Vision on Design

The future of Interaction
I like to see design as inventing tools that Amplify human abilities [1], hammers amplify the force we can exert on a nail, glasses amplify our ability to see and mobile phones amplify our ability to communicate over great distance. The interface of the hammer is its handle and affords the user how to hold and control the device. The user has one continuous degree of freedom, holding the hammer near the head allows for precise control, holding the hammer near the back allows for more powerful blows. In the case of the mobile phone the user has to make more decisions before the functionality can be accessed. In modern phones the user only gets two degrees of freedom on a screen to interface with this functionality. There is a mismatch with the degrees freedom used for interaction and the amount of functionalities that needs to be controlled.

The tools that are designed today have an every increasing amount of functionality because of how technology evolves [2] and because of the desire of consumers to cluster previously unrelated functionality in a single device. While functionality per device keeps on growing the way we interface with this functionality does not change to the same extend. This makes our tools harder to understand and use.

In order to make the tools of the future more comprehendible we need to change 2 things. Firstly We need to stop moving our product interactions to apps on smart phones and create interfaces that are physically located on the devices that contain the functionality.

Secondly, interfaces for (digital) functionality rely heavily on the cognitive abilities of their users, these abilities are inherently limited. It therefore makes sense to lessen the load on our cognitive abilities by also involving our perceptual and motor skills in interacting with an objects interface[3]. Tangible, rich [7] and haptic interfaces allow for increased use of our perceptual and motor skills in controlling objects and systems and should therefore replace screen based interactions with products. These interfaces interfaces allow the user more means of expression [4] and comprehension which in turn reduces the cognitive complexity of the interfaces.

The problem of Emergent Functionality
There is a problem with the tangible, rich and haptic interaction paradigms that is most apparent in a system context. These paradigms do not allow for emerging functionality [5] to the same extend a screen based interaction, since these interfaces are not as easily updatable. Shape changing interfaces with dynamic affordances might be the answer to the emergent functionality problem [6].

Commercial reality
Some of these Ideas are more then 20 years[8] old but have almost never been successfully commercialised. Instead industry is moving more and more towards apps and screens and away from physicality.

Consumers seem to care more about the flexibility of their digital swiss army knives (aka smartphones) then the rich experiences that were destroyed in the transition. I think it is our duty as designers not to be slaves towards this trend but to instead show consumers realistic alternatives for their interfaces. It is my ambition to create tangible and rich but still marketable solutions for the products of tomorrow.

[1] Bret Victor - Brief Rant on the future of interaction Design - 2011
[2] Kevin Kelly - How technology Evolves - 2005
[3] Stephan Wensveen - Interaction Frogger - 2004
[4] Tom Djajadiningrat et all - Easy doesn't do it: skill and expression in tangible aesthetics - 2007
[5] Joep Frens, Kees Overbeeke - Setting the Stage for the Design of Highly Interactive Systems - 2009
[6] Sean Follmer et all - inForm: dynamic Physical Affordances and Constraints trough Shape and Object Actuation -2013
[7] Joep Frens - Designing for Rich Interaction - 2006
[8] Hiroshi Ishii et all - Laying the Foundations for Graspable User Interfaces - 1995

Identity

I’m a explorative designer, my design process is driven by making and experimenting. In my vision I state that hands are the means for materialising our thoughts and concepts but it is important to note that I think it also works the other way around, so using your hands in an exploratory manner can aid your conceptual and ideation process. Going iteratively from physical prototypes to mental concepts to new physical prototypes is the way I like to work. also findings from user validations of these prototypes serve as input for my process.

I’m a very self directed designer, I know where I want to go and am pretty confidant of the route towards that goal. I learn new skills very fast especially when it is needed to achieve a goal I have set myself. If needed I can dive really deep into a certain subject but I also realise that I can not be good at everything, therefore I like working in complementary teams with people with different backgrounds and skill sets. I have a fascination with skills and craftsmanship and therefore love working with people who are specialists in their field.

Teaching or helping others with the skills that I am good at is something I am very passionate about. Seeing progress in other people gives me a rewarding feeling, a kick when they "get it". I am fascinated with peoples ability to learn new things, because this is overlaps with my vision. Designing tools facilitates increased human ability in the same sort of way learning can.

