Project Growing Systems


Systems design is a new challenge in the field of Industrial Design. It breaks the ‘one per- son – one product’ dictum in favor of a system of (interactive) products consisting of many ‘nodes’. The systems under investigation are woven into the social fabric of our lives and form, more then ever before, an integral part of it.

Societal relevance is not optional but a neces- sity for this new field of design. The systems that we envision grow. They build on the old, are ready for the new and are open for appro- priation by their users. The design challenge is an open one and is best tackled by an experi- ential approach.

Currently the city around us is coming to life in the digital world. How this digital city becomes meaningful to us remains to be seen but the first signs point towards visual solutions like augmented reality (e.g. layar) or SMS-messag- es. Imagine and go beyond scenarios like a cinema that contacts you with a deal on the last to tickets to the movie that is about to start when you walk by, or a grocery store that advertises their vegetables that are about to expire. While these examples illustrate partof this project, the project is not just about location dependent advertisement or location based services perse. You are encouraged
to find new areas for this system to grow in, within the limits of the design challenge. [1]



The sky is the limit

In contrast with my previous projects, this project description was very broad in its briefing. Considering this challenging, broad but also vague project description, I had to approach this project in a certain way. We as a group decided to approach the project with a broad mindset. We didn’t want to move directly in a certain way. Therefore we aimed to create 100 ideas and filter them out afterwards.

Brainstorm & ideation

We went through a long phase of ideation. I discovered many ways I could have gone with the project description. I wanted to have a final concept that I was truly confident about. Within the process of brainstorming and ideation I created and tested 5 different ideas I could work out. One of these ideas fitted my interest, the project description and my personal development plan the best. This concept was about creating a game that would be analog but also connected with the digital world. I discovered many ways within this concept I could go.

Reflection Brainstorming & Ideation

The processes of brainstorming and ideation helped me to get a good overview of all the possibilities there were. I think I’ve chosen the right techniques to do this and really broaden my view, and eventually narrow down to 5 ideas. The decision-making wasn’t really about proportioning ideas but about the feeling I had about many ideas. I think this was the best in this phase of the project.

Within this phase I learned to really broaden my view and brainstorm in several techniques, for me this was a good exercise because in all my previous projects I already had a certain idea of a starting point. In this project I hadn’t this starting point.

Also, with my vision in mind, I was also focused on new techniques that could form chances and opportunities for tomorrow and how I could use and anticipate on those chances and opportunities.

Field research

To get feeling of the city we went on city research.


Decision making

In this phase I made the design decision on which concept I would continue working out. I chose to continue with the augmented reality playground, because this fitted my PDP in a way of developing within my targeted competencies (mainly Forms & Senses, Ideas & Concepts).

This design decision also fits my vision, considering the developments of augmented reality and the link between digital and analog techniques. You could see a development a need to do actions (in all forms) still analog, however the digital world bring lots of advantages. To create a big analog game connected to the digital world would be a great challenge to discover


There were lots of possibilities and chances how I could combine digital techniques and features with the analog world of a real-life game. I explored techniques as augmented reality, game-simulations, object recognition etc. and how I could use these techniques in an analog-digital overlapping game.

In the end I delivered a strategic board game that works with a digital system as an information system. The gameplay is fully on the board and the information system is just to inform players how many options they have in the game.

Based on several discussions with my coach, I chose to not continue with an augmented reality playground because my project would be to much focused on Integrated Technology and not any more of analog objects as game objects.

Concept augmented reality playground from Willem Rabsztyn on Vimeo.

Reflection conceptualizing

Within this process of conceptualizing it worked for me to broaden my view and narrow it down again, the process of making different ideas and chose eventually one to continue with worked to make the right design decisions and feel confident about it. Also it gave me the chance to steer my development considering the process I would have been through making other design decisions.

