Before coming to the faculty of Industrial Design, I was just someone interested in technology on a broad level. I had and still have a passion for music and sports. When I came here, I hoped that I could do some projects which involved these passions.
I remember signing up for a USE trajectory in the summer break before my B1 started. I chose the trajectory ‘The Secret Life of Light’, just because I thought lighting was interesting and had been to the annual Glow event in Eindhoven several times. Within the USE trajectory, I gained a lot of knowledge in lighting and its effects. I never really realized that lighting can have so many different impacts on humans, on both psychological and physiological levels.
During the first year of the Bachelor, I learned about the fundamentals of design. This includes all the theory on design processes, research processes and of course soft skills such as working with creative tools. Most of the courses were pretty basic but had enough of a challenge for me. The first real project, Co-Coach, was something I was quite proud of, but I knew there was still a lot of room for improvement.
Looking back at the first year of my Bachelor, I developed the most in the following competencies:
Math, Data and Computing | User and Society | Technology and Realization
In the second year, I wanted to implement all the knowledge gained throughout the first year. However, I still felt that I was missing quite some designing skills. I came to notice that especially skills such as visual design and programming would have been really useful to have. I worked a lot on my visual designing skills, which I am currently still trying to improve on. Courses such as User Centred Design and Aesthetics of Interaction taught me more in-depth theories and skills within design processes. Other courses such as Exploratory Sketching and Making Sense of Sensors taught me basic design and research skills.
During the design project of which Guido is the result, there was a great focus on the user. I loved the fact that I could design for a real client. Together with my group, we had a really user focused approach, and had close contact with our user group. It was an honor to meet a Paralympic gold medal winner and actually design for her. I came to realize how important it is to actually involve the user within design processes. Desktop research can be useful, but I am convinced that going out in the field to see what your user group is facing with is much more valuable. You get social contact, as well as a deeper insight into the needs of your user group. In this way, you can create relevant designs, which is really rewarding for both the user and the designers themselves.
In my B2.2, I did a research project about the sedentary behavior of office workers. During the research, our group focused on whether or not our social facilitation, MoGo, enhanced office workers’ activeness during lunch breaks. This was an extensive research, which in the end was really valuable in terms of research processes. I really learned about how to set up a study and actually carry it out in a sophisticated manner. Collecting qualitative and quantitative data and analyzing those takes a lot of time. However, when you can draw bold conclusions out of a design you made yourself, it can feel very rewarding. Even though our design did not enhance office workers’ activeness significantly, it is still interesting to discuss why. Moreover, going through such a project taught me about different research methods and how to present all findings in a scientific paper.
Within the second year of the Bachelor Program, I had developed more into the following competencies:
Creativity and Aesthetics | User and Society | Technology and Realization | Math, Data and Computing
Nearing the end of the second year, I still had no clear image of what I would want to do after completing the Bachelor program. I knew that I wanted to do an internship at a company, but I did not receive any responses on my application letters. Then, I was tipped by my project coach to look at the company called Vitaallicht. I instantly wrote an application letter and eventually I got the opportunity to do my internship there.
So, the first semester of my B3 was spent at Vitaallicht. I have been in an exceptionally good spot due to the small size of the company. Here, I was able to develop a lot of skills and do a lot of other tasks that were also relevant for me as a designer. I was able to conduct a market research, learn about engineering processes and manufacturing processes. Also, I developed 3D modelling skills in a very short time frame. I was on top of the design process of new versions of dynamic luminaires.
Moreover, I could use my visual design skills gained throughout all previous projects to help Vitaallicht communicate to its market. The process of rebranding Vitaallicht to Sparckel was a great way to develop in competencies of Creativity & Aesthetics and Business & Entrepreneurship.
Furthermore, I was able to develop on a personal level. I was present at or involved in certain confidential discussions regarding sales, contracts and acquisition. This benefited me on a professional level, because I never before had experience with this. I was given great responsibility in certain processes, which forced me to be even more proactive. I learned for example basic skills on how to call and approach other companies, and how to get what you want from them solely through communication. Working in the different professional environments developed my Business & Entrepreneurship competency.
Overall, I have developed in the following competency areas the most:
Business and Entrepreneurship | Technology and Realization | Creativity and Aesthetics