This past year studying Industrial Design I discovered my personal interests in design and what my vision and beliefs are. The study gave me freedom to choose learning activities that fit me personally. The choices I made this year led to me developing myself in different areas and find out what interests me and what doesn't. I learned how to reflect on actions I have done both personally and in projects. This caused me to continuously develop and knowing what can be improved.
Project 1 taught me the most this year about the design process. With my project 'Play to learn', which I did with three other students, we went through all steps of the design process. This made me realize that a design process isn’t straightforward but involves trial and error. With our project we experienced this when evaluating our concept together with experts. It was frustrating having to start over with an idea but it is necessary to keep doing iteration to create the best product. I learned to deal with criticism and apply this to improve my concept. We still needed some guidance but in the future I think we will be able to do it ourselves. I think our process went very well.
Another big part of doing projects is teamwork. It is always a challenge to efficiently work together, because it involves trust, patience and good communication. When first starting with projects I was more of a follower than a leader. A consequence was that I didn't speak up my mind enough and I was unhappy with our final product. I realized that I had to change this in upcoming projects.
My experience in project 1 was great. I said to my team members that I wanted to take the lead more and it went very well. We were all motivated and communication went well. I enjoyed working with our group and I am proud of what we achieved.
Technology & Realization
Gaining skills and knowledge in this area was very difficult for me. Never had I worked on circuits and prototypes before that involved technology. After one year of studying and practicing with technology I slowly became better at it. The course Creative Electronics helped me to really dive into this expertise area. Practicing with circuits was a weekly activity and stimulated me to think about possible applications for technologies. We did a small project at the end of this course where we could come up with our own application of something that we learned during practicing. Together with my teammate we managed to create a cool technological system with heating elements, resistors, transistors etc. Next to this technical aspect I also worked on video editing and aesthetics of our mini-project. So, I developed myself in both technology & realization as creativity & aesthetics within this course. I can say that I now have the basic knowledge of technologies. I would like to practice more to master this skill even better in the future and apply this in projects.
Creativity & Aesthetics
In my first year Industrial Design at TU/e, I learned how to use your creativity in an efficient way for demonstrating ideas, prototypes, systems etc. The activity that contributed the most to my development in this area was joining the elective Exploratory Sketching. This elective gave me the tools to present ideas to the public. I practiced weekly for this elective and am now able to say that I have good sketching skills. After this elective, I applied these skills within projects and it worked out very well. My ideas were very well understood and we could discuss them further. Next to this elective I developed myself in this area by practicing with Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. I used InDesign to make my portfolio, Photoshop for all kinds of small projects and Illustrator to draw logo’s figures etc. for projects. While doing this I got more skilled in picking the right visual effects, colors, fonts etc. I looked at examples to gain inspiration. Now I am able to present and visualize products in a nice way that catches the eye. My future plan in this area is to keep sketching and working with Adobe programs in projects.
Math, Data & Computing
The course ‘Data Analytics’ gave me the platform to develop within the area math, data & computing. I learned how to interpret a big set of data by joining the lectures and practicing with real sets of data. Also I got familiar with a whole new computing language called ‘Python’. This was very difficult for me because this was my first time programming. Due to weekly of practice and help from peers, I learned the basics of this language. Sometimes this process was very frustrating because I couldn’t figure everything out myself. Eventually this made me feel even better when I completed an exercise because I overcame all the struggles. The ability to interpret and filter data out of a big data set is a very valuable skill for the future. Industrial Design involves a lot of research where this skill can be applied. A side effect of the course was that I worked on aesthetics by creating a poster to show data. I learned how to visualize data in graphs from what I gained useful feedback.
User & Society
Working on projects this year made me develop in the area user & society. Doing Project 1 and the course User-centred design were the main activities where I learned involving users in my design process. For example how to do user-testing and working with different kinds of user groups. For project 1 we designed a game for children. This is a totally different user group than adults and user testing is not as straight forward for children. I read a book about designing for children to prepare more for user testing with children. The user-test itself was very inspiring for me and it really opened my eyes for different design possibilities. For User-centred design,we had to totally adapt our design to the needs and desired of users to create the best product. Lectures gave us the tools to do this properly. My last project already went much better than the first one, concerning users.
Business & Entrepreneurship
In my opinion, this is the area that I need to work on more. I had no experience in business and entrepreneurship before. I did activities this year to gain knowledge about business & entrepreneurship such as attending lectures and reading the book: business model generation. This book provided me with practical tools to understand business models in a very visual way. Next to this I went to a reading called ‘How to make a living as social designer’. This made me realize how difficult it can be to start your own company and what is important to take into account. I personally don’t want to start my own business but I think knowing a little bit about this aspect of design can be useful. I gained some insights during this reading, for example that 80 % of having your own company is money/business related and not designing. This confirmed my opinion about not wanting to have a company of my own. These few activities introduced me to the business aspect of designing but I want to know even more. This is important for me because I want to be able to apply knowledge of all areas in future projects.