© 2019 Julia van Zilt. All rights reserved.

 competency development 

Creativity and aesthetics

During each design project I have been able to direct most of the look and feel of each product. In order to come to the eventual shape, exploration was my main method to generate, select and refine aesthetic and creative ideas. One challenge that I faced often was the perception of that what “good looking” is. Though I have found that when analysing a focus group their tastes, beliefs and environment can be used as guidelines to the aesthetics of a product.

 

I continue to seek inspiration from things that are scientifically proven yet I always seek to create according to my own intuition.I continuously try to seek new inspirations. And to be aware of the innovations and creations that happen around me. I am often inspired by culture and different perspectives.

Technology and realization

Technology has been one of the things that has been the most difficult competencies to develop. Yet I was able to include this competency in most of my projects. To communicate with engineers from different disciplines made it necessary to understand their code and tools in order to make my own prototypes.     

 

Detecting flaws in my own work or that of others justify my skill to understand the coding language.    Per project I was able to select the appropriate sensors and actuators and depending on the complexity of the circuit I have been able to construct and determine it myself. The prototype with most technology incorporated and of which I was most proud of and was fully functional was the system of Lulo within the project baby at home.  

User and society

Within each project I have been able to develop this competency. I have grown to be able to evaluate if a design truly has potential to impact people in their daily lives. From a young age it has always interested me how and why people behave the way they do, this is something I have learned to use as a tool to determine a design opportunity and to focus a design process. Multiple electives have allowed me to gain knowledge of different methods and structures.

Business and entrepreneurship

During my final bachelor project I believe to have created a meaningful product-service system that creates value for the user and completes a gap in the current market. During this same project I have been able to create value propositions that bridge the different disciplines, more specifically I tried to bridge finance with user insights and design skills. By including the different parties (users, Potential customers (Maarten Claassens)) I was able to measure the level of satisfaction and evaluate the key components of the system.     

 

Even in previous projects I have always tried to evaluate what kind of economical benefits the product design could have and for whom. I have been able to develop a more business-like view when I took part in the USE learningline marketing. This learning line has shown me how the consumer market works and how to introduce new products into it. Yet I like to see it as a tool to discover new opportunities and a medium to show people in what way my product could potentially help them.

Math, data and computing

It took me the longest to truly understand this criteria. Next to having focused on it during one of the electives, I was most of the time, unconsciously, already implementing it within my projects. At the beginning of constructing anything with technology my method is to map out the key components what role they must fulfill and what elements are needed for it. When looking for a design opportunity I analyse and map the situations and behaviours until getting a clear view on everything that it entails. In order to carry out user tests often prototypes were constructed to obtain data, to then later interpret and evaluate.

Design and research processes

At the faculty of Industrial Design here at the TU Eindhoven we like to design with evidence. This evidence is mostly taken from papers and books. During my research semester I truly understood the relevance and the abundant information available for us, designers, to use. Social situations that have been studied before are now only left to be interpreted. One of the reasons why I took part in Design Ethnography was that I am now so curious to identify certain patterns from data that is obtained. Within my final bachelor project I mainly used this competency to study the psychology and tendencies of people who wanted to achieve certain things. Lastly, I have been able to identify what sources of information are reliable and truly relevant.