INTERACTION DESIGN: SOCIOLOGY SUPPORTED BY TECHNOLOGY
My intention is to help innovation (new products and services) progress, and more specifically, to combine my fascination for designing with disruptive technologies (e.g. sensor tech, IoT, AR/VR) and sociology.
Technology believes that everything can be made, sociology believes that deeper reflections can be found that give useful directions. I want to work on these topics, because I was part of the first generation that could be addicted to a screen all their childhood, and this made me mentally and physically unbalanced. After I learned how to get control back, I wanted to design products that are more in line with what it means to be human.
I envision a future where luxury is about poetic satisfaction. This means in practice that I enjoy making designs and experiences that:
- allow for some freedom of interpretation
- engage movement of the whole body
- see a person as part of a bigger "system", socially connected to each other and having influence on everyone they have contact with, rather than an egoistic being
- contribute to a better world, from my values of equality, balance, freedom, and curiosity.
I study a master in Industrial Design (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands) with a specialisation in Interaction Design. Furthermore, I am a consultant in design and innovation for SURE Innovation (a consultancy firm for high-tech companies). Right now, I am working on my master thesis on the future of IoT, I am teaching myself the basics of programming AI, and I am learning Swedish!
hej! how are you?
Interactive dance installation
programming, art, mathematics, kinect,
inviting for whole-body movement
combining mathematics, art and dance
INDIVIDUAL project, 3 weeks part-time, DEC 2017/JAN 2018| download paper BRIDGES'18
Algoritmisch Ritme intrinsically motivates people to move and explore their bodily potential. The projection art responds to movement of the core body (our centre of mass), which is inspired by my previous research on tango dance. I applied the mathematical principles of a recursive function (a function that recalls itself), fractals (figures that look similar on an infinite of scales), and angle calculations.
This project is presented at the Dutch Technology Week '18 , Warehouse of Innovation, the interdisciplinary mathematical art conference Bridges MathArt Stockholm '18, and I have been nominated for the Foederer Talent Award! I am developing this project for light-art festivals, dance performance, and dance training, in collaboration with a dancer from the national ballet of Finland.
Background: course in mathematics and art
This project was part of an 8-week course where I refreshed calculus; I learned how to implement various mathematical formulas in code (Processing), and how to transport the output to machinery like the laser cutter or the embroidery machine. In the picture above, you see a parabola that is printed following a sine function. Imagine laser cutting this pattern in leather: it would create new material flexibility.
Part of this course was a 3-weeks mini-project. I wanted my focus to be on learning and applying, which is why I choose for a constructive design process. Furthermore, the time-frame was very short, which is why I decided to be highly flexible in my decision-making process.
First iteration: making an animation
I was inspired by fractal art as I was fascinated by it’s complex but crispy and dynamic nature. I started with an example code featuring an L-system tree. The fractal tree is drawn by starting with a line called the axiom, followed by drawing two shorter lines under the rotation of 45° to the left and the right. This action is a recursive definition (a function that recalls itself which is repeated for an infinite amount of times.
After several rounds of trying out the gained knowledge from the course (e.g. applying different curves, tangent lines and aesthetic principles like the golden ratio or symmetry theory), an animation was found that completely changes based on the angle of the circles.
Second iteration: making it interactive
Two weeks were left. Quick ideation followed, and I decided to go for embodying the experience of the animation through projection. My initial idea was to develop a choreography for a crowd: imagine every person to be a circle and move depending on their own mathematical rule.
This concept was quickly scaled down as the needed sensors are expensive and mainly applied by the army. I decided to learn how to hack a Kinect (a motion-tracking sensor developed for the Xbox). The new challenge is to track two people from top-view and project the corresponding circles on the floor. To get things going, I set up three parallel activities: learning to use the Kinect, adjusting the code, and managing the projection.
The library I intended to use for the code of Kinect (with features such as skeleton tracking) was taken down, only retrievable from questionable pages and not compatible with the latest version of Processing. Therefore, I decided to switch to a library that can only detect "blobs" through using the depth-camera of Kinect. In fact, it can only detect one blob at a time, which is why I scaled down the project to tracking one person. The Kinect would now track the position of the head from top-view.
In the meantime, I managed to adjust the animation in such a way that the angles of the "branches" depend on the position of the "dancer" (at this moment an x,y coordinate as I learned that this is the output of Kinect). Furthermore, the position of the projection now follows this given coordinate.
I climbed up to the ceiling to create an improvised construction for the beamer and sensor. I concluded that, although the ceiling was several meters high, the projected field was too small for dancing. Plan B: projecting on the wall.
Results and future opportunities
It was a surprise how intuitive and inspiring the installation worked. It was initially designed for tracking the dancer from the top (position of the head), but as the sensor was now positioned from side-view, it gives information about the position of the core-body. I am fascinated by this, as my previous research was about how tango dance can inspire human-computer interaction (HCI). One of the values that make tango dance so engaging is that the interaction focusses on the core-body: movement starts from the core-body; while interaction with computers tends to focus on outer parts of the body like hands or fingers. What a happy accident!
