief and Vat & Vlam.

Technology & Realization

To design interactive systems and products, it is essential to be able to prototype these. I believe that only with tangible and interactive prototypes, we can discover the value of concepts and technologies. They show how technology mediates between human and the world.

To realise these prototypes, skills in building and making are needed. In the courses Creative Programming (completed with grade 10) and Creative Electronics I learned how to use the Arduino and Processing framework as a way to create interactive prototypes. Cardboard Modelling learned me even more in depth skills about actuators and how to implement these skills in a rich and embodied prototype, also gaining the skills of creating quick functional prototypes with foam core.

With an increase in digital products, I found it important to have some skills in this as well, besides from processing, I developed skills in HTML and CSS during my internship, and learned how to create graphics and animations there as well.

To get prototypes ready for production, it is key to be able to convey your idea to engineers from different disciplines. During my bachelor, the courses Physics and Engineering Design taught me the knowledge and skills to communicate with engineers from different disciplines.

Because I felt that there had been a lot of focus on Technology and Realization in the rest of my curriculum and also extracurricular, I did not put a lot of emphasis on this expertise area during my FBP. However, I wanted to explore haptic feedback, and implemented this in a tangible discussion tool. To achieve this, I explored new actuators for me, being electromagnets, solenoids, and rack and pinion mechanisms. I also worked with veneer, a new material to me. In addition, I learned how to post-process a PLA 3D printed element, into a smooth part, resembling injection-moulded parts.

I have always loved making stuff, I am intrigued by complex mechanisms such as watches and analogue camera’s. I like to repair those as well. A few years ago, I bought a 3D-printer, offering me the possibility to improve small inconveniences in my household, it encouraged me to learn 3D modeling programs such as Blender and SketchUp. In the Precious Plastic TU/e project, I have learned how to work with heating elements for plastic melting, and the basics of MIG welding. In the Bosch Parade project, I was challenged to develop an artwork, involving electronics and pneumatic parts. Because this had to float and be transported, we needed to solve a lot of practical issues.

Besides this, I have created theatre props for EELT theatercollectief, and have executed production for Studium Generale’s theater shows, teaching me about DMX, light and sound techniques.

User & Society

I believe that when we are designing for the future, we should create value for people in their everyday life. To know what values technology encompasses, we need to know how technology mediates between people and the world. The courses User Centred Design and USE Base have taught me methods for designing from a user’s perspective and the ethical responsibilities of engineers. To get more in depth skills in this competency area, I followed the USE Learning Line Human in Technology, where I explored the relation between human and technology. A part of this was UX for Intelligent Systems, in which I learned what issues arise with the use of intelligent systems raise, as they are not reactive, but make decisions themselves.

As an intern, I worked as UX designer to encourage societal change towards sustainable behaviour,  by creating positive incentives for recycling trash, using gamification as one of the methods to achieve this.

As my FBP takes place within the squad Transformative Practices, my project is all about changing existing (societal) systems, in my case specifically in the Energy Transition. For this, it was of upmost important to understand the user, their context and their values. In order to do this, I executed multiple interviews with elite users and used the a post-phenomenological approach based on the theory of Technological Mediation. His allowed me to create a tangible tool to discuss the values of future stakeholders in the energy transition, that are relevant for designing future energy related devices.

Outside the curriculum, I like to be involved with contributing to societal change. I have done this in the Precious Plastic TU/e project, where open source plastic recycling machines are made to raise awareness about plastic recycling and show how easy recycling can be. In the company E-waste Arcades I continued to work after my internship to continue contributing to the challenge of electronic waste and its consequential scarcity of resources.

Besides this, I have created theatre props for EELT theatercollectief, and have executed production for Studium Generale’s theater shows, teaching me about DMX, light and sound techniques.

Business & Entrepreneurship

I developed this expertise area in my bachelor most during my internship at E-waste Arcades. There I got a practical understanding of manufacturing, sales, service, use and re-use. I learned how E-waste Arcades ensured a sustainable business model and business ethics. Practical skills I learned during my internship that contributed to this area of expertise are how to create reports and visuals for clients, how to communicate the brand identity of the company (I made a website including content) and how to represent the company (Dutch Design Week).

More theoretically, in the course Design Innovation Methods, I learned how to create a new value proposition, integrate this in a business model canvas and develop this using competition analysis. Additionally, in the course Interdisciplinary Innovation, I learned how design thinking is linked to contemporary business practices and the business model canvas.

