Who am I?

About

Vision

Technology is everywhere. It became an important aspect in our daily life. As designers we have the privilege to use all these new technologies. I want to use this technologies to improve the quality of life. An interaction designer can do this by designing in order to motivate and stimulate people. I believe this can be achieved by going back to the nature of humankind: playing. Playing is a natural phenomenon we are all familiar with, since we were kids. Playful interactions and gamification can be used as a tool to teach, motivate and stimulate people in a natural way Playful interactions and gamification can be used as a tool to teach, motivate and stimulate people in a natural way, for example to stay active, help them with rehabilitation or prevent social exclusion.

By combining esthetics and craftsmanship with interaction I want to translate fun and humor into something serious to achieve the higher goal. I believe it is my duty as a designer to help my users with reaching this higher goal. Via a user-centered approach I create joyful moments in people’s lives to stimulate their happiness. Happy people are healthier and vice versa.

Identity

As for my professional identity, I can describe myself as an extrovert, positive and enthusiast person. Since I have a broad interest I can easily adapt to different situations and people. I love to be surrounded by people. I see myself as a facilitator. Searching for collaboration and organizing interesting activities that brings value to all the involved parties gives me energy. I am a team player and creative thinker with a big imagination who improves the communication and the team spirit in a group. As an inquisitive explorer I’m always interested in new trends and developments and try to come up with surprising new ideas to solve problems and design challenges. Something I need to keep in mind is that I could be over enthusiast and start doing interesting things for myself, but irrelevant for the team. This also has a plus side. It makes me see details someone else misses. It makes me good in making connections between different areas and to stay open minded and willing to try out and explorer new fields. I also love to make! I face projects with a hands-on approach. During my bachelor I developed a natural strong sense for form and esthetics.

Partect

Final Bachelor Project

Detecting the Freeze of Gait at Parkinson's Patients

Partect

For my Final Bachelor Project (FBP) I decided to choose a project at The TU/e innovation Space. This is a new concept of the TU/e which stimulates working in multidisciplinary teams. The projects offered at innovation Space are in collaboration with companies, startups or student teams. Therefore, the link between the projects and the industry is really close. For me, this was why decided to do my FBP at innovation Space.

Within innovation Space, I choose the project “Parkinson Detection – How do people walk?” with prof.dr.ir. Aarnout Brombacher from the Industrial Design department as project owner/client. This project is done in collaboration with researchers from the Department of Neurology at the LUMC. They conduct research into patients with the Parkinson’s Disease.

This project aims to get an accurate detection of the Freeze of Gait event at Parkinson’s patients. Freezing is the temporary, involuntary inability to move that affects the patients with the Parkinson’s disease. It looks like the feet of the patient are glued to the ground. To detect this, it was important to have a measuring stystem that is able to measure the behaviour in an unobtrusive way in order to tackle the “white coat syndrome”. The patients behave differently in front of a clinician.

For this project an unobtrusive wearable with an integrated sensor system is developed in order to detect the Freeze of Gait at Parkinson’s patients in daily life. Acceleration movements of walking behavior are analyzed and visualized.

Creativity & Aesthetics

Within this project, my focal point was the development of the unobtrusive wearable itself. I made different iterations for the placement of the sensor on the shin and on the hip/waist. I also looked in using the right material for the final wearable that is focused on waist. I choose Lycra as fabric for this waistband. Lycra is also used in tight fitted sportswear.

Technology & Realization

I explored different ways of integrating the sensor my other groupmate developed within the wearable. If the mechanical fixation of the sensor isn’t done correctly, the sensor data will contain unnecessary noise. I devised an construction that secured this mechanical fixation of the sensor in the waistband.

User & Society

In the end, this project is all about finding a way of collecting data at the Parkinson’s patients in an as unobtrusive way as possible. In order to achieve this I did research on how to design unobtrusive wearables. These criteria were implemented in the final design. We tested the prototype by comparing the data of our baseline measurements with the data of our mimicked Freeze of Gait. This demanded understanding and empathy of the Parkinson’s patient. This project provides a good basis for the researchers of Leiden UMC to conduct further research on the behavior of Parkinson’s patients.

Business & Entrepreneurship

The next step of this project is to check our results with our stakeholders, the researchers of Leiden UMC. They are needed in order to involve real Parkinson’s patients for real life testing. This is needed to verify our sensor system. I hope this project is a good step towards preventing the Freeze of Gait at Parkinson’s patients.

