My name is Simone van Wieringen, 21 years old and born in Haarlem. I like to look at my surroundings or a product and think about all the different ways they can be improved. Making me quite idealistic. I always try to get the best out of myself even when I do not have the time or resources. I am laid back and not often the person who takes the lead, unless no one else steps up. I give everyone a chance to speak up and take responsibility. I do not like to control other people, I want them to do as they please and not do as I say, also due to the fact I do not like to be controlled myself. I try to be unconventional and not follow all the redundant prejudices and rules society troubles us with, as I feel they limit our creativity. Although, at least subconsciously I do probably oblige to these rules. Others would describe me as someone who does her own thing in her own way. Also as a person who tends to be serious and introverted, but passionate about what she believes in.
I think the thing that mainly drives me is the knowledge that I yet know so little and that there still is so much to discover and learn. That there are still so many places I have not seen and so many things I do not understand. That I can be a part of inventing the future, hopefully a future that is better and more accepting of our individual differences than the current world we live in.
I study Industrial Design, because it is the perfect combination of idealism, creativity and broad expertise. I really enjoy the many aspects of Industrial Design. You cannot only think the design of a product, but also need to take the user and their psychology into account.
Victor Papanek once said; “There are professions more harmful than industrial design, but only a few of them.” This illustrates the manner in which designers can have a transformative role in society and how these transformations are not necessarily ethically right. Nowadays, there are many designers working for multinationals that treat the environment poorly and exploit the people working in their factories. These designers, design products that maintain if not increase this exploitation. Which is an unfortunate development.
As designer you create the future which is a great responsibility. So, I think the function of a designer in nowadays society, is the function of a creator that tries to improve the world in an ethically conscious manner. I personally think that can either be done through creating aesthetical as well as ethical design or changing people’s behavior and spark particular thoughts through design. I am also interested in a more futuristic approach to design and not necessarily creating products that could be available tomorrow.
for my old vision and identity, plus goals, please read my PDP.PDP
Before Industrial Design I already gathered knowledge about design in general by visiting a lot of museums all over Europe and also in New York. Next to that I read a few books and articles about design and art. This was my main inspiration to choose for Industrial Design.
However, I knew nothing about the design process, what to design and how you would go about designing a product/technology. I also had some prior knowledge in programming, as I followed a programming course at my previous studies. They also taught me how to deal with scientific material in a correct manner. In high school I followed the bilingual stream and I am officially a ‘native speaker’. I attended the economics and management & organization courses in high school. Which gave me a head start for the business and entrepreneurship area. These courses taught me about business structure, logistics, marketing, finances and the economy in general.
By following from idea to design, I have learned more about brainstorming and the design process. I also learned a lot from the other students in my team, for instance an older industrial design students who had a lot more experience. This course also made me realize the importance of taking good photographs (which I still have to learn) and starting early with making hands-on prototypes as they give you a better idea of the changes needed to be made. The things I learned about prototyping and ideation, I put to use in Project 1. During project 1 we started earlier with prototyping and I used the ideation techniques learned during From Idea to Design. Another important thing I learned from Project 1 is the need for the perfect material, as it makes a big difference. Next to that, these courses also made us design a completely new concept and a prototype for which we had to think about the aesthetics of the design. For project 1 I designed several posters, which made me consider the different styles and ways to present a product. For this I developed my Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop skills. I had not used these programs before, except during an extracurricular workshop about Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.
Visiting museums and expositions in Milan and the Netherlands also was very inspiring to me and gave me new ideas on how to handle aesthetics and design. I read several books about design to get more familiar with designing, famous designs, famous designers and their design processes. One book specifically was about sketching, so I have started practicing sketching. Getting good at sketching will help me put my ideas in a better, self-explanatory format compared to words. The full list of books I read and museums I visited can be found in the Appendix, as well as sources I used.