During my FBP, I created a tool to discuss values of multiple stakeholders in a future context. This future context regards an “energy sharing community”. To validate the work I did and get extra insights in the context, I contacted an expert. His experience with and research on those energy communities was helpful to understand the value of my project for the future. 

Besides the internship, most of my development in this area of expertise was during the organisation of Stukafest. For two years now, I have been director of this student room festival. In this function I got an understanding of organizations, and managing of processes involving multiple stakeholders. I learned things such as how to lead a multidisciplinary team, write policy plans and how to get funding.

Math, Data & Computing

As an academic designer, it is necessary to be able to deal with complex realities. Using data analysis and models, it is possible to get a grip on those realities. The basic courses Applied Conceptual Natural Sciences, Calculus and Modelling taught me the basics to be able to get a grip on those realities, using mathematics, data analytics and logic. For example, I have learned the basics of using Matlab to create mathematic models. Making Sense of Sensors gave me the basics of interpreting large datasets (using python), and how this data can be applied. The elective Interdisciplinary Innovation gave me insights in how gathering data can be gathered ethically and how it can be used as a starting point for designs. 

Initially, the approach of Perceiving the Invisible was a key part of my FBP. I approached the challenge of energy transition by trying to make the origin of energy perceivable. However, during this process I found that data about this subject is not accessible. The resulting opaqueness of the energy market is actually beneficial for the companies in this market. This emphasised the impact of data to me.

Also, in my final design artefact, users can interact with other members of the community using an interface that facilitates an embodiment relation with them through data.

A remarkable way in which this expertise area is expressed in my work outside of the department is in the Bosch Parade. Together with another student, I made a floating artwork that interpreted a historical dataset of the city of Den Bosch and translated it into a choreography and soundscape. This resulted in a mysterious and impressive work that was seen by 30.000 visitors.

References

[1] https://studiegids.tue.nl/opleidingen/bachelor-college/majors/industrial-design/becoming-an-industrial-designer/areas-of-expertise/math-data-and-computing/?L=0#top

[2] https://airtable.com/shrBZVA1zNqiTsSdR

[3] https://boschparade.nl/program/het-lab/

PS & DRP

Involving other people in my design processes is something I had to learn during my bachelor. While initially, I liked to work alone and complete projects using my own vision, doing group projects and collaborations made me realize the value of involving others.  In group settings I am an analytical and responsible individual with a great overview over the process and design. I have mostly developed the skills communicating, collaborating and planning and organizing in my function as the chairman and director of student room festival Stukafest. There I showed that I know how to plan and organize a festival with more than 14 acts, 13 locations and dozens of volunteers. For this I had to collaborate with 3 other students of different disciplines. For me, the key factor in collaborations like this is having a joint goal and motivation. When people want to achieve something, they are willing to do the work needed. I try to apply this in every collaboration I do, also in design projects.

The workshop Dealing with Scientific Information, courses Design <> Research and User Centred Design and research project 3 have had an explicit focus on how to deal with scientific information. The skills and knowledge gained in these activities, and over the course of my complete bachelor, were of course applied in my Final Bachelor Project. My FBP had a more extensive theoretical background than my earlier projects. Combining information from multiple sources, I was able to frame my project and contribute something valuable to the challenge of energy transition. I used the emerging context of energy sharing communities, combined this with the theoretical background of post-phenomenology and generated new knowledge, useful to design energy sharing related devices in the future.

Coming from a high school in which I was used to project based working, I was familiar with the concept of reflecting after action before I started my studies at Industrial Design. During my studies, applying the iterative design cycle in design projects taught me how to reflect before and in action. Over the years, I have improved my reflection skills, staying closer to my values and beliefs rather than reflecting on my environment. During my FBP I started exploring with different ways of reflecting; using videos, drawing, mind maps and conversations. I noticed that I got the most valuable reflections after talking to other people and then writing it down. I have made it a habit to do this, often more low-key, but even though, it helps my personal development.

In my design and research processes I try to create an atmosphere in which ideas are respected and judgement is postponed. In collaborations, I try to involve visualizations and sketches early on in the project, to concretize ideas, and get all collaborators on the same page. I like working with perfectionist people, as this raises the qualitative level of ideas quickly in my opinion. I see my role in those collaborations as a mediator, connecting the valuable elements of different ideas. My analytic nature offers a quick abstraction of concrete ideas, this is useful to assess their value.

