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?
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.
RISE Interactive Umeå is a research design studio in the fields of interaction design and experience design. They focus on creating poetic and playful interactions. Their project MoCap Tango aims at revealing the poetic qualities in tango dance, to be applied in design. During the Midnight Light Tango Festival in 2015, they performed motion-tracking on world-class tango dancers and translated these movements into digital sculptures. Because of my focus on designing for the senses, my passion for dance, and my wish to do an exchange to Sweden, I was invited to build further upon this project.
My experience abroad
The first of February I arrived at the arts campus: the second home in the middle of the snow for many creative talents. It does host not only the studio but also several art-faculties of the university from which the Umeå Institute of Design is the most famous. Around the campus you will feel a bright-minded and supportive atmosphere: people believe in change and work hard to achieve their ambitions. Within the studio I found myself in a highly international group: the studio hosted nine nationalities, and we all came together (including friends) during the Friday drinks!
As one of my learning goals was to learn about the design process in the studio, I followed the design process of dr. Jeroen Peeters who was my coach and expert on designing for aesthetic experiences. The process started with defining the field of interest (defining the "design programme"). I continued by quickly iterating and making plenty of prototypes to get a feeling for the possible range of designs (executing parts of the design programme, defining the "design space"). The process was finalised by a longer iteration in which one design is crafted in more detail and qualitatively validated.
Executing the design programme
As I said before, the design process started inspired by MoCap Tango, with the aim to translate the data of the movements of professional tango dancers to an embodied experience. An interactive dance floor was created, with the movements of the feet of the professional dancers as a visual element. I learned that visual elegance could be not only beautiful but also inspiring.
In the following four iterations, I researched the interaction between the dancers. What does it mean to be physically connected? I learned five more qualities:
- allowing for expressive movement (e.g. by providing enough floor space and designs that support this)
- feeling the movements of someone else
- seeing your movements being enlarged
- being consistently in the intimate zone of someone else
- inviting for touch, the physical point of contact
The next step was to trigger people to start dancing. In the fifth iteration, I tried to inspire people to move by giving random signals. Although I had lots of fun with my participants for the user-test, it didn't work. I learned that movement starts with a dynamic balance in the core-body, not from random blinking LED’s or vibrations in the legs or hands. In the sixth iteration, I played with the movement of powerful magnets: from a distance, you could flip the magnet in the hands of someone else: it was almost impossible to resist the tendency to move with the magnet-play.
What would happen if you would use the irresistible movement of the magnets to create a new dynamic balance in between the core-bodies of two people? As a first try-out, I ruined two old GoPro-harnesses and magnets that I had ready at hand. The two "suits" were repelling to each other.
Final design decisions
I choose this topic to elaborate upon further. I selected neodymium disk magnets (the strongest of its kind) with a strength of approximately 22 kg and a proportion that allows for stacking the magnets to double its force (you can create a magnet stack as long as the stack is half as high as the diameter of an individual disc magnet). On the left, you see the prototype that I made to experiment with this. On the right, you see the final construction that I made. I choose to make the magnets demountable as they are expensive (and in case something breaks, neodymium magnets are fragile). Particular attention has been paid to the durability of the construction and safety for the participant.
I organised a mixed-method evaluation. The interest was both in mapping the experience from an open point-of-view, as in representing to what extend flow, intimacy and a rich kinesthetic interaction is achieved, as this formed the primary interest to start exploring tango dance in the first place. Participants first experienced the prototype. The experience is recorded for behaviour observation. After this, an open question interview and a questionnaire followed.
The questionnaire was build up from The Flow State Scale (to measure the experience of flow), the Functional Analytic Psychotherapy Intimacy Scale (to measure to what extent participants felt emotional intimacy) and questions derived from the framework of Kinesthetic Interaction (to assess the experienced richness of interaction). Eight participants were selected through convenience sampling, resulting in a sample of people working in or close to the studio. An equal distribution of gender, a wide age-range and a wide nationality-range was aimed at.
I have written a full paper about the results that I've found, and if you are interested, I can email it to you. The evaluation was unique and touching. In a country where people seem to avoid social contact, I have seen colleagues dancing together, I have seen employees dancing together with their boss, and I have seen people who were almost strangers to each other dance together. On top of this, they all participated in a very gentle and explorative way.
What I learned
It happened to me that there were moments where the research felt a bit improbable, especially when talking to highly scientific people (I presented my work to medical researchers). But as I strive in my work for creating aesthetically pleasing and engaging experiences, it makes sense to me that it is worth to look at existing experiences that contain the qualities that I am looking for to create. What are these qualities, what happens if I abstract them? Thanks to the feedback of my excellent colleagues at RISE Interactive I did not only had a great time in learning how to do this, but I also strive for applying these abstracted qualities (like visual elegance, enlarging movement or interaction starting from the core body) in my future work!
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.
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)!
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.
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)!
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