I followed the basic course about Physics this year, hopefully I can use this knowledge more actively in the future, as it has not been proven to be necessary yet. Building Snoes has also helped with getting a better insight in what it takes to build a prototype and the technological factors that should be taken into account. Such as the placement of the technology and what the added value will be. I attended a workshop about HTML and CSS, I had no prior knowledge about these programs. This workshop proved to be very useful when following my elective about creative apps and also when coding my showcase. After the workshop I continued practicing by following several Code Academy courses. Code Academy is a website that helps you to learn programming language in a playful manner. This really helped me to understand CSS and HTML. I also followed the course Creative Programming. Before the course I had a little bit of knowledge concerning programming, but this knowledge was greatly expanded during this course. I learned how to program an Arduino, which will be useful for future projects. I could immediately apply the skills I learned during Creative Programming to Creative Apps. I have not yet used the skills to make an app for a project yet, but hopefully I can in the future. Although, the general knowledge I gained concerning programming has already helped me a great deal. I learned how to program apps that use the sensors build inside phones, such as GPS, light-sensors and accelerometers. This can be handy for quick prototyping. I gained more general knowledge about HTML and CSS, as Intel XDK, a program used to create apps, required you to write HTML and CSS code. This extra practice with programming was useful when I created my showcase.
First of all, I followed the human in technology course, to help me better understand humans, their general psyche and their motivations. Engineers often forget the specific needs and behavior of their prospective users, which causes their ideas to fail. Therefore, keeping the user in mind is absolutely necessary. Project 1 made me think about user interaction a lot as we designed a product for a user group that is very different from ourselves. For USE basics I chose to do the sustainable energy report. We wrote about biomass and the ethical consequences it has. It made me realize the importance of being a ethically conscious designer, because as a designer you have many responsibilities. Your actions, even the ones with good intentions, might have horrible consequences.
This year I have not focused upon this competency area. However, I did make a stakeholder analysis for Project 1 and have thought about the possible business set-up if Snoes would be launched. Visiting the design studios during the Lucid Studio Tour, gave me more insights in the different studios out there. We visited van Berlo, a well-established design studio, and Dokpunt, a much younger and smaller company. They operated in very different ways, one really was a design company and the other had more of an artist’s studio vibe. Giving me new insights in possible design business set-ups. Lastly, I did a design case at the Efteling. There I learned about how the business worked and about keeping the client, their finances and vision in mind.
This year I attended both the Modelling and Calculus course. Modelling helps with setting up, optimizing and predicting the success of a design or product. It also taught me more about writing an elaborate report and programming for optimization. During the final USE learning line course, we set up a questionnaire, the statistics program SPSS was then used to analyze the gathered data. Now I know how to make sense of a large amount of data, and how to make a statistical analysis using SPSS. However, I have not consciously applied this knowledge gathered in Calculus and Modelling to a design case yet.
Through working with other students in the courses, Modelling, Project 1, From Idea to Design, Use Basics and Human in Technology, my cooperation skills have improved. I have learned that I should actively participate and take up responsibilities, without trying to do everything by myself. For next year I hope to improve my communication skills through learning how to sketch, so I can quickly explain my ideas. Joining the parentsday committee gave me organization skills. Through reading scientific material for my USE Learning Line and writing reports for Modelling and the USE Learning Line, I learned more about dealing with scientific material. As the final project for my use course (Human in Technology), we had to set up a formal research. We designed two questionnaires and explained our conclusions in a report. Now, I can make more professional questionnaires when I want to test my products/services. The online platform Canvas, has helped as a guide to improve my reflection, organizing and planning skills. Also it helped with developing my Professional Identity and Vision. During the Lucid Studio Tour talking with the designers about their identity and vision, helped me improve my own identity and vision. Reading books about sustainable design, approaches to design and vision in design improved my professional identity and vision as well. These books explained many different approaches to design, but also elaborated on the many styles that exist.
Next year I am planning to take electives in prototyping, digital design and design for debate. Next to that, I want to do the project in design for games and play, as I have always enjoyed games and think it can be the ultimate tool in stimulating successful learning and behavioral change. I hope to attend the honors academy in energy transition. Hopefully it will give me more insight in (future) sustainable innovation and how I as a designer can help create a sustainable future. I hope to also increase my knowledge about contemporary design by keeping up with relevant news via internet and books. The human in technology course really interested me, so I hope to learn more about Psychology and how it can be applied to design cases. Therefore, I need to read more books related to the subject. Next to that, I want to know more specifically about futuristic design and the ethics involved with it (such as AI technology etc.). In my third year I want to either do a minor or an internship in another country, thus next semester I should have decided if I want to do a minor or internship and started with arranging this. After finishing my bachelor, I hope to attend an interesting master track somewhere around the world. Next year I will also start looking at the Master Tracks out there.