I am a visual thinker who uses photography and video to express my thoughts rather than written words. visuals unlike text have multiple layers of information, you can have a quick look at it and see the general picture or you can take a closer look in which more details are revealed. The viewer can decide for himself how much attention he want's to put in it, with text you is a lot less evident.

Past

in 2014 I graduated the ID bachelor Cum Laude, my main focus has been on tangible/rich interaction in various contexts. In the next paragraphs I will elaborate on what I have done before this semester.

M2.2

In this second half of my graduation, I took some of the principles designed in the previous semester to a much higher fidelity level to make them into a functional remote control interaction paradigm. The project section of this showcase will go into more detail about this semester.

M2.1

In my M2.1 I made a start with my graduation project in which I designed a spherical remote control for a Bang&Olufsen Media Centre. In this first semester, I was focused on exploring various haptic and shape-changing techniques in order to create an interaction paradigm that did not rely on the visual modality for feedback. I received an excellent verdict for this semester.

M1.2

In this project, I created an interactive data comparison and visualisation tool for Diagnostiek voor U. This tool helps medical professionals working at DvU to answer questions from customers like how does my institute compare to other institutes? The tool can provide insights into the own processes and supply chain of DvU itself. This project was a cooperation with Erwin Hoogerwoord. For this project, I received an excellent verdict.

M1.1

In my research semester I designed a toolkit for designers that would enable them to build and explore with shape changing interfaces. My idea behind it was that if you enable more designers (with little technical knowledge) to design products with shape changing interfaces that that would lead to a stronger and better design research community and eventually to product adaptation of shape changing interfaces. The paper I wrote about this work got accepted at DESFORM2015. For this semester I received an excellent verdict.

B3.2

In my FBP I designed a token based multimedia remote control that allowed users to control their digital media in a tangible way. This semester trigged my fascination with getting tangible interaction to be adopted by industry. The video below briefly explains the concept. For this semester I received an excellent verdict.

B3.1

I heard that there was a possibility to get a high school teaching degree as a minor at the Eindhoven School of Education (ESoE) so that’s what I did. In a really intense period of half a year in which I followed courses at the ESoE and was teaching actual high school classes in Helmond I managed to get my teachers degree in high school physics. I had VWO HAVO and VMBO-T classes which I learned where all very different. I had children from many different nationalities, ranging skill and subject interest levels in my classes. This wide scala of students made being a high school teacher way harder than I could have ever imagined.

Board Year

After my 2.2 semester I did not immediately go to my 3.1 semester Instead I chose to do a board year for the study association lucid. In this year I was a full time board member responsible of running the study association. My function in the board was commissioner of internal affairs, I was responsible for all committee’s and their activities, the bar and the shop of the study association.

B2

In my second year I started to develop an interest in tangible interfaces and my current vision started its development.

B1

In my first year I started to discover the broad field we call design. With a hands on approach I learned the very basics

Growth

Over the years as a master student industrial design, I have discovered my own approach to designing intelligent products and systems. My hands on making approach allow me to do many small iterations that start off with relatively simple prototypes but are over time of increasing fidelity. This allows for quick experiential results that determine the future direction of the design process. In my master, I have learned to combine this explorative making approach with academic reasoning and means of validation, allowing me to better evaluate individual iteration and determine the new course of action.

My main focus has always been intuitive tangible interaction design but during my master, I deliberately chose to widen my perspective by doing a project in Data-driven design but also by choosing modules and activities with a more social and services design focus. I've learned that my approach to an interaction design problem is with some tweaks also very much applicable to other domains within the design field.

When working in multi-disciplinary teams, my good technical knowledge has allowed me to become an interface between engineers and the non-technical people involved in a product design cycle. Having an understanding of both of these fields allows me to optimise the designed solution to fit the needs of both ends of the spectrum.

In my opinion, my years spent in both the ID bachelor and master have shaped me into a competent designer with qualities ranging from engineering, user research to form giving.

