This project started really hands on. From the first week on we were pushed to build models/prototypes. I really like this approach, it triggers my creativity. This also enabled to develop my creativity and aesthetics competency within the project. I took the assignment exploratory sketching, where I learned how to put ideas on paper. In this way I explored ideas. After sketching I built a lot of (paper)models. In this project I also build two real scale prototypes to do user tests. In the second prototype I also worked more on the aesthetics of the Playbox.
In this project I learned how to use data as a design tool and how data can improve design. I learned that it is possible to gather data from sensors in prototypes. Conclusions can be drawn upon this prototype data. This creates opportunities to redesign the prototype. Working on the data developed my Math, Data and Computing competency.
By gathering the data I was able to get more information out of my user test. People can tell what they think and did, but the data will not lie and will show if they really liked it. The two user tests I did where very useful. I found it hard to find families where I could test in the Eindhoven area. However, by doing these two user test I did work on my User and Society. I did like the experience of doing several user tests. For my next projects I want to see if I can have more interaction with users because this can be very helpful.
A big goal for me in this semester was to work more on my electronics and coding skills, the technology and realization competency. I think it worked out. Because, I had to work on my own I was forced to do every bit of the process. Also working more in detail on the electronics. I sorted out what components I needed and looked up what kind of codes I could use. It might have took much longer because there was a lot to look up for me. However, I think I learned more in this way. I gathered more background knowledge about all the electronics and coding. Also working with the photons was a bit troublesome, there is much less information available, this made some struggles a bit longer. In the end I am happy I worked so much on the electronics part, I feel that I do not see the electronics as a hurdle anymore. I am getting more confined in working with electronics.
Also I wanted to work on the business aspect. I wanted to work on this because last semester I took courses at industrial engineering. I wanted to bring my knowledge into practice. This project was not really fitting for this. However, I did make a small set up in the form of discussing a business model canvas. I want to work more on the Business and Entrepreneurship competency in my next project.
I picked this assignment because, I used to draw a lot; I took the subject drawing in high school ,and on the side I also took a draw and painting class in Amsterdam. Nonetheless, during my studies I did not find the time to do this that much anymore. I was always very capable of reproducing an image, or to draw a product out of my mind in a very abstract way. However, drawing and communicating my concepts and products at industrial design did not go that well. I felt that I lacked skills in this field, and was not convened about my sketches. This forces me too often to work with words and simple illustrations. Because of my dyslexia, I do prefer another way of communicating than written text, Before this course I often choose to make a mock up or a prototype. My goal was to learn to communicate ideas fast and clear. Also to use this skill in my creative process and have an other tool to create new ideas. Creativity and Aesthetics competency with this course.
I used to express my ideas in different ways than sketching it. Now that I have the basic skills of a sketching. Now I am a beginner sketcher and can further develop this skill. I have another better medium to express and communicate what I mean. I am able to explore opportunities on paper. Come up with a redesign of a product or create something totally new. This skill is very handy for a dyslectic, to not have to express everything in words.
Having the right materials and the knowledge how to sketch now will help me through my design career. Of course I am not a perfect sketcher now. I will need a lot more hours to come to a higher level. However, I do know the basic techniques that I can use in my project to get a better level.
I took this assignment because I wanted to learn more about electronics and programming with microcontrollers. I was not confident in building circuits and handing electronics. I was a bit hesitant to use electronics in my projects. And if I had to do this it always took me a big amount of time to understand how to make it work.
I expected to learn a bit more programming and working with microcontrollers. However, the focus was more on the hardware part of electronics. I learned a lot about components and building electric circuits. I now have more basic knowledge of electronic components. I think this might be more worthy than focusing on the programming and working with microcontrollers like Arduino. Because I think, through the design processes you will learn to work with Arduinos. However, the hard basic electronics part is harder to learn by yourself.
