I surely brainstormed a lot this half year. I got more used to brainstorming and learned some new techniques. When we started with the system focus of our project, we were standing on the beginning of lots of small concepts and lots of idea generation together in our group. What I learned in those brainstorms is to think structured about aspects of a concept. For example; we first brainstormed very broad about an interactive lighting system, thereafter we wanted to narrow our views by investigating the different context to fit our concept in. After choosing the context (the park) we widened our view again, we brainstormed and did a field analysis/investigation, thereafter we narrowed our view again and we had a concrete idea how to analyze our ideas and work them out.
This process is very characteristic for idea generating and I feel I got more and more use to this narrowing and widening process.
When doing the DG628 "creating visual information" assignment I also got use to think out of the box, by thinking about the use of different forms for visual information. I also saw a lot of very creative ways to present your visual information. This is another way of idea generating but also contributes to my way of idea generating.
Furthermore, I'm continuously thinking about how to fulfill gaps in society and form a good concept out of it to challenge myself. Therefore I already feel the development in the way of thinking about new things. I'm more thinking outside the box and I'm more inspired by ideas and things that already exist.
Looking at my previous goals in the competency "Self directed learning" I consider my development in this competency as quite successful. Looking at my previous goals to plan better, work more structured and disciplined, and above all; write more often reflections on my current activities.
At the beginning of the semester we got the assignment from our coach to make a clear planning with enough space for lots of post-its, we did this quite structured images of planning poster and till the end of the semester it was often up to date. Personally I did made a clear planning of several task in my agenda. It was still not as structured as I wanted to be because I often was busy longer that I expected to be. That's something to improve in my next semester.
Another goal of me was to write a weekly reflection of what I was doing. In the beginning of the semester it was hard to find a good moment to do it, so it didn't started as I hoped to be, but when the semester continued I made myself write a weekly reflection every Friday afternoon/evening. I notice that there after it was more easy to finish a good report and a showcase. Looking at the feedback of DG628 assigner he's is very satisfied with my reflections.
Note that the reflections of the last weeks of the semester were the most complete and finsihed reflections
Starting this semester I wasn't used to define SMART goals. However my coach of B12, did emphasized I really had to start creating SMART goals. Due the fact I didn't always knew what I specificly wanted to learn besides the fact I wanted to explore certain fields within ID, defining specific SMART goals was hard for me. After a process of improving my SMART goals and doing this semester I now can define more specific and directed SMART goals for the coming semester. You can read more about my SMART goals in my PDP.
The assignment DG200 "Creative Programming" did help me to develop myself in this competency. I used divers mathematical calculations when creating the algorithm to draw a tree in both the assignments within DG200. Therefore I learned to visually express mathematical calculations.
In my entrepreneurship as webdesigner I focus more and more on webshops. Therefore I use a very populair ecommerce package called Magento. Magento is based on the "Model-view-controller" model that nowadays is adapted as architecture in website development. It is mainly an interactive model to design user interfaces. To develop webshops and also guaranteeing high quality, I got to get used to this MVC model programming.
Therefore I learned myself the basics of the MVC model in a PHP and XML environment used by magento. As exercise I continued developing an extension for magento that is able to create a kind of marketplace environment. I implanted it in my own art marketplace magento.
Doing the result of doing activities within this competency often gives lots of satisfaction. You create something what could be really complicated. When you see the result working it is a pleasurable experience. Looking at my previous goals within this competency I could say that I did made almost every goal came true.
- I want to explore the possibilities for the arduino more.
- I want to build more dynamic and interactive circuits.
- I want to learn how to build an array with RGB LEDs.
When making a time initiating sphere with several Flux LEDs, I made a clear schedule of the circuit. I soldered all of the parts together. I tried to still have it clear so I soldered modules first, then connected it to the mainboard and folded the modules around the mainboard. What I learned with this exercise is to sketch a more complex modular circuit and build it out of modules.