Math, Data, & Computing

The testing of our sensor system provided us with a lot of data. My groupmate, Cas van Grunsven, developed an application for gathering and sharing this data. The data from the sensor was analyzed by an algorithm that was written by my other groupmate, Daan de Kanter, which provided us with an visualization of the walking patterns.

Design & Research Processes

To accomplish a sensor system that is able to give a visualization of the walking pattern of Parkinson’s patients it was needed to keep up-to-date of all the developments. Especially within this multidisciplinary team, it was very important to keep informed of the developments in the different expertise areas and keep on communicating with each other.

Reflection

I had the feeling that throughout my bachelor projects, I could have implemented the knowledge of previous research more. I saw my Final Bachelor Projects as on opportunity to really include research in my project and base my (design) decisions on the existing knowledge. During this projects I focused especially on creating the wearable in a so unobtrusive way. Together with my groupmate Nerah Dundas I used the Guidelines for Wearability of Gemperle et al.(1998) as criteria for the waistband. As a group we had to make the decision if we were going to focus on the shin or on the waist. We used the literature to make the right decision. In the beginning I found it difficult to collect all the existing data and abstract this to the needed information for my project. In the end I experienced that it is actually solving a kind of puzzle and fitting the pieces together.

I wanted to approach my Final Bachelor Project in a user centered way. Within Partect a real understanding of the problem was needed in order to tackle the problem of the with lab coat effect with an unobtrusive wearable. I reflected on the different iterations I made of the prototype to improve the wearability. I had the advantage that my groupmate Nerah Dundas focused on executing user research on which place is a more unobtrusive way to measure. Unfortunately, her tests weren’t finished yet before we had to decide on which place we had to measure, so we couldn’t implement her findings.

This brings me to the biggest point of reflection. Working in a team with people of different disciplines. In the beginning I was really irritated of our process. I had the feeling that we didn’t make any progress. Looking back this is very logical. Working in a team with people of different disciplines brings that you first have to get to know each other and figure out what everyone’s capabilities are, before you can start iterating. Also we worked more in a multidisciplinary way instead of an interdisciplinary way. I had the feeling that everyone was working on their own small project within the project. The fact that executing a FBP project in a group at innovation Space was a pilot and therefore the different coaches of all the different faculties didn’t know exactly how to coach their students. This did not contribute to our process. It was very frustrating to hear that my groupmates had to focus on a different subject from their coaches in order to succeed their FBP, instead of on subjects that would contribute to the project. Working in a more interdisciplinary way could have stimulate the project on different levels. For example on the integration of the sensor. Now, the sensor itself was already developed before executing research on different way of integrating a sensor system in a wearable. Reflecting on myself, I could have been more assertive in asking what everyone was doing to stimulate a interdisciplinary process. Since I am now aware of the possible pitfalls of working in a team with different disciplines, I can try to prevent them and in this way contribute to the design process.

A short overview of my projects and courses

Work

B2.1 Design Project

A.I.M.

A.I.M. is a new device to be used during PE classes and stands for Approachable Interactive and Motivating. A.I.M. tackles the less positive feeling of a bench by adding a playful feel, the feel of the mat, as the wooden seat is replaced by a mat.

Touch sensors and LEDs are integrated in the surface. These electronics allow the user to play games with A.I.M., games that motivate different sports characters with fun interactions in order to prevent social exclusion.

Through this project I discovered I liked motivating people, in this case children, by making use of fun interaction.

Course Package

Design for Games and Play I, II & III

During this course you learn theories of interaction design, game design, user experience, psychology of games, testing and evaluation. In a multidisciplinary team you combine a theoretical and practice-based approach to develop serious games and playful concepts.

During this course a serious game in order to explain the study Software Science was developed. During the next quartile a playful interaction for one of the footbridges of the TU/e was created.

This course package learned me to implement and design with different theories such as the lenses of play and the MDA-model. During the projects of these course in a multidisciplinary team I really was the "glue" between the different expertise areas. I learned to give guidance and share my knowledge in order to come up with new game concepts.

B1.2 Design Project

Whirl

Whirl is a multi-user that is designed for Philips Hue. It is an iteractive light system that can be used for flex spaces. A flex space is a place where different activities can be executed, such as presentations, meetings, brainstorm sessions or individual work.

With Whirl you can set the light to your own preferences. Instead of one person controlling the light, Whirl is designed to create the prefered ambience for everyone.