I do not think this was the most fun assignment I took. Nonetheless, it was worth it to go through the struggle of building de circuits and making the practical assignments and making the exercises of the reader. I now have a far better understanding of the hardware components I can use to build something. For example, I did use mosfets to control a led strip, but I did not understand what it did or why I needed it. I just browsed the internet to find a way to let it work. Now I know that I can use mosfets as a power switch. It enables to control higher voltage circuits with a microcontroller.
This course absolutely will have value for my future projects. I am more confident about building electronic circuits myself. Before I rather avoided electronics in projects. Because I have more knowledge and also worked with in hands-on I will start on the electronics part in my project sooner without hesitance. I do hope that the mini project also will help me bring my new skills into practice. I also hope it will train me some more in programming microcontrollers. I developed a lot in the Technology and Realization competency.
From my previous assessor, Fiona Jongejans, I got the advice to read the book "This changes everything". The exact advice was "If you would like to understand the energy / climate world a bit better, you could read the book 'This Changes Everything' by Naomi Klein, it is definitely an eye-opener!" I started reading this book, I am half way now. It is quite a hard book to read for me. I am not that much of a reader. I want to finish the book in the upcoming semester.
It is a very interesting book. It is a different look at the climate problem. The main problem I see that the book want to communicate that in the way we handle the planet now will not help us to come with a solution. Capitalism is holding us back, people tend to go for their own gain. And don't mind the rest of the world or care about others and the future of the planet. Most people are living in the gain for now. If there won't be a drastic shift in how we live on this planet the warming will continue.
I have a bit of a different vision about sustainability. I am still not completely sure if we totally cause the climate change. We only started measuring temperature since 1850. This means that we only can compare temperature of the last 150 years. I think climate change is something that is a part of the world. From 15th till 19th century they are talking about a "small ice age".
This does not mean that I think sustainability is not important. I only think that we might not have that much influence on climate as we think. Only an eruption of a volcano has so much influence on earth. However, I do think we have to make big changes in how we live on this world. I think we need to focus on stop using the worlds raw materials (fossil fuels, metals ect.) as quick as we do. We are mining the entire world.
I think there should be a better focus on recycling things we are already mined. This means we don't make the damage much more anymore. Also there should be innovated in renewable energy. A lot of things developed so far aren't usable in large scales yet, or aren't as profitable as "conservative energy".
I think here is an important task for designers. We have to create the things that will be able to change the society in a less or, even better a none polluting society. To be able to change everything.
This year I went to the Dutch design week for the fourth time. Unfortunately over the years noting disrupting changed in Dutch design. I see the same trends for a few years. Nonetheless, there was more on recycling I thought. I think this is a good direction, I really like the sustainability aspect on these projects. However, what becomes a bit dull is that 3D printing is still presented like it is totally new, but it feels a bit as old news to me.
I still have the feeling that there is not much real industrial design is shown. It is more the art like design. It is a good inspiration for aesthetics for my products. But, I still feel it lacking new technologies. I could only find this in de exhibition on the TUs.
Two years ago I started organizing an event for students in Eindhoven with a group of Girls. We organized a beach rugby tournament at the IJzerenman in Eindhoven in May. This year we wanted to do it again because it was a big success the year before, now it is an annually event. This year we will organize the third edition.
The first year I was chairman of the committee. The second year I decided to do a smaller task. I did the negotiation with the location and made all the graphics and gave tips and trick from last year. Despite the rain it was a big success again this year. The event is gradually growing.
Organizing these kinds of events teaches me to step up be confident. Tackle the discomfort of contacting and negotiation with other parties. Also, having the experience of organizing events asks a lot of creativity and problem solving. Having enthusiastic people who enjoyed the day makes it all very satisfactory.
I am chairman of the photo committee of my student association. I do the communication with parties that want to make use of our service of making photos. Also, I make a lot of photos of events. This trains me to work with SLR camera. I also have a SLR camera at home. Being actively making photos at the student association trains me to work with it. This results in nice photos. Also, I can use these skills to make quality pictures of my projects.