In the DG200 assignment I learned to program in a visual way. I wrote a fractal algorithm where I made visual tree's out of. Read more
Some exploration was done in the area of wireless communication between lights. Looking at some little lightning communicating insects, we got inspired to make something like that and explore the possibilities within light communication. Normally communication trough wires or Infrared is not visible and the team was interested in seeing what would happen if this communication was made visual. We first tried infrared led's and sensors. There after we tried the same with FLUX led. We (Camiel and I) wanted to create a kind of binary communication between Arduino's, using LED's and light sensors. I wrote a self-calibrating protocol that first measures the light intensity without the lights being switched on and after that light intensity with the communication LED's switched on. The idea behind this was that the communication could be made visual.
Creating interactive lightning system
When doing the three day during SDL activity the challenge was to create an interactive lightning expirience in a multi media context. What I learned relating to Integrated technology is to connect different sensor to the arduino and thereby creating a behavior for the system reacting on the values of the sensors. In this way we created an interactive table where you could play with the light.
Within the project I tried to contribute in a way of programming the robot arm. However, I did not wrote the servo controller and connection between processing and ardiuno, myself. I did tried try to contribute and spend time to understand the written code. Therefore I now could see the connection between processing, combined with the jmyron library (also used in DG200) and arduino passing variables by trough a kind of serial connection.
Looking at the goals of my previous showcase I did complete 2 out of 3 goals. With every exercise –except DG200 – I improved my arduino skills. With the creating interactive lighting system I completed the goals to create an interactive and dynamic circuit.
I still ask people at the e-lab about circuits, therefore I want to become more independent. I want to do this by doing the assignment "Introducing electronics" where I can learn all the basics of the electronics.
The "Forms and Senses" competency is one of my favorite competencies. I chose industrial design because I want to become a designer, "Forms and Senses" is one of the essential competencies when becoming a designer.
Looking at my previous semester I defined a few goals in this competency how I want to develop myself.
Goals last showcase;
I want to work less rushed and focus more on details and nice, finished work. I also want to explore more materials when building prototypes I want to learn more about the use of solid works and 3ds max
In the project itself we didn't focus much on the appearance because we chose to finish our work in a functional way. We discussed about nicely clothing the product to distract people from its industrial look but we chose to not do that.
What I certainly did develop, relating to Forms and Senses, in the project are my skills in the Solidworks program. The last semester I had a workshop in solidworks, and I decided that I wanted to develop myself more in Solidworks. Therefore I started, together with my colleague Camiel, iterating a solidworks model of our concept. I made three iterations, (read more in the project process),
After doing this first exploration within solidworks I'm able to form more concrete SMART goals; in my next semester I want to develop myself and learn to be able to calculate the forces of newton within my assembly.
Another growth I went through within Forms and Senses is within the border of visual information. I enjoyed the assignment "creating visual information" where I learned about, elementary visual composition, typography, "spreads, grids and layouts", materiality and (put this altogether..) portfolio's.
In short, I discovered and explored the beginnings of balancing a composition using tension and focusing points. I learned to express myself in different visual communication techniques and styles. Read more
I want to learn more of aesthetical product design itself, I want to gain more experience within the borders of aesthetical physical languages. I want to learn how to create a speaking design that people invites to use.
The first semester of this year I did the assignment UFP basics. After this assignment I got experience with user research targeting on specific user groups. This semester I didn't do an assignment relating to UFP. However, our product, Lightpeek, had lots of opportunities to interact with the user.
Keeping in mind the emotions of an object as the famous hopping Pixar lamp, called Luxo Jr. We created our first concept of our park lamp/flower. We designed a robot arm and connected to the head of the lamp on two different axis.
