Any:Day:Now is an interactive experience that connects visitors to fitting refugee initiatives. For lots of teenagers, puberty is the paving of a rocky road towards the future. The shaping of a future becomes extra challenging when your past is often traumatic, and the context you are in is filled with strange norms and values and regulations. For a lot of refugee teens, specifically the unaccompanied minor refugees (AMV’s), thinking about the future has its complications.
In the Netherlands, the commitment of countless initiatives is helping these teens become unstuck from their situation, and have them move towards a future again. Through intercultural contact and the sharing of knowledge and skills both ways, the teens become aware of their talents and regain a feeling of control over their future.
Questionnaires among Dutch inhabitants reveal that while a lot of people feel informed on the refugee situation in the Netherlands, their image is
largely shaped through social media and lacks personal encounters. And while they want to be involved in activities that have a positive impact on the lives of refugees, they are often unaware of what they can do.
Any:Day:Now serves as a bridge: it connects visitors that want to do something, to fitting local initiatives. Not by telling them what the situation is, but through experience. Visitors experience the theme of being stuck, but are also informed through personal stories about the positive impact of the initiatives and the strength of these teens when they move towards the future again. Last but not least, they can take someone out of this waiting situation in the installation, and see what ways there are to expand this experience into real future activities for initiatives.
Any:Day:Now is currently being realised for the Dutch Design Week 2016
Using a generative research approach, tools were made that enabled the building of future scenarios alongside spoken interviews. These tools were first tested with other students, and then with the target group.
A toolkit was made that holds all of the different tangible storytelling parts. The toolkit could be easily spread out on the table in front of the person who is telling their future story.
The toolkit was eventually tested with adolescents with a refugee history; however, this traumatic past and an uncertain future made it difficult to open up about their lives to a relative stranger.
The project called for a collaborate approach. Tools like a stakeholder overview were used to see how the project positions itself to the relevant activities that are being done already for the teens, and what research themes the project could be build on.
Using generative research in the preparation semester, a toolkit was designed to approach the AMV's and go into conversation with them about their future, to find out what their current future perspective is. The toolkit approach proved to be difficult however, as it called for stories to expand into a sometimes traumatic past, and an uncertain future.
Realising that design incentives through the toolkit would require months more of development, a decision was made to move towards other sources of knowledge, by scouting out intitiatives that were already applying succesul methods to build futures, like Nidos and New Dutch Connections.
A shift was made from directly addressing the complicated case of the future for the teens, to supporting the growth and connecting initiatives that have the know-how and long-time experience to deal with the dynamic nature of the future of each individual.
Design elements were taken from the architectural history of the countries that currently account for the biggest groups of asylum seeking immigrants. Through the reimplementation of these elements, meaning was transferred into the project from the cultural background.
The project was continiously validated with the teens. Visits to the initiatives that support the development of a future for the teens, showed a tireless commitment and dynamic approach that enables them to have a future again.
A mockup of the final installation was made to attract initiatives, and let them help imagine what role the final installation could have for their activities
Reflecting on the final prototype, I feel like another iteration hast o be made to optimize the interactions of the final concept and to streamline the way visitors move through the installations. However, as a learning experience, this was one of the most insightful projects I managed at Industrial Design. Every facet of the project seemed to address the learning goals that I had set for myself.
Stepping away from my usual approach by choosing to work with the generative tools approach, gave me the experience to compare the two and see how I could adapt my own approach to include for example inquiry through co-design in the research phase of the project. It made the unfamiliar context of young refugees more approachable and I feel more confident in doing similar approaches in the future. Spending time on the physical toolkit meant I could practice my tangible modeling skills.
Supporting vanBerlo's refugee challenge, as well as the visits to among others studio Knol, helped me practice my skills as a designer outside of the context of the study, as well as shape my role in design and find what the professional opportunities are for a designer with my vision.
In the discussions with these studios, as well as the collaboration with event managers and initiatives, I created a business perspective on the concept, and I learned how to better collaborate and network with stakeholders.
