Combining styles at Trendcockpit.
Experimenting with technique for a prototype (the piano).
Making the Soundelier, we looked at every aspect of design.
I made a visual for a usertest.
In MEDICA the presentationspace was divided per country.
With Trendcockpit we analysed the style of an existing comany.
A model was made to look at colouring options.
At Trendcockpit we had to do a creative presentation.
To optimize my reflections I used a method of making a table with post its.
My identity led to things I would like to develop in the future. This is what I will have to change to become a better designer and achieve my vision. Striking is how important technology is in my vision and the contrast with my identity. In order to get to my vision I should find a way to encourage myself in learning about technology. Also the quality of my research should be improved. In contrary to this semester, in the future I have to finish research professionally and archive this better. It would also be nice if I could lose the dependence, which I plan to do by working with experts. Solving that problem could also help by protecting me from getting an overload on information.
In this section of my showcase I reflect on my development per Competency Area. For each I will outline my most important development after which I give more detailed information pinpointed (where possible) to specific learning activities.
Ideas and Concepts
I developed the Ideas and Concepts by learning about the value of other people and other competency areas for generating and developing idea. I immediately applied this knowledge in the project.
In the project I saw how the relation between various competencies are of use for generating and developing ideas. It can function both inspire and makes the result into a complete concept. Just like the knowledge of others, the competencies are a way of involving other perspectives in considerations of design. By using more and alternative perspectives the result of a brainstorm will be more and better. To optimize the use of my own knowledge, Trendcockpit thought me ways to keep this knowledge up to date and structure design in sub-categories. Having an active attitude and looking for what already exist can exclude ideas and act as an inspiration by acknowledging trends. Ways to do this are by visiting fairs and being aware of other designers, like we did in the assignment. I used my knowledge on the trends and experiences on the use of competencies also in the production of the Soundelier.
This semester thought me how important my atitude and initiative are in order for to develop this competency.
Integrating Technology is a competency I did not found any compassion or interest for yet. This led to a relatively slow development. Nevertheless, I do realize this competency is very important for a designer. Therefore I have paid attention to this competency since my first semester here at the TU/e. This semester I have done this by ‘the Internet Playground’, I have learned the basics of the programming language ‘PHP’. Because of my absence during the classes, I got forced to do this assignment on a higher pace with more guidance of my assignor. A relatively high pace works effective for me, it seemed to influence my brain capacity in a positive way. Besides that, it I realized that frequent contact with an expert can also trigger me. Technology is a broad and fast developing subject, which is another reason why a lot of expert contact is valuable. In the first half of the project I was involved in making an electric circuit. I got help from a group member to learn skills for making this circuit. For tactic reasons I made the decision to not get involved with the beginning of technical developments of the concept. This led to a situation where I did not have the possibility to get involved later on in the development. From now on I would handle this differently, because I could have gained important skills and knowledge. I also could have the option of helping the team if needed in this subject.
Form and Sense
I have learned that every detail and aspect of the design acquires equal attention. They could complement each other and work together to empower the message of the product.
In this semester I gained a lot of knowledge about designing at ‘Trendcockpit’. In this assignment the emphasis was on the different aspects of design. The assignment made me realize how many-sided the design of a product actually is and how every detail is of importance (positively or negatively) in the complete picture. The knowledge I gained with this assignment, I directly implemented in my project. I have given every aspect in the design as much attention as it deserves. Also function, trends and the rationale are integrated in the Soundelier. Earlier in the project, with building a prototype (piano) I gained some basic skills in production. Both prototypes (piano and Soundelier) where working systems in which precision in the production is important. Partly by Trendcockpit I found a passion for this competency and have expanded my designing vocabulairy.
User Focus and Perspective
I have learned to make research more valuable and reliable and to use the results for creating a concept.
During this semester I started several user perspective researches. For Trendcockpit we had to search for styles that matched our users preferance; trends. One of the researches I started was not finished because the lack of time. This research was founded on a method that I learned in an assignment last year. Looking back, I think it was a good initiative to start a more specific research. Therefore it would be worthwhile to think of these steps earlier in the semester,so I have enough time. The last research I have done was during the ‘final Demoday’. I approach this oppertunity as some kind of user research. With a prototype we tried to exhibit the experience of our product to guests and interested people. The feedback was documented and I have used this to formulate a vision for the future. I liked this method; although the result would have meant more if we would have documented results better.