The multi-user aspect of this project really interested me. Testing the interactions of the prototype with real users in a company setting really triggered me.

course

Digital Craftmanship

This course explores the possibilities of modern craftsmanship by making your own shoe. It teaches that you can't think for the material, you have to think with the material.

During this course a service to create your own personal insole was developed. By implementing mathematics, patterns are generated to create these insoles.

Through this course I became familiar with the embroidery machine as well as implementing mathematics to convert measurements to digital patterns. I liked the hands-on approach this course had.

Internship

Pillo

Pillo is a start-up and has an actual pillow as game controller. Pillo makes playing games together accessible to everyone, also for people with an (mental) disability.

During my internship I created a model which gives an overview of the different levels in games and their required skills and properties. Different iterations of the model were made resulting in the final version of the model. With this model, I developed new game concepts for specific levels with their matching abstracted requirements in mind.

During this internship I realized that great understanding of the user you designing for is needed. Looking critical at the model and the abilities of the user resulted in better fitting game concepts

B2.2 Research Project

3D Printed Textile Experience

One of the new opportunities that 3D printing techniques brings are printing textures on textile. 3D printing can be a way of changing the hand of textile and thereby changing experiences. This design research project aims to describe the perception of the users' point of view of those new textures.

During this project we also looked at integrating 3D parts into clothes in order to create modularity.

This project learned me how to do research through design and write a paper. I learned to work with a methodology and analyze user interviews. Also, I discovered different techniques of 3D printing on fabrics.

What did I learned?

Competence Development

Overview of my Competence Development

Growth

Creativity & Aesthetics

As a designer you are expected to be creative and generate new ideas. Exploring new fields and techniques is needed to generate strong concepts. The aesthetics are a very important aspect of your design, since this will be the first thing your user get in contact with.

During all projects and courses of the bachelor I was trained to generate new ideas and concepts in a natural way. I learned to communicate these ideas by making use of visuals or prototypes. I also developed a very good sense for form and detail. The course Exploratory Sketching (which teaches who to visualize and render your ideas in professional drawings), my internship at Pillo (whereby I had to generate new concepts and make wireframes for an app), the course Trends Cockpit (in which I learned to make style DNA’s) and the projects I did in the Wearable Senses squad (where I learned to combine craftsmanship with modern technologies such as 3D printing on textiles) contributed to this. By going through an iterative design process I strive to achieve an aesthetic good quality.

Technology & Realization

Designing is also about exploring new technologies in order to create new innovative concept. A good understanding of the feasibility of these concept is needed in order to get your concepts realized in a real product. Knowledge of different disciplines is needed in order to communicate with other engineers.

Throughout the bachelor I learned how I can realize my ideas and concepts in to real projects. The courses Creative Electronics and Creative Programming gained me the basic knowledge of the technology. Within my projects I extended this knowledge. Within the wearable senses squad I was introduced in making wearable sensors and actuators. This knowledge was implemented in the project A.I.M. in the Vital Play squad in order to develop soft pressure sensors.

I also realized that it isn’t always necessary to know everything about the technology. During this bachelor I learned how to communicate my technological wishes or insights and adapt to this since I gained a understanding of for example Unity. I experienced this especially during my courses in Design for Games and Play. I knew how to communicate the game concepts in such a way the students from Software Science were able to develop it.

User & Society

As a designer you always have to keep in mind who you designing for and what would be the impact of your designs. To achieve a (playful) effect on the user experience it is important to involve the people who you designing for as main stakeholders in the design process.

In the bachelor I learned to involve the users in a very early stage in the design process. Through projects and courses I executed different user research methods such as questionnaires, interviews and observation studies. I learned how to evaluate and collect their insights and implement them in the process. I experienced that you have to look critical at the abilities of the user in order to create value for them. The USE learning line Decisions under Risk and Uncertainty learned me to look in an ethical and political way at the risk a scientific or technical design decisions could bring.

Business & Entrepreneurship

In order to put an idea into a real project, a designer needs to be able to look at the different value propositions of the project. You need to have an understanding of business in order to involve the right stakeholders in your project and communicate your ideas to them.