Reflecting on my complete growth as a designer, I realize how I can synthesize strengths from earlier projects with this learning experience, and I feel ready to approach a similar project in the future.
For a more in-depth reflection, have a look at the project's report.
Reflective Exploration in Interaction Design
What if an electronic product had to be preserved like an organic product in order to function? Vescor is a counterfactual artefact, a product from a possible future where refrigeration is used to charge and enable our electronic products. What impact would this have on the way we use our products?
Vescor has to remain cold to function; if it heats up, the lighting quality deteriorates and breaks down. Through a working prototype, the concept was tested using diary studies, where users lived with Vescor for a week to see what new scenarios for use it's simple functionality might generate.
In the end, it was used as a night light and a study timer after being kept in the freezer alongside organic products. It's functionality also pushed its user to behave differently; opening up bedroom windows for some fresh cool air, prolonging the life of the light, or reminding the user of long lost leftover fridge items.
The final product Vescor is a group project of students Joch Jansz, Martijn Bohnen, and Nicky Liebregts.
Grade / 9
The final prototype has a hidden battery, but detects at what temperature the prototype is; disguising its functionality as being charged by cold and deteriorating when heated.
The coutnerfactual artefact was used as a tool for inquiry, generating scenarios for use through its simple functionality.
The final prototype was presented through its packaging and instructions as something that looks like a package of cheese, but also an electronic product as bought in a store.
"Your ability to understand the concept, analyze it through design and through realizing it in a functional form was excellent.
It was a pleasure to work with you - your attitude and overall approach to the class was excellent. It was evident to me that you are an excellent design leader.
Keep an open mind, stay reflective, and keep progressing along your current development as a designer. You have excellent strengths in design reflection and awareness - I look forward to seeing your future projects."
Ron Wakkary, Elective Lecturer
I chose the elective as a means of becoming acquainted with the Transformative Qualities model, which I am hoping to apply during my Final Masters Project. I see Transformative Qualities as a great way to connect design on an individual level with the impact it has on a societal level, allowing me to switch between the two viewpoints during the process while keeping a focus on a single design direction. Next to that, I was interested in practicing with iterations of physical models.
In the elective, both Material Speculation and Transformative Qualities were explored using meat and dairy as a design case. In the first weeks, Transformative Qualities were explored in groups where I experienced how it can be used as means of inquiry, ideation, and eventually validation and implementation of a design that is ready to be integrated into society. Much like the Worth maps abundantly referred to in this portfolio, it helps to uncover chains of interactions and their associated values, and can be used
to find gaps in interaction or value when scaling the product from an individiual to a societal level.
The Material Speculation approach explored afterwards, allowed us to create a gap between the now and possible through the designed counterfactual artefacts, speculating and uncovering new desirable futures through scenarios that were generated by the functionality of our product.
Because we kept the functionality simple, more time could be spent on getting the material qualities right, with the aim to find a balance between organic and technologic. While the diary studies reflected my feelings that we did not quite reach this point, it was effective in generating unforeseen scenarios of use, where users used the deteriorating light qualities of Vescor as a study timer.
Activating your Innovation Radar
During the first semester, I followed the Activating your Innovation Radar elective as a way to learn and apply business design methods in my project, responding to my M12's assessor's feedback.
During Activating Your Innovation Radar, the teams were divided over different clients, with the team members taking on different professional roles. With me taking the role of the project manager, our team collaborated with Nedap on Simon, a physical answer to their digital care monitoring platform Caren.
The design case here was medication non-adherence; a trend that has been witnessed with the rise of a growing elderly population. Being unable to move to nursing homes, they instead enjoy part-time care in their own homes, either from nurses or 'mantelzorgers'. Working in a multi-stakeholder design process, expertise and findings were shared between teams and clients to find a solution that can be integrated on a system level.