Social Cultural Awareness
I have experienced that cultural background of the presenter could have much influence on the presentation and in the project i integrated this competency by looking at the subcultures in the music world.
An assignment in another semester showed the importance of looking forward into the future of a concept. This adds to the business side of Industrial Design. This semester I tried to see the growth opportunities. In this case I saw growth opportunities in the subcultures of the music world. Music styles and design from the Soundelier can easily be adepted for new contexts. Another fascinating observation I did while visiting an international fair for trendcockpit. The difference in presentation was as astonishing as interesting. I assume this difference in presentation also tells us something about the difference in interpretation. This knowledge can be used when you need to present a product to another country. This experience will be exclusively mentioned in my reflection about trendcockpit.
Design and Research Processes
To make my researches more reliable, I will do my research more professionally and archive it better. I also experienced that research on specific aspects should be started earlier in the semester and it is valuable to stay up to date on the existing designs.
As mentioned before, I have started a market research I have not finished before the end of the project. In the future I would like to focus more on specific research and finish it by taking initiative earlier in the process. After all the experiences I have had with researches, one of my conclusions is to work more professional. Especially in the beginning of the project I used little sources and did not do careful documentation on my result. Because of this, some of my work did not have the value it should have. At the final Demoday I used my experiences to already make some improvements. We had a well-prepared story to tell to guests and documented all the feedback given on the concept. This information could be used later to set up a realistic and complete future vision. The assignment ‘Trendcockpit’ pointed out to me that there is also a subject a designer should do research on continuously. It is important to know what happens in the design world to make an appropriate new product. This can be done by visiting fairs or following media. Another plan for research in the future is the research for possibilities. By this I mean acting on behalf of experience and not assumptions, something we did with the wires we did not expect to knot so easily.
Design and Business Processes
To make a product successful it has to encourage many people to buy it. A way to achieve this goal is by taking the future possibilities, user wishes and competitors into account.
Within the project I have integrated the business side of designing in the Soundelier. I used trends (homely) and tried to address a large target group by thinking of ways to adjust our product to different subcultures. This step I took as a reaction on the knowledge I got from my assignments. The trends, I used for the Soundelier, was one we concluded in Trendcockpit. For the idea for my final Internet Playground deliverable I checked if I had to deal with competition and what their trademark is. In the future I am going to spend more time investigating this aspect of design, as I attempted to in this project, but will start earlier in the semester. Furthermore I will keep myself up to date on trends and competition by following media like the blog from Zuzanna Skalska (360) and occasionally going to fairs or presentations.
Descriptive Mathematical Modelling
This semester I focused on the use of modelling for the production aspect of design. This means I have developed myself in creating adequate models for circuits and coding.
Last semester I mainly used modelling for structuring my thoughts and visualizing research. In this semester I took a closer look at a model in its supportive way for production. Within the project Nik showed me how to design a working circuit, which I could use for making the circuit and design of the piano. After advice of my coach the group also made a model in full size to determine the dimensions of our prototype. Finally we printed this and used it for production. The other application models had in my semester is for reflecting. For my showcase and other reflections I have made many models to find the right structures. My experience teaches me how much of a waste it is that I have not treated the made models as more valuable and will save my models more carefully. This is something I also did with other valuable information. Therefore I will find a way to keep everything together and treat it more professionally.
Teamwork and Communication
This semester I focused on my attitude and the communication within the project group. I also learned ways to make teamwork more efficient and perform convincing presentation.