Project

Introduction
This graduation project aimed to use non-visual modalities to communicate action possibilities and give feedback in a dynamic way. Doing this dynamically means that action possibilities will be presented only when needed. The above is used to create a Spherical remote control for a Bang & Olufsen media centre. Through the use of haptic effects two different interaction paradigms are developed that do not rely on the visual modality. In one model haptics effects are used only in a response to human action. In the second one, haptics is used to permanently communicate the state of the system and the user is given the opportunity to modify this state in an embodied way. Together these models aim to demonstrate the potential of dynamic haptic affordances and contribute to the research on intuitive interaction.

Overall, the project has provided interesting insights due to the unusual starting point and chosen constraints. The choice to use a sphere as a means of interaction with media allowed for exploring feedback and feedforward opportunities that would not have been explored in a project without this starting point. Haptic feedback is often merely used as an additional and therefore non-essential feedback modality, instead, this project stimulated exploring haptics as a primary feedback modality. Because the user depends on the haptics, the quality and degree of expression needed to be far higher than with haptics as an additional modality. The high level of haptic fidelity achieved in this project is a consequence of its necessity. This lesson can be generalised to other modalities in designing feedback. Imagining it is the only communication channel you have towards a user, will stimulate using the full bandwidth that modality provides. Combining multiple feedback modalities that are designed with such a process could give interesting results. Will they add up to a richer multimodal feedback experience or will they compete for the user’s attentional resources?

Feedback & Feedforward
Through the focus on haptics, the explorations have also given insights about other feedback modalities. The constraints of haptic feedback showed that with respect to information bandwidth not all feedback modalities are created equal. The visual modality, for example, provides a far broader set of possibilities. Especially information with a predictive element to, indicating something is about to happen, or information that provides an overview or orientation is easy to implement visually but nearly impossible with some other modalities that do not have the same bandwidth. 

With respect to feedforward, the concepts demonstrate that it is possible to create haptic feedforward in the embodied audio playback application. The embodiment is key in achieving this because the haptic rotational effect is used to literally communicate to the user the rotational gesture that he can make at that time. In this project, haptics was used proactively to communicate action possibilities instead of only reacting to user action with haptic feedback. 

Application & Translation to practice
The evaluation showed the big difference between the strictly reactive haptic feedback approach relative to the embodied approach which has both feedback and feedforward. Next to this the evaluation also showed that the embodied approach has a much stronger integration between the shape of the remote and the control gestures.  By using the same ramping effects on both the audio and haptic modality I achieved a much tighter coupling between these modalities In accordance with the frogger framework. It also proved to be a fun and exciting experience which was valued by the client.

If I had more time I would have further investigated the differences between the interaction paradigms from an experiential point of view. In this project, I have primarily looked at these modalities stand alone but having them in combination with other feedback and feedforward modalities possibly results in a very different experience.

I think I managed to convince The UX team of B&O of the benefits of embodiment in interaction and haptic feedforward as important means for the future of interaction design. In the introduction, I wondered if you could make a commercially viable remote control given the constraints of this project. The conclusion of this project is that it is defiantly possible to create a spherical remote control without physical buttons but that the functionality you can control with it is inherently limited without making the mapping to cognitive. The haptic qualities designed in this project are in my opinion better in combination with other feedback modalities, as can be seen from the audio ramping effect.

Conclusion
This project has been a great learning experience for me on many different levels. In the last year, I have been able to look at interaction design on a very fundamental level and look for qualitative interactions, I also had the opportunity to really have a design process with a hands-on approach, many iterations, and a gradual increase in prototype fidelity.

Modules & Electives

Interactive Materiality

Introduction
In the interactive materiality elective, we explored the creation of dynamic material properties through Electrostatics haptics.

The use of electrostatic haptics for creating interactive materiality allowed us to change non-visual properties of our object and therefore allowed us to create a discrepancy between the user’s expectation of the tactile sensation of touch versus the actual tactile sensation. The nature of the electrostatic effect dictated the movement speed of the touching hand between an upper and a lower limit to optimally feel the effect. This was the embodiment of our symbolic notion of guiding melody

Reflection
Instead of focussing on extending the action-perception loop possible with our electrostatic effect we chose to focus on making the material itself in a shape independent way. For me personally, this direction had a greater learning potential. This was the first time I thought about the process of making a material instead of an object. A material design process raises different questions and problems. like how should our material feel when the electrostatic effect is not applied and what are the consequences of that textural quality when the effect is applied. These sort of questions could also be asked in an object design process but are usually not in favour of more contextual challenges.