With this construction the flower would be able to express emotion, for example looking curious at the passing park visitor by putting the robot-arm slightly down and looking with the head to the user. We would define the wanted emotions more clear after we had done the analysis (interviewing a landscape architect and doing the survey)
However we did focused on a perfect functioning robotarm and head, but we couldn't program the emotion in before the midterm. If we would continue with this project we would certainly program the different emotion and personalities we had in mind. We would like to express curious and social emotions to the surroundings to make people feel more comfortable.
Within our project we did analysis of the feeling and emotion people have at night and in the park. Within the analysis we interviewed a landscape architect and did a small survey. Our main questions were if people feel uncomfortable at night, why they do feel so and how they could feel comfortable again. The overall conclusion of the analysis about feelings at night and in the park is that people like the presence of other people or animals. People also feel less uncomfortable if they could be distracted of the feeling that they are alone. In addition to that people like to have a feeling of overview of their surroundings; people don't like to be surprised.
We tried within the project to get awareness of the emotions of society at night and in the perspective of our park context. Furthermore we specified what the user would like to feel being in the park.
I want to develop myself more within this competency in the future. This competency really fits my vision when seeking for new chances within the developments in society. I want to be aware of society when trying to take a position within it with a product of service.
One of my main interests lies at the Design Business Processes competency. Almost every person always looks at the price and compares it to what features they get. There are interesting factors that determine why someone really buys a product or service, called key buying factors. I'm want to obtain knowledge and insights about how markets work and develop to use this knowledge and insights when developing my products or services.
Therefore I subscribed myself to the "Product Platforms and Roadmapping" where I learned about relations between concepts, technical possibilities and commercial aspects. We also obtained knowledge about key buying factors (and the rapid evolution of it), industrial trends, customer interest, supply chains, and many market know-hows. We discussed the multi-disciplinary decision making of many brands in presentations. We assessed technology in different products and looked up the parts of it to make a supply chain.
At the end of this assignment I was inspired by the new information I got. Meanwhile I was brainstorming with a friend (studying Business Information Technology at the UT) about a new internet concept, a more social marketplace. Therefore I got challenged to make a business plan with both our knowledge bundled together. I made a smart goal for myself and reserved two SDL days to write this business plan together.
What I learned with writing this business plan is to translate the insights I got in the DG504 assignment and to apply this obtained knowledge when analyzing markets and looking for gaps in the current market.
In the next semester I want to learn more about business models and co-creation, because I'm continuously busy with finding new (internet)concepts to challenge myself. Therefore I will subscribe myself for the DG508 assignment; Co-creation, where I will learn about, mass-customization, co-development, co-creation, business models and systemic thinking.
Looking at the past semester we did a lot of explorations and iterations of different concepts. Running through all of these processes I feel I'm continuously get more experience when doing a design process. We did reflect on the iterations to make a new and better iteration and we did seek for opportunities when encountering a problem. For example; when the mechanics of the first robot arm didn't work properly I looked at the construction of different lamps. Based on those constructions I modeled a new mechanical system for our prototype. However this model wasn't good enough to continue developing, I did learn to look out of the box on a new iteration.
Another example can be found when designing my portfolio in DG628, hereby I learned to iterate a lot and think out of the box behind the border of usual designs of, for example, postes, business cards and portfolio's.
In our team we worked together towards our common goal. At the the midterm we unintentionally all became little islands. This because we all splitted up the different tasks we had to do. We ended up doing divers explorations by ourselves forming individual "little islands". We had to become a group again with a common goal and concept. We had to communicate more together on common ideas to form a group. We continued exploring for a while and inclined to, again, formed different subgroups. When we started focusing on the end concept the group work went well. Till the moment we started in working in solidworks. There was unconsciously growing a space between me and the group. - More details about this process can be read in the self reflection -. When we solved this problem, there still was a tension. I tried to contribute as much as possible but Xander and Pim did incline to improve my work continuously.
I asked my colleagues to write a peer reflection about me, how my attitude was in the group and what their opinions were.