Over the years of my bachelor I learned to involve and work with different stakeholders and apply their feedback, needs and wishes in my design process. This resulted in products with a stronger market proposition. For example within the project A.I.M. we worked close together with the company Janssen-Fritsen in order to innovate the gymnastic equipment’s they develop. Also within my internship at Pillo I really experienced that having a product with meaningful value will help expanding your network, which is key for a start-up. Overall I think I grew the most in this competence during my board year at the study association of industrial design Lucid. As commissioner of external affairs I was responsible for reaching the sponsor goal of the association. This board year thought me to communicate and organize activities with different kind of stakeholders and really make companies aware of the added value of an Industrial Designer.

Math, Data, & Computing

Every day, the amount of data that is being collected grows. As a designer you need to be able to handle with this data in the right way. Being able to analyze the collected data and use it as input and output for your designs is really valuable.

During my bachelor I learned how to gather quantitative and qualitative data from users by setting up user studies. I learned to analyze this data and implement the conclusions in my designs. In courses like Creative Programming and Digital Craftsmanship I learned how to use algorithms in order to create patterns and visualization. Also I developed the knowledge to program my own website in HTML and CSS. During my USE learning line Decisions under Risk and Uncertainty I was introduced to cryptography and cryptanalysis in order to secure data.

Design & Research Processes

For a designer it is important to know how to run a design process and which process should be used for different kind of projects. You need to know your stronger and weaker points in the process. As a designer you need to be able to reflect on your approach from various angles and perspectives.

Throughout the projects I executed in my bachelor I learned to go through an iterative design process. I learned to implement my knowledge of the different competences and approach my projects from the different perspectives. I learned to reflect on myself and the process. During my bachelor I executed different kind of processes such as an research or explorative process. I learned not to be afraid to try a different approach when this is needed.

Teamwork & Communication

As a designer you will be working with a lot of different stakeholders and experts. Therefore it is very important to be able to collaborate and communicate with them.

Within my bachelor I learned who to communicate with people. Working in multidisciplinary teams and doing a board year thought me how to communicate my ideas with people with a different backgrounds. I learned to do this for example with making use of videos, visuals or quick prototypes. I learned to take different roles in a (design) team. I could be the manager of a team when guidance is needed, but also execute tasks someone else gave me. I experienced that I am the ‘glue’ between different disciplines and stimulate the creative process. I learned to organize and facilitate big activities and take responsibility.

Self-Directed & Continuous Learning

In order to face new challenges, a designer needs to keep improving himself. As a designer you do this by always exploring new technologies and teaching yourself new skills.

The bachelor Industrial Design learned me how I can teach myself. I learned how to reach the goals I set and which skills are needed to achieve these goals. It learned me to have an open mind set and always explorer new possibilities. I learned to use existing resources and build up on that. Also I learned to always keep reflecting on myself, on my process and on my projects in order to keep on improving and becoming a better designer.

Things I did besides my study

Extracurricular

Board Year at S.V.I.D Lucid

Commissioner of External Affairs

CAs Commissioner of External Affairs of the Study Association of Industrial Design Lucid, I was responsible for the acquisition of Lucid. During my board year I learned to keep in contact and negotiate with external parties on a professional level in order to set up an collaboration.

Additionally, I liked to work close with people and facilitate them with interesting activities. For me it was important to offer our students career-oriented activities to support their professional growth. Not all students are aware that building up a network is very important. Also I tried to make companies aware of the qualities of an Industrial Designer and convince them they need Industrial Designers in their company.

Next to organizing career oriented activities with com¬panies, I was also the one who supported committee members who were responsible for the acquisition within their committee.

Design Challenge

Breman Design Challenge

I participated in the Breman Design Challenge. This challenge was all about designing the house of the future. We looked at creating a product/service in order to predict when maintenance is necessary. Experts of the real estate sector were present to create a connection with the market. The expert jury declared my group as the winners of the Breman Design Challenge.

International University Contest

Konica Minolta

I participated in the Konica Minolta International University Contest. Different universities around Europe were participating. The challenge was to come up with an innovative proposal to improve the information workflow at your own institution. We looked at how the communication workflow between student and the TU/e could be improved. My group was nominated in the top three of the Netherlands.

TU/e Career

My Future Awareness Committee

I am a member of the My Future Awareness Committee of the TU/e. Myfuture.tue.nl is a platform which provide students an overview of all career related activities, organized by TU/e affiliated parties. As My Future, we want to make students aware that is important to think about your career. This year, to promote the platform, we organized the My Future Day. At this day the TU/e turned pink and at every affiliated party, a career related activity was host.