For my Final Bachelor Project, I have designed Luxon. Luxon is a locally shared lighting design for the office environment, which teaches its users about the positive aspects of dynamic lighting, as well as the effects of the users’ actions adjusting this lighting.
During my FBP, I have tried to implement as much knowledge gained by the courses throughout the Bachelor program into Luxon. My goal for this project was the following:
“I want to contribute to a healthy working environment in offices by designing a locally shared circadian lighting design, which teaches its users about the positive aspects of dynamic lighting, as well as the effects of the users’ actions adjusting this lighting”
For my project’s context, I took the WELL building standard as a starting point. I was introduced to this standard during my internship. This standard is a tool which describes to which extent a building is considered healthy. This relates to the ways the building is designed, in order to foster the building’s population in terms of wellbeing and productivity for example. I focused on the feature of lighting, because of my knowledge gained throughout the whole Bachelor’s program. I could implement a lot of lighting theory gained during the USE trajectory ‘Secret Life of Light’. The theory I studied in that trajectory was extremely useful during my internship, because it sped up my learning processes there. Moreover, I was able to apply the knowledge in a real business setting.
For my Final Bachelor Project, these two experiences have contributed to forming the basis of Luxon. In the end, applying fairly recent scientific research in terms of circadian lighting design and lighting interface design has been a blast for me. I am convinced the positive effects of lighting will be used in future luminaire design more and more.
Luxon’s interface design is what makes the luminaire different from others. It lets its users experience dynamic lighting, while at the same time teaching the users about the effects of their lighting adjustments. Courses such as User Centred Design and Aesthetics of Interaction have helped me in order to create the interface. I have thought a lot about different scenarios of how users should interact with the interface in terms of controls and experience. Also, it was important to look at how the interaction between users and the system should be.
The prototype I made for Luxon consisted out of the interface and the luminaire design. For the form of the luminaire, I used a rounded shape of an hourglass. During my internship, I was able to be part of a rebranding process. In the meetings we had with the marketing agency, I learned a lot on how to communicate your product towards the market. The form of Luxon follows its essential function: bringing back the balance between day and night.
In order to design the luminaire, I applied my prototyping skills gained over the years. The prototype involved crafting skills, programming skills and visual designing skills. I used a combination of sketching and 3D modelling software in order to establish the right form for my design. Then, I used this model as a basis for the prototype because the bulbs had to fit in. I laser cut some materials and attached a leather look material to the side of the shade, and finished a dock for the interface.
When both the interface and luminaire design of Luxon was finished, it was time to present my project at the Final Demo Day. Several posters were prepared, as well as a pitch. Moreover, I made sure the bulbs could be controlled by the potentiometers I programmed. On the interface, some interactions with the system were prototyped for people to try out.
Apart from implementing and applying knowledge gained throughout the Bachelor’s program, I was also able to learn new prototyping software in the form of InVision. I used this software to create the interface and make it interactive.
I learned that when designing shared systems, the interface is very important. After finishing my prototypes, I came to realize that I had been focusing a lot on the controls of the interface, rather than how to implement the interface in the complete design. The goal of the design was passed by doing so. I had disregarded the shared context by a fair amount, which I find incorrect in retrospect. I consider this to be a really valuable lesson in terms of interface and experience design.
Another insightful lesson I gained during my project was the fact that making scenarios of my design can help a lot to find out whether the complete design makes sense or not. It helped me understand my own design better and let me think of better possibilities within the design. In this way, you get to know your own design. Also, you can find possible ‘leaks’ in your design, or just things that do not resemble your goal or design’s purpose.
In terms of design processes, I have learned a lot about iteration design. Whenever an iteration is completed, feedback is needed in order to improve the design. I have noticed that whenever I was implementing this feedback, it was important to not dismiss my previous findings. I did not always keep in mind the goal I set myself, which is something I will definitely should be doing in my future projects. I was able to iterate my design multiple times, but I had to abandon several features of the design throughout the process. These features are still very interesting to look into in the future, but were not in the scope of this project.
In the end, I was able to establish a product that represents my vision. I am pleased with the way my project turned out, but there is always room for improvement. I will take the experiences gained in this project with me going forward in the future. I think that I applied a lot of theoretical and practical knowledge into this project and worked incredibly hard to create what is now known as Luxon.
As far as competency development is concerned, I can say that I have developed in each and every competence fairly equally during the Bachelor’s program. I feel that I have developed especially in the competencies of Creativity & Aesthetics and User & Society. Moreover, I have implemented my previously gained knowledge in the Business & Entrepreneurship competency in my project. The only competency area I feel I lack some experience in is the Math, Data and Computing competency, since I was not really able to focus on this over the course of my B3.
I was also able to develop my professional skills in terms of teamwork & communication and self-directed & continuous learning. Especially for the first one, I can say that I developed a lot during my Bachelor. I have learned to work with software tools in order to communicate my ideas towards both team members, as well as the outer world.
All the skills I gained helped me during the design and research processes I have gone through. I feel that doing a lot of projects makes you aware of different approaches and you can learn a lot of every single project. Each project is different, and requires different perspectives in order to acquire great results.
Overall, I can state that I am an all-round designer that is always up for a challenge and really willing to learn more about anything in the field of design.