I Like that this elective forced me to spend time in search for and to appreciate material qualities from different perspectives. The work we did in the first weeks was new to me and initially somewhat hard to grasp partly because my vocabulary for conveying perceived material qualities was limited. But by trying methods like the “bodily response” this vocabulary started to increase.

In conclusion, I’ve found this a valuable learning activity that helped me to develop myself further on a material science level but also with interaction design theory on a product and a material level. I received excellent feedback and was graded with a 9 (apparently we have grades now ;-).

Design for Focused and Peripheral Interaction

Reflection
In this elective we explored means of interacting with objects relative to the human attentional resources needed for the interaction. Interactions were mapped along an axis from implicit interaction to peripheral interaction to finally a focussed interaction.

In the early lectures I really struggled with the notion of an implicit interaction, could we even call this an interaction, shouldn’t we consider this a system action instead. My fellow teammates felt similarly regard- ing this issue. But at some point, I realised that Focused peripheral and implicit should not be regarded as discrete and absolute concepts. An activity, in my opinion, is rarely fully implicit or peripheral but instead is somewhere along this line in between focused and implicit. From this, our question arose: can we make an interaction that is able to move along this spectrum.

This question had a profound impact on our design and research process and resulted in a prolonged ideation phase in which we went through numerous iterations and conceptual start overs. At times, we as a team were not even sure anymore that we were talking about the same thing anymore. In the end, we found our design direction and started to conceptualise it, but our ambition was probably set too high by our ambition to cover the whole spectrum. Our final concept focused more on the peripheral to focused part of the spectrum.

To be able to allow for travel along the spectrum we used the idea of non-determinism and derived from that the idea that the user influences the system rather than has absolute control over it. It was our idea that by changing the amount of influence the user has over the system, we also change the cognitive load the user experiences in using his influence. when the cognitive load increases the activity will move more towards the centre of attention and visa verse. In my opinion, we could extend our current concept towards an even more focused interaction by increasing the influence of the user until the interaction (almost) becomes deterministic.

Our tests showed that users perceived the interaction to create a desirable light setting to be easier as a peripheral interaction than a focused one. This can partly be explained by our concept but I believe that the user in a focused interaction also has a more exact idea of settings for individual fixtures he wants compared to setting a light setting while reading (since here the primary success criteria is readability of the text). But nonetheless, I think that our non-deterministic interfaces work well in the periphery of the attention since it needs less cognitive attention.

It was interesting to see that even though there was no direct correlation between a user action and the systems reaction, users tried to repeat certain actions to achieve similar results. Some of these users realised that this direct correlation did not exist while others thought it did exist but that the mapping was more complicated than they originally anticipated. This created an interesting exploratory behaviour to nd the “true mapping” of the interface.

SWIFT

Introduction
During this module I designed an app i've been wanting to make for a while. Together with my module team we build an anonymous messaging app called INFLUENZA in which your message behaves like a virus. Your messages ‘infect' three users that are nearby and in turn they can infect three other users or choose to ‘contain' the message. With this messaging system your messages literally go viral or die.

Reflection
I have quite a lot of previous experience with programming in java, php and some in objective-C (which I found quite cumbersome). In the module week I wanted to get my knowledge of swift (which I had not used before) to a level from which I can design and prototype apps easily. During the module I got the hang of swift quite quickly and since I already had an app idea and hooked up with a good team. The development of our location based messaging app went quite quickly. Because of this I had the change to focus on more advanced coding subjects/ design patterns. I learned the proper way of fetching data asynchronously and the use of observer patterns. While this was manageable in swift I still feel that these sort of standard tasks could be made a lot easier. Because we had a clear functional description of the app we could write the app with a very clean model view controller set up. In the module I really saw the benefit of defining the inner workings of the app schematically before starting to code, it made the end result better structured and easier to debug. I think our final app was quite cool, I was surprised how much of it we got to work in so little time. Because the iOS frameworks are strongly event driven it was really easy to experiment with animations based on gesture events. These animations really helped in explaining how the user can send and receive messages. In this module I have learned swift to a degree that I now can quickly make native iOS apps as a prototyping means or as a final product. I think this is a very useful skill to have as a designer of interactive products. during the module I also learned more efficient ways to manage a software project, this skill I could immediately use in my master project.

