In this part of my portfolio I will explain the different competences that I have developed during the master program. By developing these I have become more competent in the 5 different expertise areas, especially in Technology and Realization & Creativity and Aesthetics.
I developed my competence in digital craftsmanship using digital mediums such as Grasshopper and/or other software that allow me to digitally create designs to then be produced physically. With these digital mediums I often like to create parametric algorithms to define the aesthetics of a design. These parametric models use mathematical expressions (dividing, multiplying, scaling, etc) to define, relate and encode the relationship between the determined variable input (this can be units such as length, shape, distance, etc) and the corresponding design output.
Technology and realization is shown using software and production methods
Math data and computing is involved because I have programmed how the material can be manipulated as well as the design of parametric design outcomes
Creativity and aesthetics is used with all these different techniques the purpose is not only behaviour but also to create the look and feel
To develop these skills I have tried to integrate this approach to design in electives and projects. I show these skills in the elective Interactive Materiality I created a series of different patterns digitally in illustrator that were then 3D printed upon stretched fabric to create different textures and movements when actuated. In the elective DUIET I created a parametric design tool based upon the multi-touch (capacitive sensing) technology. This way it would allow people to change the aesthetics of the touch grid and to then produce it with either a digital embroidery machine, 3D printer or laser cutter.
3D printing exploration on textile - M2.1 Handmade
Aesthetics of Interaction
Circular slider - M2.2 Interactive textile Library
During this master program I have been able to develop my ability to use aesthetics as a tool to attract a user to initiate interaction and to provide feedback. Firstly I used a intuitive approach in using aesthetics in design based upon my previous high school education in visual arts, as I further developed I started to base my approach on a more theoretical basis once I started reading the works of, among others, Stephan Wensveen, who in Tangible Products show and explain how aesthetics should inform about the functionalities of a product. Throughout the rest of the master I have tried to use different textile production skills as a means to create informative aesthetics.
Creativity and aesthetics is shown by the way everything is designed and formgiving skills
User and society is present in the communication of functionality, for which you need to understand the form associations that your user has (dependent on age, gender, cultural associations, etc.)
Technology and Realization is also important in this competency because by knowing the possibilities and limitations of traditional fabrication methods one is able to efficiently fabricate the envisioned design and to have realistic expectations
Within my final master project I have used threads, both conductive and non-conductive, to design the sensing areas on the textiles. Because of the contrast in texture it became very evident where the sensing features were integrated within the textile. During my research project I have also worked with the informative nature of aesthetics. I looked at what shape-changing taxonomies (volume, etc) would be able to reflect a transitioning car from autonomous to manual driving and vice versa. I let other designers design the transition to then analyse what taxonomies they had most in common. Resulting in a series of design guidelines for the interior of semi-autonomous cars.
Multi-stakeholder management and interdisciplinary collaboration
The field of smart textiles is relatively new. There are emerging developments from different industries. We see the fashion industry developing new types of interactive clothing, the automotive industry to integrate new intuitive features into the materials of the interiors, etc. To get a good understanding of the different stakeholders I tried to position myself in different contexts with different experts throughout my Industrial design degree. I tried to work in different fields. Starting in the bachelor with an internship as fashion-technology company By-wire.net, later on during the masters I have carried out a project at Handmade a product invention lab (or product development/consultancy company). Also an internship within the automotive industry, more specifically, at the Color and Trim department of Mercedes-Benz. This allowed me to develop a way to communicate and understand different experts. I have also been able to identify the value of interactive textiles and to translate it into a relevant product-service system for these different stakeholders. I have been able to collaborate with the RWTH Aachen, Handmade and textile designer Milou Voorwinden during my final master project, at the final evaluation they each deemed the proposed concept relevant for them and their industries.
In this competence we can identify the expertise area business and entrepreneurship because of the multi-stakeholder management and value propositions.
User and society, the stakeholders are my users and by understanding them and continuous evaluations of the FMP concept I have been able to create a relevant concept.
Focus group session 1 - M2.2 Interactive textile Library
Because of each material's natural composition it possesses certain physical properties. These properties can determine things such as flexibility and opacity. One of the things that fascinates me about textile properties is that they are not only defined by the fiber properties that compose it (cotton, nylon, etc) but also by fabrication methods. For example, generally speaking woven textiles are less stretchy than knitted textiles. By using my knowledge of traditional textile fabrication methods and using fibers with alternative properties such as conductivity or textile manipulation methods such as 3D printing or limitation we are able to program dynamic behaviour into a textile. Throughout every project and several electives I have worked on designing interactive textiles.
Math, data and computing - In my FMP I have created modular textile components. These components have received their corresponding programming code which allows them to be interconnected.
Technology and realization is not only necessary to produce reliable interactive textiles but also to communicate the textiles’ electronic specifications.
User and society - because this is not yet a widely integrated part of our environment I have continuously looked for appropriate application domains throughout the master program.