To analyse how different design artefacts mediate between user and the world, it is important to create them. I have basic skills in programming, electronics, wood work, metal work, 3D modelling and 3D printing, that makes me all round useful in the prototyping process. Often, I come across people more specialized in one of these areas, and I notice I can give them their space, but being able to help whenever needed.

Whenever a project is in a phase of finalization, I like to brainstorm about possible business models involving it as value proposition. My skills in B&E help me in creating these hypothetical business models.

 

Development Progress Diagram

Future Plans

After finishing my bachelor’s at TU/e, I want to take a semester to orient and develop myself, before starting a master’s. I will first finish my work for Stukafest, putting my professional skills to a good use.

After my internship and during my FBP, I realized that as a designer, I want to create designs that let people experience a different world. I can see myself doing this by using interactive installations for museums such as NEMO, where designs give people new insights about natural phenomena, but also by designing for more entertaining purposes. My history in performance arts combined with my skills in making, sparks my interest in designing stages, scenography or interactive elements for theme parks, where people are taken into a different world all together, which might give them enjoyment, relaxation or (in more serious theatre) intrinsic reflection in who they are.

Currently I am both looking into Industrial Design masters (TU/e: Design Leadership and Entrepreneurship or Research Design and Development; UTwente: Human Technology Relations) and Fine Art masters (HKU: Scenography; CSSD: Design for Performance). Besides that I am planning to arrange an internship with a company focused on stage or theme park design such as 250k or the Efteling, to see if this is an interesting career option for me.

Overview Learning Activities

Year 1

Q1

  • Calculus (MDC)
  • Creative Programming (TR)
  • From Idea to Design (MDC, US, TR, BE, CA)

Q2

  • Physics (MDC, TR)
  • User Centred Design (US)
  • Tactile Experience (CA)

Q3

  • Modeling (MDC, TR)
  • Creative Electronics (TR)
  • Project 1: Turn up the lights! (MDC, US, TR, BE, CA)

Q4

  • Cardboard Modeling (CA, TR)
  • USE Basics (US)
  • Project 1: Turn up the lights! (MDC, US, TR, BE, CA)
 

Extracurricular: Year Movie Committee

Year 2

Q1

  • Engineering Design (TR)
  • USE: Human in Technology (US)
  • Project 2: Eindhoven Museum (MDC, US, TR, BE, CA)

Q2

  • Design <> Research (US, BE, CA)
  • USE: User Experience for Intelligent Systems (US, BE)
  • Project 2: Eindhoven Museum (MDC, US, TR, BE, CA)

Q3

  • Aesthetics of Interaction (CA)
  • USE: Human in Technology – Project (US, TR, BE)
  • Research Project 3: Social Rehabilitation (MDC, US, TR, BE)

Q4

  • Making Sense of Sensors (MDC)
  • Exploratory Sketching (CA)
  • Research Project 3: Social Rehabilitation (MDC, US, TR, BE)
 
 

Extracurricular: Precious Plastic TU/e, Technical Crew Studium Generale, Illustrating Workshop Booklet Studium Generale

Year 3

Q1

  • Internship: E-waste Arcades (US, TR, BE, CA)

Q2

  • Internship: E-waste Arcades (US, TR, BE, CA)

Q3

  • Design Innovation Methods (BE)

Q4

  • Interdisciplinary Innovation (TR, BE)

Extracurricular: Stukafest 2018-2019, UX Designer at E-waste Arcades, Bosch Parade 2019

Year 4

Q1

  • Final Bachelor Project: Transformative Practices (MDC, US, TR, BE, CA)

Q2

  • Final Bachelor Project: Transformative Practices (MDC, US, TR, BE, CA)

Overall:

  • Studium Generale Activities
  • Professional Identity and Vision

Extracurricular: Stukafest 2019-2020

 

MDC: Math, Data & Computing

US: User & Society

TR: Technology & Realization

BE: Business & Entrepreneurship

CA: Creativity & Aesthetics

Photo credits: Jay Kolvenbag, Pierre Lévy, Bjorn Nieuwenhoff, Nadine Cutungo, Joris Petterson, Maxime Vallentin, Tom de Groot, Ido Golan