BioTopia

Introduction
argus is a Biotopian lamp that can produce light in all directions by utilising a very fast spinning mirror and an precisely timed led it can light objects or people in a room. it can even form multiple beams in different directions simultaneously. Depending on movement in the room our lamp can exhibit different behaviours ranging shy to exited. the behaviours of the lamp influence the behaviour of peo- ple in the room and visa versa.

Reflection
I chose the Biotopia module to further develop my view on and ability to design intelligence in products. Before the module my idea of artificial intelligence was that a product would optimise towards a users preferred output as efficient as possible. While in some cases this is very useful, this module showed me that giving an object a will of its own that does not always have to align with the will of the user can result in to interesting outcomes. Due to the interaction of the will of the object and the wil of the user new and unforeseen emerging functionality can occur.

From the module lectures I found that simple concepts like hedonic tone can be very effective in creating complex behaviour in a very simple way. It is not alway necessary to use complex learning/evolutionary algorithms to create (semi) intelligent behaviour. Simple algorithms can be good enough to trigger a human object interaction cycle.

Apart from human product interaction our lamps could have product product interactions as well. Unfortunately with only 3 teams this didn’t really work out but the idea is interesting. By creating feedback loops between different objects there can even be an emerging intelligence on a system level. Agents with relatively simple behaviour can form an intelligent whole.

In my team I focused primarily on the building of the light mechanism that allowed our lamp to shine in specific directions instantly. Our team had very diverse design and cultural backgrounds which was sometimes difficult but also made for interesting conversations and made our lamp unique.

DQI Theory

In this module we had to connect our own previous work to the theories of DQI trough annotated portfolios. After a couple of days as a group we decided that this was not the best way to spend our time. Personally I felt that post rationalising a link between my design work and DQI theories and frameworks would not benefit me educationally. Instead I coauthored a manifesto stating “what was wrong with DQI” and how they could become a better more interesting research group. In the second week we tried to substantiate our claims further but this proved way harder then initially thought and our claims proved to be more nuanced in practice. I felt like we had burned the bridges behind us but did not know the way forward (Nietzsche, Aph. 124 In the horizon of the infinite). In the end I proposed to hold a symposium/discussion day with the DQI group to see if we could understand each others point of view better. Unfortunately this discussion was superficial and mainly semantical and did not create the output I hoped for.

The module left me with a lot of un answered questions regarding the coherency of DQI theory as a whole and the use of Phenomenology as conceptual glue for their ideas. What happened in this module still bothers me a lot because it was intellectually very unsatisfying. As a bachelor student I felt DQI theory felt very coherent and valuable as a whole. After this module I still see very valuable elements that are very close to my own vision and believes but I can no longer see DQI theory as coherent or holistic. This is quite the opposite of what I would have expected as output from this module.

Constructive Design Research

Reflection
I chose this module to get a better idea on how to approach design research in my M1.1 semester. In my bachelor I did some user testing but I never succeeded to derive something very useful from these tests other than if people “liked” what I made. Because I wanted to learn how to get more useful data from my test I choose the most scientific “lab” approach in this module. Because this approach was the furthest away from my research comfort zone I thought I would learn the most from this approach.

In my feedback Stephan van wensveen was very satisfied with my work in the module, he noted that even though I was more or less the spokesperson for the group that I should give the other members of the group some more room to answer questions.

I’m really glad that I did this module, It really helped me trough out the research semester in what my possibilities where and how to approach the various methods that where discussed in the module. I also learned why and in what stages of a design process design research can be helpful. In my project I ended up using a qualitative approach because it better fitted my research question and I also wanted to gain experience with qualitative techniques.

The Daemon Module

I chose the Daemon module because I found the idea of a Daemon as described in the book by Daniel Suarez very intriguing, an autonomous agent reacting on real world events, anticipating on multiple scenario’s etc. This idea although it sounds very sci-fi is not even so far out and could for a large part actually be created. I’ve been fascinated for a while with autonomous agents and how they could (hopefully in a more friendly way than in the book) interact with humans and what the place of this agents will be in society. If we look outside the one person one product paradigm we see interesting system level behaviour in which there is both human agent interaction as agent agent. In such a system there is a lot of uncertainty about possible behaviour the system can show. When designing for systems I as a designer have to give up (some) control over system behaviour to allow for emergent behaviour/functionality. The design effort focusses on the interfaces (or ways to communicate) between agents and system users or other agents. Open systems in which every node can communicate to every other node will behave vastly different from more closed of systems or systems that are strongly centralised.