Final Concept

Final Concept

The digital board game consists out of different hexagonal tiles that are surrounded by water. There are six different resources in the game, wood, stone, food, wool, ore and iron. Each hexagonal tile is featuring their own resource, that could be used in the game. Villages could be build upon the corners of the hexagonal tiles. Buildings could be build around the villages, there could be up to six buildings around a village.

The goal of the game in this phase is to collect as much as point that you can collect by building and upgrading villages. The first one to collect 30 points wins the game.

The game fits in a big room, or could be place outside, where children come play together. They could invite each other online and ranking lists are tracked online.

In the current prototype of the game could play two players against each other. How bigger the map would be, how more players there could play the game. Technically it would be realistic to support up to 8 players. The map would be very big and the interaction in the game would also be very dynamic.

Download Full Report


Note: Illness before exhibition

A week before the exhibition I was had a flu. This was a really bad timing of flu because this was the week all students peaks in their project prototyping. This flew results were that I had to make decisions about what I would worked out that week. I couldn’t finish the technique with the webcam, however I already have the skills to work this out looking at my developments within Integrated Technology the passed semesters.

Final Concept Reflections

Not everything, within the full concept, is really prototyped as intended in the final concept. During the last weeks of the prototyping decisions had to be made considering the prototyping of the parts of the concepts. However, a fully functional (e.g. playable) and presentable prototype was delivered at the final exhibition.


The main missing thing within the concept is the camera that isn’t able to recognize lots of objects on the game map. However the technique and steps to do this is worked out en described in the project report.

My process within integrated technology is described in the Integrated technology competency file.

Read more in the Integrated Technology competency reflection

User testing

In the beginning of the project I intended and planned to do a fully workout user test, however the project prototyping needed 100% of the available time. I decided to use the exhibition as a small user test. I tested the game with a friend of mine and looked if it was balanced till the end of the game. I also asked people at the exhibition about their opinion of the game and if they understood what buildings was meant for what purpose. The majority of the people liked the buildings and perceived what purpose a building should have when they saw the buildings with the icons.

Read more in the User focus perspective competency reflection

Forms and Senses

Read more in the Forms and Senses competency reflection


For the evaluation of your project I had a short talk with Prof Ben Schouten, one of our professors, and a person specialized in the study of gameplay and who visited you during the exhibition.

This talk was because gameplay is not my personal area of expertise. Prof Schouten was most impressed by your work, to his knowledge your system is innovative and very useful to enhance digital/physical gameplay. He had not before seen such a system. So compliments from someone who knows!

Full Feedback

Reflection on feedback


I like that it, that my coach is very positive about my project. It gives me a feel about satisfaction for all the effort I've put in the project.


His feedback about the exhibition mentioned that I would brought my roadmap more to life using a webcam to demonstrate the image recognition. In my opinion this would have been a good way to presentate all my ideas. However it also would made my story more unclear when I presentate all the things that I've done. This was for me a plain decision to not presentate everything I've got.


I'm very content with his feedback about my Video


Considering the feedback of my report it is a pity my coach thinks the process description is superficial, it tried to do this extensively using clear and illustrative images. Moreover, I will make some drafts in the future and plan more ahead making the report to improve the final quality of my report.


I could find myself in the feedback of my attitude, I'm enthusiastic and ambitious. I think the independence factor comes from the fact that I also work alone within my companies. However I try to work more often together within other people (within my work). I also ask for feedback during the project process but I still make my own decisions.


Considering his small experiment I truly think he's right about the progress I could make. However, I am conscious about this and truly try to ask for more feedback and do something with it. Within my processes of assignments and the project I've made several design decision based on feedback from others. There is still space for more discussion with others. I'm sure I will discuss more with others during my final bachelor project.


The weeks of the second semester went by very quick. I and my project-colleagues were a long time in the brainstorming and ideating phase before really building something, this because the project was very broad. I don’t regret that I was quite some time in these phases because I went through lots of ideating and making design decisions. However, for my prototype it would be better if I had more time to workout everything more precisely. And do a more extended form of user testing.