As an enthusiastic and creative beta girl, I entered the faculty of Industrial Design. In my first year I started developing a broad set of designer skills. With these skills I could shape my own design process quite independently: I am a so called self-directed learner. However, due to the course Co-creation I realized that I could approach a design process differently – instead of acting and reflecting, I could rather first focus on the impact I want to achieve and hence relate this to actions I can take to cause this effect.
During my B2.1 project I found a way of working that I felt really comfortable with and it appeared to have a name: Social Design. Throughout next projects I explored this process and tried to get a grip on the meaning of it. In the meantime I developed a skillset that contributes to the design process that is used in this specific field.
A lecture about Personal Business Models provided clear guidelines for this development, namely: hope is not a strategy! I planned electives that really fitted my interests, like Intercultural Awareness and Design with and for Multiple Stakeholders. I participated in several career and educational oriented activities hosted by study association Lucid, such as a Visual Thinking workshop and a workshop about System- & Paradox Thinking.
I also started a Minor in Education to gain more experience in presenting, concretizing & clarifying information and guiding groups. I first started this Minor out of a passion for education, but during and after this trajectory I discovered that the mentioned skills I developed were also very applicable for designing in a multi stakeholder context.
Thanks to my board year at Lucid I gained experience and confidence in organizing, teamwork and communication. In my function as Commissioner of External Affairs I learnt to listen in between the lines and translate this into what not had been said. Also I learnt to look at the bigger picture and to abstract situations, which supported me in my role as a mediator. Because of my function, in which I spent my time on visiting companies, negotiating and organizing career oriented activities, I got enormously triggered by the entrepreneurial world.
Because of all this I realized I wanted to adapt my direction. Instead of finishing my Minor in Education, I planned to do a Social Design internship. At CvdBremen all my interests came together: I did my internship with an entrepreneur in the field of Social Design who also teaches. During my internship I got a lot of experience and insights of the meaning and process of Social Design. The many conversations I had with people from varying backgrounds with different perspectives helped me to position myself in this field.
This made me the designer I am today. I am an empathic designer who likes to dive into a context to reveal the question behind the question from a bottom-up perspective. I strive to create constructive and sustainable solutions in which ownership is created amongst my stakeholders. To do so, I search for synergy, form a strategy and focus on creating win-win opportunities.
In my Final Bachelor Project I used this design process, vision and identity as a framework for my project. I combined my facilitating and synthesizing skills into a vision and concrete physical prototype which focuses on broadening perspectives and stimulating collaboration.
Right now I can’t wait to gain more experience in the field of Social Design: run my own projects, organize (co-design) sessions, broaden my perspective, build up understanding from a practical view and understand my role in the process as a designer. Next to this I feel challenged to place this practical experience in an academic context. I am convinced that I can realize these ambitions in my Master Industrial Design!