The installation shows even the fine movements of the core in all degrees of freedom: not only to the left/right or up/down, but also movement to the front/back. As a finishing touch, I worked on fine-tuning the details through calibration, translating the projection to the near-perfect position and tweaking the available variables.
I organised a dance-battle in the basement of the university with fellow students who are also dancers, ranging from dance-disciplines of hip-hop to modern and salsa. On a dark and rainy afternoon we played around non-stop for several hours (that's what I call "studying"), and the installation even made my mathematics professor try a few (careful) steps. I felt that this project is worth showing to a bigger public, and I imagined that it would work well in improvisational performance arts, exhibitions and conferences. I applied to opportunities at the Dutch Technology Week, the Bridges MathArt conference, and the Foederer Talent Award (a competition that selects artists for Glow, one of the world's biggest light-art festivals in The Netherlands). I'm very excited to say that all these applications got this project further!
Dutch Technology Week
The Dutch Technology Week is the yearly technology- and innovation festival in The Netherlands. This festival's goal is to give a platform to the innovations in the high-tech sector, to inspire the sector and to show the potential of technology to contribute to solving societal challenges. On stage, I presented Algoritmisch Ritme as a potential redesign of the FitBit.
FitBit is a smart-watch that has the very noble goal of stimulating an active and healthy lifestyle, with the strategy of counting your steps and telling you that "if you don't set 10.000 steps a day, you are more likely to die". I believe that this is a typical example of how the sector believes in a cognitive human being. I showed the audience that if we focus on what we feel and sense right now, we cannot only create experiences that go beyond a graph on a screen, but we also don't need to abuse our privacy anymore.
Warehouse of Innovation
After my talk at the Dutch Technology Week, I was invited to set-up the installation at the Warehouse of Innovation. Warehouse of Innovation is an exhibition in the former V&D building in the centre of Eindhoven. It is a free exhibition with the goal of showing innovation and technology of the region of Eindhoven ("brainport area") to the public. The design academy, university of technology, as well as the military show their work. I was on the local news to show my installation!
Bridges MathArt conference Stockholm '18
My teacher suggested writing a paper for the Bridges MathArt conference, the world's leading conference in interdisciplinary mathematical art. I didn't felt that confident in my mathematical skills, so I decided to give it a try. Our paper got accepted, I presented the artwork with a live demo in Stockholm. I feel grateful for the friends that I met there: after the talk, several people approached me who felt inspired, and together we fiddled with the code and talked about ideas!
Currently, I am further developing the design for the competition of the Foederer Talent Award. I am one of the ten nominees, and in September, one of us will be selected to project their artwork on a 75-meter high building during the light-art festival Glow. It is a yearly festival held in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, with 1 million visitors. I see this as an excellent opportunity to further develop the design. My goal is to make the design respond more to the dynamics of the dance.
During Bridges, I met Emmie Pennanen, dancer for the national ballet of Finland, and together we are going to explore how Algoritmisch Ritme can be applied for dance training and dance performance.
You can follow the process by following me on LinkedIn!
THE FUTURE OF IOT
Internet of things (iot), privacy by design and by default, connecting the online with the offline experience, embodiment in iot, sociology, public debate, product design
DESIGN for PRIVACY AND EMBODIMENT
INDIVIDUAL project, 5 MONTHS part-time, FEBR - JUNE 2018
Shops are becoming the physical Facebook: "digital innovation" means tracking your entire route and behaviour to improve (neuro)marketing. PIVOT is a connected shopping compass, that lets you physically scroll through a store, without leaving data behind. Get inspired by quotes on the wall or on your phone, pick a compass, scan the barcode, and the compass will lead you the way.
This project is part of my ongoing master thesis, mentored by Martijn van den Broeck - UX designer Google Chrome and Pierre Lévy - professor in systemic change.
design inspired by tango
INTERNSHIP IN sweden, interaction design research,
explorative prototyping, rapid prototyping,
inviting for whole-body movement, inviting for intimacy
making people dance together
5-months internship at rise interactive umeå, sweden, FEBR - JUNE 2017
I feel that many qualities are hidden in tango dance. What makes people want to be so close to each other and move together? Why do we perceive tango as a beautiful act? Moreover, how can it be that the interaction between the dancers is so intuitive? I performed a research project with the goal of abstracting elements that can be applied when designing other experiences. The final deliverable is a design that makes it irresistible to people to dance together (even for Swedish software engineers). Furthermore, I have used the ideas as inspiration when designing Algoritmisch Ritme.
carpooling with strangers
interactive materiality, product design,
human-centered design, programming,
design for sharing-economy, stimulating social behaviour
carpooling: from social discomfort to social opportunities
Individual project, final bachelor project, 14 weeks part-time | VIDEO, FEBR - JUNE 2016
Carpooling is an environmentally friendly and highly social trend. To address the barrier of communicating with strangers in a car, I designed Wally – a shape-changing mirror. I observed that people already use their rearview mirror to keep an eye on their kids. This mirror is to have eye-contact with your passenger. When the traffic needs attention, or when someone in the car does not want to have a conversation, the mirror turns to a frosted state.