This module made me think about systems on a deeper level and showed me the potential of system design over the one user one product paradigm. I learned to make better and more robust decentralised communication protocols between nodes and explored combinations of system system and user system interaction.

Mathias funk the lecturer of the module wrote in his feedback that he liked my higher level thoughts on the module although they where a bit hidden in my initial reflection. together with Mathias and an other participant I am to writing a paper about the lessons learned from this module.

Design for Social Interaction in Public Spaces

Reflection

My initial thoughts upfront on what we would do in this module where focused on the creation of an art installation in China. But after the module I think the main focus of the module was on how we could successfully work together with the Chinese students and make use of our very different approaches to designing to create a meaningful whole. So for me this combination of teamwork and communication with social cultural awareness was the main focus of the module.

Overall this module was an amazing experience on so many different levels. Culture, Art, Teamwork and Technology came together in a beautiful and inspiring way

Although our final concept has changed a lot over time the same drama remain the foundation for all our iterations. The drama approach really helps to create the deeper meaning in an art installation and makes it so much more than a pretty and interactive installation. I am very keen to use the drama framework in the future to blend art and design in a meaningful way.

Jun Hu wrote in his feedback that he was very impressed by my coding abilities, but more importantly he wrote “I was amazed by how well you could communicate with each other (in your team) on the one hand, and how concentrated you can be when task divisions were clear and set on the other hand.” about how we functioned as a team.

The pictures on the left show our art installation in its final form and the group of chines and dutch students we did the module with. The video was made by my chines group mate Bing. Unfortunately the file has been damaged when it was send to the Netherlands, therefore there are some artefacts visible that are not supposed to be in the video.

Extra Curricular

Academy of Skills

Together with my coach Joep Frens, I entered a competition to improve education through ITC. Our idea was to create an MOOC (massive open online course) that was focused on Skills instead of knowledge. In our proposed system, we would use video not only for the course content but also to record the process of making and give peer to peer feedback. We won the competition organised by SurfNet and were awarded 10.000 euros to build a prototype of the Academy of Skills. Together with Joep Frens, I designed the user experience of AOS. Migchiel van Diggelen consulted on the project to improve the learning process provided by the system. Together with two friends I wrote the software that enables the system to work.

Our initial small scale user tests showed promising results. The system was perceived as an intuitive way to learn new skills. The study also showed us a lot of elements that could still be improved.

This project ran in parallel to my graduation project which sometimes was a bit problematic for me from a time management perspective. But the result is more than worth it.

Asian Smart Living International School

In my m2.1, I was asked by Bart Hengeveldt to join the Asian Smart Living International School for a one-week intensive international student collaboration project in Taiwan. Together with students from all around the world we attempted to tackle the problem of the ageing society in Taiwan. Even though it can sometimes be frustrating I love to do international collaboration projects because they broaden my perspective on the cultural implications of design. This challenge was focused on service design which was a topic that I had little previous experience with. but through provided lectures, interviews with experts and elderly and intensive team coaching, I think we managed to come up with good results for a one week workshop and I managed to gain more experience working in a multi-cultural international team.

TEDxEindhoven

I am part of a Foundation that aims to organise A TEDx event in Eindhoven. We want to create a stage Interesting ideas created by people from different backgrounds in the brain port region. We want to bring together students, artists and professionals and start dialogues between these groups that stimulate cross-discipline cooperation. Within the team, I am responsible for production. The conference will take place the 8th of july 2016

FACULTYCOUNCIL

I’ve always been very interested and enthusiastic about our faculty and educational model that is why when major reforms were announced I decided to run for the faculty council election. My goal was to try to minimise the effects these reforms would have on our unique but fragile educational model. During my year on the council, I learned a lot about university politics and why our system had to change but even though I understand why I still believe that our educational model has changed from something very unique and qualitative (but arguably not sustainable) to a much more traditional educational model. I hope that the self-directed approach with qualitative feedback does not fully disappear from our educational model but I fear that in time it will.

THINKINGBITS

Introduction
In my first year at ID I started a company called Thinking Bits BV. Over the years I now have formed a team of 5 people with a variety of backgrounds to make our products. We specialise in designing Intelligent hardware that can communicate with smart phones and become part of the internet of things. Currently we are working on products for home automation and a gaming concept to get children to play outside again. For one of our products we have recently run our first production batch that we are selling online. this is something I am very proud of. I shot two video’s, one to show the production process our first product and one to explain this product to customers. We also attempted a kickstarter campaign for a second product last december but unfortunately it only reached 75% of the funding goal. For this product we are now looking for alternative funding.

Responsibility
At Thinking bits I am responsible for the industrial design, interaction design and software, production, marketing and finances. The last three of these aspects are not extensively covered at ID, especially on the front of production. I have learned a lot with regards to plastic mold making and the production of PCB’s and the extremely high costs that are related to those processes. Initially we had a factory in china produce our product but communication with this factory proved very hard. Even after I flew over to the factory to sort things out communication still proved difficult so we moved production to the Netherlands. We had a lot of setbacks with the production process of thinking cleaner partly due to my lack of experience with production processes but I have learned tremendously from these setbacks and feel fairly confidant that I could manage a production process way better in the future.

Combining my company with studying industrial design is really intense and sometimes almost feels as to much. Everything I've learned so far at ID I can immediately use at my company and I therefore think that my company is the ideal place to put my new found knowledge and skills to the test.

DESFORM2015

In the M1.2 semester wrote a paper about my previous project on shape changing interfaces. The paper got accepted to the DesForm conference that I attended in October 2015. This is my very first scientific publication. I found writing a paper way harder and time consuming then expected but the final result made me proud and was well received at the conference.

JEWELLERY

In the M1.2 semesters I developed an interest in jewellery design. I gained experience in a workshop from Maarten Verteeg and this year maarten ask me to design a Jewel for a prestigious talent competition from Fiera di Vicenza. I designed a breast pin for the competition. My design was selected by the jury as one of twenty designs to be shown at the 2015 September show of Fiera di Vicenza which I found an honour.

TEI student Competition

Last semester I wrote a paper about my previous project on shape changing interfaces. The paper got accepted to the DesForm conference that I attended in October 2015. This is my very first scientific publication. I found writing a paper way harder and time consuming then expected but the final result made me proud and was well received at the conference.

Philips Lighting Summer Internship

During the summer holiday proceeding my m1.1, I worked on an NDA Project for Philips lighting. Together with a team of 3 other ID master students, we had to further develop a concept we had presented to Phillips in a boot camp previous semester. The people at Philips were really enthusiastic about one specific idea we presented there and wanted us to build a high-quality prototype, investigate how to manufacture our idea on a large scale and investigate the market potential of the idea. This was very challenging for us because we really had to think from a business perspective and that is not something we are used to doing at ID. I learned a lot about business considerations and compromises that have to be made to a design to make it producible and sellable.

Our boss Lars Waumans who is the technology program manager for Philips lighting was extremely satisfied with our work:

“With great enthusiasm and energy they did very well: I was impressed by the speed they ran through the learning curve and adapted the lizard tail concept to requirements such as portfolio identity, cost price optimisation and manufacturability. At the end of the project, the team had brought the lizard tail concept to a level, my colleagues and I agreed it could be realised into a product.”

Future

When I finished my master at ID I want to keep on working on getting intuitive physical interaction into real products. I will try to achieve this through various means. Firstly I will continue working at Thinking bits making the IOT devices of tomorrow. Next to this I have started one other company with 3 ID alumni called Bureau Moeilijke Dingen. In this collective we will do freelance design and engineering work in the field of IOT and Big Data. We've already done work for Media Markt, AOS and have developed a Point of sale System that we sell. Since Bang&Olufsen was very content with my work I can also do some freelance work for them. With Bureau Moeilijke Dingen we are currently negotiating a Consultancy project for IKEA to work on their Table of Living project. Most likely the three of us will join the project for at least a year but due to some internal shifting within IKEA the project has been slightly postponed. I am really looking forward to these opportunities and what hey will bring.