Areas of Expertise

Over the year I gained a lot of new knowledge and skills. Here I will show per Expertise Area what I already knew in the past, what I learned this year and what my goals are for the future. This year I wanted to work on having a strong foundation for coming years. I wanted to become confident in my ideation skills and how I can communicate my ideas and design concepts to others. I also worked some soft skills I will talk about those separately.


I also did some activities outside of the curriculum. I joined the first years trip commission and Lucid’s awesome party commission. There I learned how to have meetings in an ordered way, how to keep track of the action point, but also how to make nice posters to attract people to the event.

Group picture of the LAPD commission members

Creativity and Aesthetics

Creativity and Aesthetics is the expertise area I am the most comfortable with. Before I started with Industrial Design, I was already looking at all sorts of objects around me and thought about how they could have been better. The first quartile I studied Industrial design I followed a course called From Idea to Design. There I learned, among other things, how to turn those ideas into design concepts. I learned skills like mind mapping, brainstorming, how to make a report and how to pitch your project. In our final report we implemented things like the same style and making the pictures look clean with a white background.

Style used in the report

I did draw a lot before I started with industrial design, so I did know a few things about perspective, however using sketching to visualise my ideas was not something I was comfortable with. I often use my iPad to put down ideas, but I also want to learn how to do that on paper. The fourth quartile I followed the course exploratory sketching. I have not completed the course yet but I already feel more comfortable using sketches to explore communicate different ideas.

Sketch I made of a camera

Another skill I wanted to learn was 3D prototyping. I had used foamcore before when I build a stable for my miniature horses. It got the job done, but I felt like it would be useful to add more foamcore skills to my toolset since this material is very nice to use for exploring different design options. During the course Exploratory making I learned about different mechanisms that can be implemented in a foamcore prototype, how to implement motors and sensors in foamcore, and how to quickly explore different desing options my making low fidelity prototypes. I also learned more basic things like how to make a perfect cube and how to cut a circle.

Cube-cilinder mix made of foam core
PNG-afbeelding 2
Low fidelity prototypes of a switch

In the future I want to learn about different styles of different designers and work more on my own style. I am comfortable with the skills I have in this area, but I want to keep improving, by actively implementing my skills in the coming projects and courses.

Technology and Realization

Before I started with industrial design I had absolutely no experience with programming. When I started with the course creative programming that was quite overwhelming for me. I had to learn everything from the beginning. First we only worked with processing. I learned how to make visuals and animations. I was surprised with what I was able to do.

Schermafbeelding 2021-06-17 om 13.20.38

After the midterm we learned how to it interactive by implementing actuators. This is something I struggled with more. I was able to do it in the end, but next years I want to focus on getting more comfortable with using programs like processing and implementing actuators.

Technology used for exploratory making
Technology used for exploratory making

In the course exploratory making I also had to use some of the skills I learned from creative programming. However, I now had to use Arduino which works a bit different than teensy so the struggle started again. I did notice that I now had some basic understanding of what was happening on the screen which I did not have at first.

Users and Society

When you are designing something, it is very important to have a clear view of what your user needs. Users can help you with advising on what will work and what is not an option. These are insights I got from following the course User Centred Design. I also learned about how to gather relevant information about users and how to make design choices based on that information. I implemented these insights with project 1 design. We did questionnaires to see if our target group saw something good in our design and if the problem we found was a problem they experienced in practice.

User testing our Project 1 design
Answers on a question from our questionnaire

With User Centred Design I was made aware of the ethical and moral rules of design. I learned how to work with consent forms and the ethical code of conduct of the TU/e. With the USE basic course, I followed I learned more about ethical values and theories. 

I still feel like I want to learn more about designing for different societies. I have travelled a lot with my parents so I have seen many different things in my life like people living in the middle of the Serengeti or in big busy cities like Bangkok or New York City. I want to learn how to look at those experiences from a designer perspective. 

Business and Entrepreneurship

This year Business and Entrepreneurship was not my main focus area. During project 1 we could have made a business case and calculate weather our design could be profitable or not, but we decided to focus on the design concept and the technique first because we all wanted to implement skills we learned from earlier courses. 

I do have some understanding of this expertise area. During high school I followed the economics course. This year started a small scale business on Instagram selling miniature horse tack. I learned about how to have a profitable business. Selling handmade model horse tack is not it. 

From the USE basic course I learned about how to ethically asses technology. What kind of moral problems you have to keep in mind and how to decide what choice you are going to make for the future.

Next year I want to focus more on the Business and Entrepreneurship area. I want to learn how to spot or create valuable positions on the market, learn how to make a business case and other things like basic knowledge about intellectual property rights and how to produce sustainably.

Math, Data and Computing

In high school mathematics and physics where my favourite courses. Before I started studying Industrial Design I studied Applied mathematics for a few months. There I learned a lot about the theory behind math and proofs, but not much about the practical use of math.

When designing you often deal with realities that are usually complex. Math and data can be used to compute models that simulate reality. This year I learned techniques on how to do that. From data analytics I learned how to get useful insights out of big datasets and how to visualize and communicate those insights. I learned about the meaning of the mean the mode and the median. I learned how to compute the derivative and the anti-derivative and how and when to use them. I also learned about basic mechanics that are useful for having a basic understanding about what rules the world follows and that have to be taken in account when designing a product.

Next year I want to improve my understanding about Math, Data and Computing and pass Calculus, Physics and Data Analytics.