I got a honest review of Xander in Dutch;
Je gaf vanaf het begin veel initiatief, wilde graag aan de slag en je kan erg (misschien te) enthuisiast zijn over bepaalde, vaak eigen ideen.Summerizing the most important points of me in Xander's review are:
Volgens mij zijn we allebij wel een beetje koppig en willen we graag een project en het verloop ervan wel een klein beetje naar onze hand zetten. Dit botste in dit project wel af en toe.
Tijdens dit project had ik wel het idee dat je wel graag iets wilde doen, maar niet goed wist wat je kon doen en dat je toen een beetje je eigen ding ging doen.
Ik denk daarom dat je voor volgende projecten zou kunnen focussen om het overzicht voor jezelf op je project compleet te houden. Let vooral op wat er speelt in het project en waar iedereen mee bezig bent, niet alleen met eigen werk en "eigen ontwikkeling". Wanneer je weet wat er in het project speelt kun je daarop beter inspelen. En wanneer je daar goed op inspeelt, dan kun je altijd nog rekening houden met eigen invloed en je eigen ontwikkeling.
Zelf ben ik hier erg aan het proberen op te letten, maar ik zou ook als tip meegeven om echt bewuste keuzes te maken. Bij alles wat je doet, beslist of niet beslist zit een gedachte achter. Probeer bewust te zijn van deze gedachte en dan te kijken of het nog een goede beslissing is en of je het dan nog steeds wel wilt doen. Dit kan al heel simpel zijn: wil ik dit snel en niet al te netjes doen, of zou het belangrijk zijn dat ik dit heel netjes doe? Soms helpt het om even een paar stappen terug te doen van het project, en dan je te bedenken waar je mee nu mee bezig bent, en te reflecteren op wat je aan het doen bent. Ik vraag mezelf altijd af, wordt met deze ontwikkeling het project beter? of word met deze ontwikkeling ik persoonlijk beter?
Probeer ook tijd die je besteed op de universiteit ook voor dingen te bewaren waar je op je universiteit mee bezig bent. Het werk buiten de uni kan je natuurlijk tussendoor doen, maar dit kan je ook verschrikkelijk afleiden van waarvoor je echt die dag op de universiteit bent gekomen.
Het klinkt misschien als veel aanmerkingen, maar ik ben er zeker van overtuigd dat je een verschrikkelijk goede designer bent, alleen ben ik bang dat door onder andere deze dingen je qualiteiten veel minder goed naar voren komen!
Tips from Xander
- Keep focusing on the overview on the project, only then you can contribute in a right way to the project and to your own development
- Make every decision very conscious, know what you are doing by taking some steps away from the project
- Use all the time on the university, for university work. Other work could only distract you.
Though I did like working in my project group because they are all nice enthusiastic persons. For a teambuilding activity we went to a movie and spend some time together. We are all knowing eachother a lot better. And I know what I have to do when being in my next project group.
I also did an assignment with a group. Every week we got a common goal to fulfill. Therefore we had to divide tasks, plan things out and communicate good with each other about what and how to do certain processes. Every week we had to make a prezi presentation together. I made the prezi presentation running so everyone could join the presentation. Thereby I took the most of the initiative in the beginning of the assignment to keep the work running. Thereafter we all contributed in terms of initiative.
The last semester I got comments about my English skills. This semester I tried to focus more on my English writing and speaking skills. All my group colleagues spoke Dutch. You could see this as an advantage, it is easier to communicate and I could more easily express myself. You could also see this as a disadvantage because now I couldn't daily train my English speaking skills. Furthermore, I feel that is goes a little better but not enough. Therefore I'm going to look for a English course the next semester to improve my English writing, and speaking skills.
Overall reflection on teamwork and communication
I experienced a lot of different situations the last semester. Some experiences are good and some are bad. The aspect that all experiences have in common is that I truly learned a lot of it. For the future I know better how to behave myself in a group. I have the following intentions to improve myself in a group for the coming semester: