WELCOME TO MY SHOWCASE

My name is Laurie Roijackers. I am currently a Bachelor 3.1 student at the University of Technology Eindhoven (TU/e). Within this showcase I will show you my indentity as a designer, my vision on design and my development as a designer throughout my internship at Creative Use of Technology in Breda.
I will look back on my personal development plan and reflect upon the goals that I had set for this semester regarding competency development and professional skills. Furthermore, I will show the resulted products that I have designed for Creative Use of Technology.

ABOUT ME


VISION

IDENTITY

With an eye on design processes, my true passion lies within the process of creating. I love playing with the possibilities of different technologies and materials and to explorer how I can integrate them into my designs in order to bring my ideas to life. I very much value freedom in my processes to explore the context and its possibilities, as I believe that every context asks for a different unique approach. The constant key to my design processes is to try out ideas directly into context; from validating concepts by doing user tests or co-reflection sessions to trying out tiny technological solutions by low-fidelity prototyping.

Within my designs I strive for minimalism with a playful touch. I use materials in a conspicuous manner by exploring their characteristisch and creating contrasts between different materials or colors. Materials should do justice to the design and enhance the products’ function. Aesthetics are often explored throughout multiple iterations, until eventually my perfectionism is satisfied.

As modern humans we have surrounded ourselves with objects that have one thing in common; their goal is to make the best of every day and help us to fulfill our human needs. Some objects are merely functional, other objects are also there for us to enjoy. These latter objects are what I value most. I believe that the comfort of owning machines that do the weary work for you is subject to habituation and that true happiness can be found within the details of life. My ambition is to trigger little moments of happiness for the individual user that enhance or even create these special details that make a day worthwhile. These details can be acquired in the form of a unique user experience or by the creation of enchanting, appealing or even playful aesthetics of a design.

I have a future dream to own a design company where the design process and the context of the designs are close together so that I can be a witness of the smiles I aim to cause. An example of such a set-up would be a design store / studio fusion.

INTERNSHIP


AT CREATIVE USE OF TECHNOLOGY

Creative Use of Technology is a young multifaceted business that is ran by three entrepreneurs; Jeroen van den Boogert, Martijn van den Boogert and Has de Beer. The company is located in Breda, where they own a store called Brandpunt (English: focal point). Brandpunt is a focal point of several creative elements; craftsmanship, design, art. Core of Brandpunt is a concept store, where products of their own design are sold, but also products from external designers. Besides the store, Brandpunt is host to a various range of ateliers, exhibitions, a creative laser lab, events and a pop-up tattoo spot. All of these are managed by Creative Use of Technology, however their key activity is to design and manufacture products. These products are manufactured or decorated with the use of laser cutters that are in the facilitated workshop.

Throughout my internship of 16 weeks at Creative Use of Technology, I designed and developed several products. All of these products are manufactured with the use of a laser cutter. The products were designed individually and several designs were developed until launch. The design processes included ideation, multiple iterations with prototypes and communication with the company, customers and suppliers of materials.

GOALS


GOAL 1

GOAL 2

GOAL 3

GOAL 4

I have always valued independency and have the dream to start my own future design studio / store fusion where I have all from first idea until retail in my own management. Within my internship, my main goal was to understand how a small business is managed and how I would do so myself.

At Creative Use of Technology such a fusion is applied and all of these processes are in the hands of three entrepreneurs. However, an additional set of activities was added to their business model when they got the opportunity to move to their current location; Brandpunt. They were able to increase revenue by organizing events, subleasing ateliers and exhibition space, but their focus has been lead away from their initial key activity of designing. Furthermore, a flat hierarchy with a democratic decision making process is applied. I prefer a model where I am in charge of a specified set of activities (designing, managing manufacturing processes) and where co-workers with other disciplines are in charge of their own specialized set of activities (administration, marketing, distribution). Decisions are in such a case taken individually with a specialized view and a shared vision. I consider this goal reached, because I have got a close insight of how Creative Use of Technology is managed and how I would do certain elements differently.

Another goal was to develop my identity from an aesthetic perspective. I wanted to explore what I consider beautiful and express this by developing a style that is visible within my projects at Creative Use of Technology.

The products I developed during my internship have an emphasize on aesthetics instead of new concepts. My task was to design a version of existing products but in a way that they can be manufactured by the use of a laser cutter. The only additional requirement was that these products should look good. I took this opportunity and expressed my identity in several ways; they have a playful touch, materials are used in a conspicuous manner and they have a minimalistic look. This minimalism is achieved by using mostly primitive forms and a subtle use of colors. Contrast is key to my style of designing in both color and material use. Example; in OAKLOK a contrast was created between the hardness of wood and the smoothness of liquid.

Within this internship I wanted to learn how to make the last steps of the design process; from final prototype to product.

I have learned that this final step could also be described as designing the manufacturing process and sale strategy. Business relations have to be established to obtain quality materials for an efficient price, the manufacturing process need to be optimized and thought out and a price needs to be determined. I have learned how to establish business contacts with partners such as suppliers and how to negotiate with these partners in order to come to a profitable relation. This is an important part of designing the manufacture process, as qualitative material against a favorable price is crucial for more profit. The price of the final product is determined with on one hand of these materials, manufacturing costs and working hours and on the other hand the estimated psychological value of the product. This psychological value depends on the price of similar products that are on the market and the target group. Value can be increased by appealing package design and branding.

Closely related to my second goal, my final goal was to explore more options of the aesthetics of a design and base my final design upon the best choice out of a set of options. I wanted to make at least two sketches per design in order to explore these options easily.

Because Creative Use of Technology is mainly focused on the technology of laser cutting, I always had access to means for rapid prototyping. I could easily try out new ideas and make alterations with an eye on aesthetics instantly. Because of this opportunity, prototyping was much more efficient than sketching for exploring aesthetics. Several sketches were made to communicate new concepts to the supervisors too, but not two per design. I did however focus on exploring options for the aesthetics of my designs during this internship. Therefore, i consider this goal reached.

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COMPETENCY DEVELOPMENT


PAST

PRESENT

FUTURE

I am of the first generation of Bachelor College and passed all my Basic Courses at first try. Throughout my semesters at Industrial Design, my most developed competencies have been Technology & Realization and Mathematical Data & Computing. This peak in competency development was mostly caused by my interest in electronics, prototyping and programming. However, I have tried to keep my competency development balanced by choosing courses and assignments according to my overall development. My B2.2 semester for instance, had an emphasize on User & Society where I explored several user testing methods on different scales. On the other hand however, my lack of interest in Business & Entrepreneurship has been visible in my competency development. I started the Customer Centricity USE Learning Line to compensate for this, but dropped out because the first course did not line up with my vision. I did the Secret Life of Light USE Learning line instead, in order to develop other competencies. I decided to search for an internship at a company with a vision that resembles mine in order to develop my competence in Business & Entrepreneurship in a different way. A consequence of switching learning lines was that I had to finish my last course in my B3.1 semester. I filled up this semester with ASSIGNMENTS in Creativity & Aesthetics and delayed my internship.

I have always taken my personal development very serious. In order to find out who I am as both a person and a designer I participated in external personal development trainings in international context. Both these and the reflective setup of the Industrial Design study have triggered an eagerness to learn and played a role in my self-dependent, pro-active attitude. Therefore, my competence in Self-Directed and Continuous Learning is well developed and key to my identity. This self-dependent attitude has also caused my grip on my design processes, where I base my decisions on tests and reflection. I have developed a skill for planning and documentation that make it easy for me to present my process and approach to stakeholders. Throughout my whole studies, I have turned myself from a shy and introvert student into a confident and social designer that is capable of effective communication. Teamwork however, is something that I have come to tolerate as being part of some projects, but has never been my strength.

Even though I chose Creative Use of Technology for an internship because it connects the user and designer in one environment, I have had little opportunity to develop my competence in User & Society. The design approach of the company is to start the design process with the available technology; laser cutting. Their goal is to make laser cut technology available for a wider audience and to create aesthetically pleasing products to inspire people to be creative. Therefore, my focus has been on Creativity & Aesthetics throughout the internship. I explored the aesthetic options for my designs by extensive prototyping and developed a recognizable style according to my identity. My personal goals were aimed at the development of my competence in Business & Entrepreneurship. I have experienced working in a professional environment and have witnessed what activities come along with managing a business. I have analyzed the business model of Creative Use of Technology and got a strong image of how I would prefer my own business to be managed. Furthermore, I have established business relationships with suppliers and developed my skill for networking.

Technology & Realization has also been developed during this internship. My goal for each design was to make the step from prototype to product and to realize the product to the extend of being ready for manufacturing and sale. Throughout this project I have been making use of the laser cut technology and explored construction techniques to assemble products. Furthermore, I was asked to modify the laser cut machines by making an electric circuit in order to automatically regulate the compressors air feed. Mathematical Data & Computing has been developed while determining prices for my products and basing decision upon these calculations.

Because my projects at Creative Use of Technology have all been individual I had a lot of freedom in the design processes. By taking an iterative approach with extensive prototyping I went through multiple effective processes simultaneously. These parallel processes stimulated creativity because after leaving a project rest for a while I could look back at it with a fresh mind and a different perspective. I based my design decisions upon my own learning goals and on the wishes of the company. By good communication supported with prototypes and sketches, a smooth collaboration between myself and the company was achieved. Therefore, I developed my professional skills extensively.

Throughout my internship at Creative Use of Technology, I have worked with only one manufacturing technique; laser cut. In my next semester I would like to explore other methods of form giving techniques and use other types of materials than wood and Perspex, which I have used mostly so far in my Industrial Design career. To achieve this goal I have chosen the basic Form Giving Skills Elective in Q3. Furthermore, I will have the opportunity to explore more materials in China, because ILUMI has access to a large network of manufacturing locations.

Within my internship, I have designed relatively simple products with an easy and fast manufacturing process. These products were no intelligent systems and did not have any electronics integrated. However, integrating technology is one of my strengths. Therefore, I would like to create an intelligent system in my Final Bachelor Project, where electronics are included.

Within my internship, I deliberately chose to focus on the last part of the design process. Therefore, my overall processes were very circular, with a lot of prototyping and without much variety. In my Final Bachelor Project I want to have one, more comprehensive design process where I include all competency areas.

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PROJECTS

Woodlight is a product of wood bending that is acquired by cutting a certain pattern in sheets of multiplex. By stretching the patterned wood over two rings, a cylinder is created that serves as a lampshade. The pattern that makes bending possible also creates a shadow pattern on the environment of the lamp. I came up with the concept of the lamp in a brainstorm on wood bending. Several iterations led to a final design that is easy to assemble, featuring a unique pattern. The lampshade is now available in the Brandpunt store in three sizes.

The most important learning outcome of this project was to learn how to optimize the design in order to simplify the manufacturing process and to minimize costs.

Wires of devices are often seen as something that has to be hidden. I think that they should be part of the design, or even take the lead. Wire clicks is an open ended product that can be used together with a lamp with for instance cloth covered wire. The product exists of a set of tiny hooks and other mounts that can be used to place or hang a lamp. Mounts can be attached to walls, ceilings or even furniture with the use of very strong adhesive tape. Mounts are designed in a way that wire can click in easily to stimulate multi-functional use. Applications can be for instance to use a lamp for reading in one corner of a room with the use of one mounting system, and to move over the lamp and click it into another mount for dinner lighting. Another application can be to decorate a wall with wire in certain shapes. The aim of this product is to stimulate creativity and to show the user that there can be beauty and creativity in even the things that are usually hidden.

This project ended in a prototype and testing phase, because the company did not see potential in the concept as a selling product. If I would have continued this project I would have asked customers in the store to participate in co-reflection sessions in order to find out how people would like to use this open ended product.

Oaklok is a series of three clocks that are made of oak veneered material. The clock faces are cut into three different designs that play with the concept of a clock and its material. This project included the process of finding a supplier of a reliable clock movement, packaging and a material to make the clock face of. Finding a suitable supplier for the clock face material was a challenge because of the large set of requirements. I eventually established a business relationship with a timber business that was specialized in board material by phone.
The product is now available in both the ONLINE- and actual store of Creative Use of Technology. The product is featured with a package. This was the first time I designed a package. I learned how I have to keep costs low, but be able to show what is inside and support the product and its fragile parts by making an inlay construction in a cardboard box.



Lamina is a clock that consists of layers of both Perspex and MDF. These two materials behave in different ways when being cut by a laser. MDF results in blackened edges and Perspex melts, while remaining its color. In Lamina, I used this principle to create a pattern of black and white. These layers are hold together by latches that click into the front face and indicate the hours. The challenge that I took in designing for laser cutter usage is to create something three-dimensional out of two-dimensional material. Within this project I found a solution for this challenge by using layers. Assembling this clock does not need glue. Parts are divided in smaller parts that connect by the usage of puzzle connections and lock when the hour indicating parts are clicked onto the whole. By using smaller parts, less material is needed and waste material is reduced.

The product is now available in both the ONLINE- and actual store of Creative Use of Technology.

As a product that uses waste material, a six player board game was designed. The game was designed to have the following game elements; strategy, luck and interaction between players.

The game exists of 36 tiles that can be distributed over a board, 36 cards, six starting points and six pawns in different colors and 12 bridges that can be placed between the tiles. On several tiles an icon is engraved. These icons correspondent with the icons on the cards. Each player picks a pawn and places it on the corresponding starting point and receives 6 cards and two bridges. The cards are placed face down in front of the player. In the first turn, a player opens one card, so that but nobody but himself can see it. Each turn, a player must place/move any bridge and move the pawn over bridges to reach a tile with the same icon as the opened card. When the pawn is on such a tile, the player can discard his card and pick another card from the cards in front of him. When eventually the twelve bridges are in game, a player has to move a bridge every turn. While doing so, other players might benefit or disadvantage from such actions. This creates the interaction between players. The product is still in development.

A prototype is made and in several co-reflection sessions the rules were defined and explored to create the best balance of the elements of strategy, luck and interaction. I learned that co-reflection is a good method to develop the details of a game, because participants actively think along and possible alterations can be applied to context immediately.

DG121: Exploratory Sketching

DG628: Designing Visual Information

Before my internship I did one semester of finishing Bachelor College courses and doing extra assignments. Exploratory Sketching was one of these assignments. My goal within this assignment was to acquire sketching skills that can be applied within a project to explore form and materials of products and to communicate those visually to various stakeholders. I have experienced that sketching can be an effective way to explore and communicate visual aspects of a project, because it saves a lot of time compared to digital rendering. Furthermore, Sketches leave space for imagination, which can be beneficial for both the explorative and communicative part of the process

Quantity of sketches enriches the explorative process. During the assignment I learned a method for making many different sketches of the same product easily; by using a sheet of paper with the basic geometry of the product as an underlayer, taking the rules of perspective into account. After exploring the shapes in large quantities, I can switch to the communicative mindset and highlight the best sketches, by adding a background, a bit of color and a lot of contrast. Textures and light reflections can make the render look more convincing.

Another practical thing that I have learned within this assignment is the fact that I do not have to invent the wheel myself. When sketching specific materials I can find something that is made out of the same material and look closely to how light reflections look like. When sketching a scene I can use photos and trace them. Sketching products within such a scene can be very useful during the beginning of the design process, because the product will immediately have a context that guides and inspires.

From now on, I will use the techniques and skills I learned during this assignment to explore and communicate my projects visually. Even though I have understood the theory well, I still need to practice my motor skills. I experience difficulties with drawing straight lines and cylinders right at the first try. I can practice this by doing motor exercises and by sketching a lot.

Within this gap semester I had the opportunity to pay a lot of attention to my portfolio and to finding the perfect internship. In order to learn how to design a portfolio and to learn how to communicate my projects visually I chose the Designing Visual Information assignment.

The most important thing that I learned about a portfolio is to stand out, because companies receive a lot of portfolio’s. I learned that I have to be proud of my work and to present it in that way in order to be taken seriously. This can only be done with good quality images of my final results that I should make before the demo days, because it might break. To show these images to the full advantage, I should start a monogamous relationship with a printer and have a maximum of 10 fonts printed out with this printer. I should also pay attention to composition and look at the residual form to see what it does to whole visual image. To validate whether my final visuals express what I want to communicate, I have to let someone else explain my project/message from the visuals only. This way I can find out what is unclear or confusing.

During this assignment I also acquired skills in Adobe Creative Suite. I learned how to make realistic 2D renders in Photoshop from scratch such as the image of a concept for a new MP3 player. I learned how to arrange visual information in order to make posters, business cards or CD covers in Illustrator and how to make a decent portfolio in InDesign.