My last assessor pointed out to me that I had an unprofessional attitude. I worked on my attitude, which also had its positive influences on the teamwork. I started the project by changing my attitude within the group itself. I for example took the initiative in explaining my expectations and the story of my Hold verdict. This worked well since others followed my example. Using shared timetables and lists, we got on the same level and everybody took the time to express his or her interests. New insights I got this semester are the importance of trust in your colleagues, being open to alternative visions and the danger of assumptions. Especially in the beginning of the project these was not optimal. I sometimes struggle with standing up for myself. For more details on this subject you can read ‘Working on myself’ in 'Other Activities'. Furthermore I realized that within teamwork I am also dependent on the attitude of other members. I learned to open up to visions of others, now I would like to learn to reach those who do not have this ability yet. In the general teamwork of the project I noticed that we did not have a very efficient way of working. We had the tendency to delay making decisions and not take deadlines very serious. Next to this we also had a few misunderstandings. I think the right pace adds to the quality of the process. This keeps people motivated and challenged. The inefficient way of working has its effect on the pace and adjustments could turn it up again. Next semester I want to challenge myself more in time use and keep this pace up by using a disciplined structure. Ways to make decisions easier are the use of structures like collecting pros and cons or chose a conversation leader. This last is what I did in a brainstorm for Trendcockpit, the results were positive. I will also take deadlines more serious and be clear on the expectations to exclude misunderstanding on the assignment. Within the dividing of the tasks it is clever to consider talents and individual ambitions. When someone does not deliver his or her part of the job, it is also a challenge to handle this professionally. I have been in such a situation where another team member took the charge and I could follow her example. This was a good way to experience this for the first time (since I am working on my skills on standing up for myself). Next to the intern communication I also developed my ability to present for a crowd or outsiders. At the Midterm Demoday we had a relatively bad presentation, it was incomplete and badly prepared. At Trendcockpit I was challenged to do a creative and memorable presentation. This is what I did and we succeeded. The new knowledge was also used for the final Demoday. Here I pitched an explanation about our work. Making this pitch I thougth about relevance and an appropriate order. Looking back I am satisfied on my development within this competency area.
Self-Directed and Continues Learning
This semester taught me a lot about the circumstances in which I learn and work best. I concluded that for example more expert contact, a higher pace and some changes in my attitude could raise the result of my semester to a higher level.
Within this semester there was a big leap in methods of working between assignments and project. At the Internet Playground I was forced to work at a higher pace and got more guidance from an expert, because I had to catch up. I noticed that my brains seemed to absorb more information and I felt more motivated than I usually do in project context. This pattern continued in Trendcockpit. Because of the active method I did not get the chance to get distracted and was triggered continuously with inspiring insights and stories. It is not new to me that whatever is fun is easier; this was proven again for integrating technology in the Internet Playground. At the project I got challenged less because of the low pace and I got less triggers. I assume that this also has its contribution to my struggles with motivation for my study in general. That is why I started thinking of a way to adjust my method of working in a way that will make my time more valuable. This might also make me more stable in my motivation. Next year I will be doing my project partly individually, which means I have more power over the pace and the process than I have in a team. After analyzing this semester, the perfect solution seemed to do an internship. An idea I got because Zuzanna Skalska invited me to do an internship at Van Berlo, a design consultancy company. I believe this is a method would suit me because the pace is higher, I will have more contact with inspiring expert and I would not be doing ten small thing but one large project (reduces the distraction). Another reason for me to like the idea of more internships than usual in this study is the idea the study is based on. The TU/e expects you to design your own designing process. I am convinced of the fact that whether conscious or not, you will be influenced by your referees and therefore will always stay relatively close to what you already know. To me it seems very interesting to look for the most divers and extreme perspectives and think this is something you can achieve by seeing how someone with other knowledge than you would do a project. After studying many different approaches I could shape a method that suits perfect to my character of the assignment. By collecting this kind of knowledge you cannot only think out of the box, but also turn the box inside out. I also started by taken steps in order to execute this plan. It is not normal to do an internship in your B2.2, which did make it rather difficult to achieve. Eventually Zuzanna Skalska advised me to gather some more experience; this also makes me more interesting to Van Berlo. Eventually I decided not to do an internship but to adjust my semester in a way that it will be like a starter to see how I like this new method. More information on the adjustments can be found in ‘Future’ at 'Activities'. Considering my attitude I will continue the development I have already started. The emphasis will be on standing up for myself, arranging my priorities, more professional behavior and getting more involved. This semester I have had problems with choosing my priorities, which led to a certain chaos. To become more professional I want to focus on creating peace in my head. This had a negative influence and made it difficult for me to develop a distance in personal and professional. Furthermore I noticed that sometimes I did not get involved at the start which took my ability to get involved later in the process. This does not only mean I miss an opportunity to learn, but also the possibility to support my group if necessary. Because of the importance of my attitude as a designer, seen the assessment of last your, I also had some contact with my coach. Together we concluded that I have developed my attitude, but I will have to continue this development in the future. I plan to do this by reflecting on my attitude regularly with people from my environment. Last but not least I also developed my reflecting skills this semester. With every reflection I wrote I tried different approaches. More details are to be found in ‘Other Activities’ in 'Activities'. The result is the discovery of a method I find very comfortable and will keep using.