Our concept Simon is like a health passport; an accessible physical collection of client-specific care information to complement the digital service. Applying tools like the service blueprint to analyse Caren and the current care plan service, together with qualitative data from interviews, we found an opportunity to provide the elderly with a feeling of control over their own health.
Being the team's manager meant that I focused on keeping an overview for our team, knowing when to zoom in and zoom out on the case, and planning our next steps accordingly. Where I would normally take more time in ideation to leave space for different concepts, here I took a lean approach and managed to create space to further develop our final concept.
Grade / 7
During my Master education, I became quite proficient in the Processing programming language, allowing me to quickly make interactive visuals or programs that could react to Arduino setups.
Having tutored high school students during my Bachelor, I came across the opportunity to teach Processing to high school and primary school students during my Final Master Project.
Teaching a logically complicated subject to children who might not have even worked with the mathematical fundamentals of Processing required lots of analogues thinking, where I tried to make the subject accessible by providing recognizable metaphors. Quickly, variables became treasure chests, drawing a line was like placing pins and wires on a bulletin board, and our scrolling game was like running on a treadmill. It was delightful to see the children discover creative ways around programming, realizing how they were in creative control and finding surprising results through trial and error.
I recognized a lot of myself when I was younger in the students, and I am glad to open new roads for them to explore the growing importance of computer programming in our society. The teaching role also works reflective and makes me consider the way I approach programming. As a future activity, I will give workshops on sound and electronics for a similar age group during the next couple of months.
Stop Interfering (2015)
Getting There (2015)
Gorilla's in the Glitch (2016)
Lips, Lips Lips (2015)
Next to my educational activities, I have my personal work to express myself outside of design. During the Master education, I pushed my work into new territory, combining knowledge I gained in my project of for example the Processing language, with concepts that inspire me from art. The result is work like Stop Interfering (2015) where interference patterns are made facebook logo's, commenting on the everpresent distraction of social media in daily life.
As designers, I feel like we are always busy with creating new connections between sometimes seemingly unconnected subjects. Through my work, I am able to practice this associative mindset, where new opportunities and concepts are derived from the juxtaposition of images and stories.
When I created tangible experience that represent intangible stories, finding these connections to help users make sense of abstract stories is a valuable skill.
One of the six goals I set for the final semester, was to spend time on tangible prototyping, as suggested by my M12 Coach Bart Hengeveld.
One of the ways I adressed this goal was by elaborately developing the physical toolkit that was the result of the first semester. Spending time in the workshop with the machines and different technique for realising the dynamic box design made me more comfortable in quickly realising physical models for my projects. During my masters, I have spent significant time on large installations, so really putting time into a small object felt refreshing. In the Transformative Qualities Elective, I chose to spent extra time on finalising our counterfactual artefact Vescor, working with silicone on top of the lasercut base designed by a teammate.
I further trained my prototyping skills as a student assistant for Saskia Bakker's research project. Here I supported De Bende, a lighting studio in Eindhoven, who were asked to develop the physical prototypes used in the research. Working on a batch of small prototypes, I got a lot of hands on experience in manufacturing the electronics and hardware of the small prototypes, providing me with the know how to approach similar projects in the future if I should work for a similar design studio.
Next to that, I realised a small project for Tante Netty, a social design studio in Eindhoven, during the Dutch Design Week. Collaborating with another designer, we realised the signage for their exhibition on a tight time schedule and budget, forcing us to quickly make decisions in our design process, and find smart ways to realise our products in the workshop.
Visiting Nedap allowed us to dig in to the development of the Caren platform, and talk to its designer.
The final zorgbewijs, an accesible and personal health passport
Scrap modelling sessions were used as means of ideating a complementary product to Caren.
Through 6 lessons, children developed their own interactive game.
Workshops were given at SG Were Di in Valkenswaard
Having to build over 90 prototypes, a setup was made to systematically test and build the units.
The Small Steps toolkit, a dynamic unfolding wooden box to store each of the storytelling parts
For the prototypes, I could practice both modelling and electronic skills.
in collaboration with