I am Nicky. I wasn’t always Nicky, it took me some time to get here. Lives are journeys and for the past ten years my journey has been one of a design student. My Bachelor education was exploratory, I’ve learned about some great design travel destinations, I even visited a few; I learned a lot about who I am as a designer. The past years in between my education was a trip of conquering, it took me over a mountain, where I have learned a lot about who I am as a person.
For the masters, I dove back in headstrong to do grab any learning opportunity on my path,
researching crafts in spatial design and doing a workshop in china. I know that I have a stronger appreciation for spatial compositions of shapes and colors.
I like the transformative qualities of fashion; how wearing something on the outside influences how you feel on the inside. Instead of a reflection of how you are feeling, it can become a tool to make you feel a certain way. Listen to invigorating music and you start to feel energized. There is a quality in there how projecting what you want to feel like will help you reach this feeling. I like a good cup of coffee and the way it
can change the pace of life like a rollercoaster rolling uphill and slowing down for the next dip. I love to create in all shapes and sizes; making digital and physical drawings, or in the shape of music.
The most important lesson I have learned is that if I feel challenged, I can go great lengths in my dedication to a design. I can give myself these challenges by keeping on pushing myself and stepping out of my comfort zone. Comfortable is safe, but it doesn’t hit home emotionally, and I want my designs to truly stem from a place where I feel passionate about them.
I want to make my designs spark social interactions in an often public context. Users could work individually and collectively to change the appearance of a product, turning it into a direct reflection of their behavior. By placing the product in a different public context, the functionality and appearance might change completely. After a while, the product becomes like a story; a vessel for meaning, and a small piece of time and history.
Through my designs, users are able to explore aspects of themselves and others that otherwise
stay hidden or intangible, but are now able to be explored in a multi-sensory way. The user and the product are co dependent on each other; the product delivers a certain service to the user, and the user’s activities are what keeps the product alive; when there is no interaction, the product dies.
My products will ideally act as platforms for social interaction, that are inherently tied to the societal context of where they are placed through their physical manifestations and the people that make use of it. The need to make these installations is
balanced by a healthy want of making the world a better place. I hope to use my designs as eye-openers; to show users new and different behaviors for themselves and their communities.
I want my products and installations to not only be inspiring, but will be able to provide a service to their lives that can really mean something for someone and connect on an emotional pure level with the user. I feel blessed with my position in life as a designer, and I want to use these skills to make a difference..
"You are a very engaged person with a strong vision on what design is and should be in relation to the society we inhabit. You are a very independent and mature student. You think deep and long about things, making that your vision on the type of design you want to do is well-founded and personal. At the same time you value the act of making as a way to explore and validate. You are very critical, not in the least towards yourself. You are constructive and look for things to learn in all your activities. In short, your attitude is really good!"
This is an abstracted overview of my design vision
These are projects that I have worked on
Twitter Traces / Phyxel Urban Screen
During my FBP, I designed a facade for cinema's and theatres that could display text gathered from twitter by changing its shape; the facade became a bridge between the digital social media version of the place, and the physical real world version.
Craft Stories / Once upon a space
'Once upon a space' was a research project on one side of how users interact differently with a space they helped create. By projecting their heartbeat on the space, users could add and craft their biometric data into the space, growing it into a reflection of it's users.
Responsive Performance Spaces / Soft Bodies
Soft Bodies is an installation that invites users to move their physical body through having their digital selves show them the way. It serves as an interactive mirror where movements of the digital self became liquid and fluid, turning any observer into a dancing participant.
I used to plan and carefully construct the concept that I would ultimately make, but changed this approach in the past years by sort of reversing making and thinking. By starting to make from my intuition with the perspective of a project, and exposing this work to the outside world early on, I feel like the artifacts that I make help me get a better idea of what the concept could be instead of speculating about it without having anything concrete.
Plus, it helps to have something concrete to show and communicate to stakeholders. A downside is that some opportunities that arise with further initial research might be overlooked, but on the other hand, perhaps new doors open through this approach that stay closed or hidden otherwise. It is very much a reflection in action type of method, that calls for important evaluation moments in between to keep track of where I am at.
Below are projects that inspire me as a designer.
Folia Lumina by Ontwerpduo
Beautifully executed light that allows users to explore composition and color through clever use of materials.
I take this as an example of a product that delivers an enthralling open end experience in an extremely simple straightforward way.
Pulse Room by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
Only after I finished my project I came across this installation. Users can grab hold of a console that transfers their heartbeat to a flashing bulb in the room, adding theirs to a whole. It makes something invisible visible, while still providing enough distance for abstract interpretation. The space becomes a reflection of the users.
Tape by Numen
Tape is a cocoonlike structure made of adhesive tape, placed in different contexts from nature to church. I love how its creation is almost organic and how there is still a sense of connection to the outside world through the transparant material