being someone else in virtual reality
human-centered design, sociology, story-telling,
persuasive experiences in human-computer interaction (hci),
increasing gender equality, stimulating empathy
experience sexism from the perspective of the other gender
team project, 14 weeks part-time, sept - dec 2016 | download paper CHI PLAY'17
My roles in the team: concept development, user research, experience design, promotion
We learned that sexism is not only a women's-problem, but that it also highly affects men. But, most of these experiences only feel "weird" when you look at them from the other gender's perspective: imagine that women get told that they should not tell at school that they play with Barbies, or that men get lower salaries. Through Pink and Blue Glasses is a virtual reality experience through which you can feel what it is like to be another gender, based on real stories from interviews.
We published a paper in CHI Play 2017 (ACM SIGCHI conference about games and human-computer interaction), we exhibited at the Dutch Design Week (Mind the Step) and we received third price for the Social Design Talent Awards (by the municipality of Eindhoven)!
design for lower back pain
prototyping, screen interface design,
branding / graphic design, design for health
exercising: do you do it? & do you do it right?
Team project, bachelor, 14 weeks part-time | VIDEO, FEBR - JUNE 2015
My roles in the team: prototyping, interface design, graphic design
Patients with lower back pain tend to lack the coordination and motivation necessary to rehabilitate. Mirrorcle is an exercise mirror, designed in collaboration with prof. dr. Annick Timmermans from Universiteit Hasselt. The exercise mirror tracks the body position using a Kinect and projects feedback by projecting light behind a one-way mirror. This concept was designed by another design team. When our team enrolled, our challenge was to make the design elegant and portable, to further develop the concept and to promote it to an innovation contest, resulting at the third price at the TU/e contest (an innovation contest held by the university)!
human-machine interface design
INTERNSHIP, VIRTUAL REALITY, PRODUCT DESIGN,
HUMAN-CENTERED DESIGN, CAD-MODELLING,
DESIGN FOR AN UNFAMILIAR TARGET GROUP
the perceived complexity of a high-tech agricultural machine
4-months internship at diverto technologies b.v., the netherlands, SEPT - DEC 2015
The Diverto-QS100 (a multifunctional agricultural machine) challenged the perceived complexity of the Human-Machine Interface (HMI) among its' potential users. My job was to design an explanation of the HMI to convince customers of the current design and to propose a new design for the right-hand armrest with integrated HMI.
reflection on my experience as a CONSULTANT IN DESIGN AND INNOVATION FOR TECH-COMPANIES
SURE Innovation makes the scientific knowledge and new technologies that are developed at the University of Technology Eindhoven available to entrepreneurs. Our clients are mostly SME's with a wide variety of disciplines, who seek advice in how to innovate their business.
My colleagues are all engineers and some also have a business-background. As one of the only designers in the team, my goal is to provide a thoughtful direction that is not only exciting from a technology- or economic point-of-view, but that also supports user and society.
My responsibilities are brainstorm-sessions and projects that are in the early stage of concept development. Brainstorm sessions are my favourite activity within the job. It gives me the opportunity to work with a wide variety of clients in a short time: by now I have worked with Burkely (a leather-fashion company), and Oxboard (they make a high-end hoverboard, with the main selling point that it does not catch fire). Furthermore, I have worked with an entrepreneur who was working on a smart device for blind people, and a team of entrepreneurs who were working on improving the storage of silage (cow food). I recently collaborated with Wayfinder (digital way-finding poles for smart cities).
As I work in interdisciplinary teams, my goal is not just to have an inspiring conversation with every client, but also to learn from what my colleagues are advising from their point-of-view. For example, I learned about the new privacy laws, ways to technically realise modular products, and material properties! My colleagues are also inspiring for me on a personal level.
They are not only all ambitious and skilful, but they also showed me how to stay true to myself. We had memorable conversations when a co-worker talked about his burn-out, when we had trouble to stay close to our values when working with "difficult" clients, and one of my female co-workers talked about her struggle to get equal salary for an internship she was persuing. And of course, we also feel at ease in messing with each other and having good laughs!
CONSULTANCY work at SURE INNOVATION
designer by day, designer by night! and there is breaks
To clear my soul, I spend my time outside (preferably free-riding on the back of a horse), dancing, and exploring art. In the weekends, I take care of a horse named Valeska, and together we explore the forest. With my student-dancing association Footloose we enjoy modern dance and hip-hop, which often results in going out with good moves on the dance-floor. To unleash excess creative energy, I love to cook, explore photography and paint!
On my more serious moments I work on developing myself on topics that do not have something to do with my career. I am quite fanatic when it comes to training horse-riding, for which I currently train once a week at the stables of Miranka Schellekens (trainer of the paralympic dressage team of Israel). Futhermore, I am learning Swedish, I work on developing a present and calm mind, and I coach first-year students (and the students that come back to me after finishing their course) in their self-development.
HOBBIES AND SIDE-PROJECTS