Before I started my studies at Industrial Design, I already loved making the weirdest ideas into reality. Through crafts and for instance woodworking, I was able to realize ideas and have fun doing it. For instance did I make wooden garden chairs, an electric guitar and the Rietveld lamp (Rietveld, 1922). However, I always tended to head into projects head first without thinking too much about organization, planning or a building plan. I would start really enthusiastically and just try to solve the issues I encountered when they arrived. When that was not possible, projects often died down to not more than ‘a cool idea’.
During the beginning of my studies I did a complete 180 turn and started overthinking things too much. I think this was because I wanted to be able to actually realize the ideas and concepts we came up with, rather than simplify the idea to make it work. This often made me too realistic and pragmatic in the ideation process and made it difficult to explore or think outside of the box.
I often took on the role of team leader and tried to make sure everyone did what they were supposed to. However, in reality it often resulted in me trying to think for everyone in the group. This created a stressful environment for me and the group as well. Through team reflection and personal reflection, I have tried to become more open and flexible in regards of for instance planning. Course by course, I took steps to learn to become a better and less steering team leader.
Rietveld, G. (1922). L40 Pendant Lamp.
I am going to continue my masters at Industrial Design in Eindhoven next year, since I think that I need the freedom to choose my own path in projects, and I believe that I can do that here. I am going to do spread the courses out more, in order to get more time for personal growth and time to really dive into a skill that I wish to improve or develop. In the bachelor, it sometimes felt like there was not enough time to explore and therefore I hope to do that more in my masters, so I can get a better understanding of which direction I would like to go into.
For now I think I want to do the research, design and development track, with a focus on technology and realization and user and society. I believe that that combination can help me with achieving my vision.
During my final bachelor project, I believe I have found a good middle way between overthinking and building without a plan. This has allowed me to explore ideas and think outside of the box without drifting away too much from the goal. This is a more fun and also more creative way to go through a design process and even ideas that you would never think had potential beforehand can surprise you. I am really glad that I took the time to take the time to try out a ‘new’ design process during my final bachelor project, as it really did rewrite my definition of what a good design process can look like.
In regards to teamwork and communication, I believe I have improved myself throughout each course. I still like having a good overview and taking on a more leading role in a team. However, I am much batter at letting go and letting team members work in their own way. Everyone works differently and it is not my sole responsibility to keep everyone on track. This has made me much more relaxed working in a team and less stressed. This is not only better for me, but also for the team dynamics. I am really happy that I was able to grow and learn this throughout these years, it has made me a better team player, learned me to stand up for myself, but also let go and in my view therefore made me a better designer.