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Strategic Creativity series

THINKING THROUGH MAKING The Readership in Strategic Creativity at Design Academy Eindhoven

Bas Raijmakers DaniĂŤlle Arets

Collaborating with: 11 Research Associates, many students and tutors at Design Academy Eindhoven and 60 organisations in the CRISP programme

Research period April 2011 – June 2015


THINKING THROUGH MAKING Bas Raijmakers Daniëlle Arets




Reflections on CRISP at Design Academy Eindhoven


A Thinking-through-making approach to design research


Lessons from nine Research Associate projects


Teaching design research


Sharing design research


Where to go next?


Contributor biographies Colophon

73 78

Bas Raijmakers

Bas Raijmakers

Daniëlle Arets

Daniëlle Arets

Bas Raijmakers and Daniëlle Arets


Jeroen van Erp

Creative Director Fabrique Member of the Executive Board of CRISP (2011 - 2015)

How did you get to know the readership?

Through being a member of the Executive Board of CRISP, I learned more about

­research at Design Academy Eindhoven. I am very familiar with the research culture at technical universities and universities of applied sciences, but I was pleasantly ­surprised by what was going on at the Witte Dame, where DAE resides.

What is the biggest strength of design research at DAE in your view?

The Design Academy has a big reputation when it comes to bringing forward star

designers. That’s why it was such a surprising and interesting discovery that its research is focussed on strategic creativity, and that one of the areas their research focusses on is how people and parties can collaborate in a more effective way. The insights and results are published the Strategic Creativity Series. Reading the publications makes you aware of the Readership’s complementary role at the academy. By the way, the traditional academic world can learn something from the speed with which these were published. The Design Academy also contributed to the definition of CRISP’s overarching themes, which were defined after the third year. They played a pivotal role in the deepening of the orchestration and strategic value themes, which are explained in CRISP magazine #5.

What do you see as the legacy of the work by the readership within CRISP?

One of the driving forces behind the CRISP programme was the willingness of all

­parties to step out of their comfort zones. In this case DAE acted bravely. I can imagine that its participation in CRISP will have a profound influence on the perception of research within the academy. It also helped to encourage the more traditional research institutes to step out of their comfort zones. In general the contribution was refreshing, different, challenging, but also collaborative and highly competent. The ‘thinkingthrough-­making’ approach created a lot of involvement of other parties and appears to have been very effective. It was the contribution of the Design Academy that helped to create an even better balance in the CRISP programme than we had initially aimed for. I sincerely hope Design Academy Eindhoven stays connected to design research programmes like CRISP in the future.


Reflections on CRISP at Design Academy Eindhoven Bas Raijmakers

The Creative Industries Scientific Programme (2011 to 2015) was unique in ­several ways. Never had the Dutch government spent so much money (to be specific, €10m of the €19m CRISP budget) on the creative industries. N ­ ever had the Dutch creative industries been the target of a nationally-funded ­innovation programme. Never had so many partners (more than 60) come together to run a programme within the creative industries. Never had ­ the three Technical Universities (Delft, Eindhoven and Twente) and Design ­Academy ­Eindhoven (DAE) collaborated on such a scale. Never had DAE ­participated in such an ambitious scientific programme. And as a result, a very large body of knowledge on the strategic role of design in a knowledge ­economy and in society has been developed in a coherent manner. So how did this all become possible? The rationale behind CRISP was as simple as it was visionary. The ­Netherlands, and the wider European context in which CRISP existed, is a society and ­economy that depends on developing new knowledge and applying it. In short, it depends on continuous innovation. The first decade of the m ­ illennium made very clear that creativity plays a crucial role in further developing knowledge societies and economies, as pointed out in The Rise of the Creative Class by American sociologist and economist Richard Florida in 2002 [3], and was f­urther confirmed by the book’s widespread influence. Soon after the publication appeared many governmental institutes started to discuss how to deal with the creative sector because they understood that it would play a crucial role in the future economy. This is where design comes in. Design as a ­discipline, and the people who have worked in the field, have diversified since the late 20th century: many new design disciplines have emerged – such as interaction design, service design and social design – which all have started to embrace and include other previously separate disciplines such as computer science, marketing and sociology. One may even wonder if these new design disciplines are in fact multidisciplinary, rather than design disciplines. On top of that, ‘design thinking’ became popular in business circles in the first decade of this century. Business schools and scholars started to embrace design as a strategic approach. It is in this context that the Dutch Government started to


explore whether the creative industries could be one of its innovation ‘Top Sectors’. An initial study confirmed this in 2010 and CRISP became the first funded programme written by the sector itself to boost innovation, as stated in its main objecti ves[2]: “Through CRISP, we aim to achieve a long-term durable shift towards a Dutch creative sector with new knowledge, tools and capabilities, and the strongly improved capacity to: (1) build sustainable partnerships with their clients at a strategic level [and] (2) substantially contribute to major social/societal challenges of the 21st century.”

New collaborations and coalitions

With regards to the design sector in the Netherlands the scale of CRISP was unprecedented – in both academia and industry – and for the ministries of Economical Affairs (EZ) and Education, Culture and Sciences (OCW) which sponsored the programme it was also new to deal with such diverse and numerous parties while setting up the programme. Moreover, the ministries had not yet collaborated on such an innovation programme either. More common was to have just a few companies that are the major players in a sector, and a representative body from the sector itself. A minor but telling difference arose prior to receiving the funding grant, at the final defence of the programme before a national scientific advisory committee: the CRISP programme committee was not permitted to support their spoken words with images. These differences led to more such uneasy exchanges at times, but everyone managed to pull through and create a programme of eight four-year projects, each run by a joint industry-academic consortium and co-financed by the sector for almost 50% (€9 million). DAE had a central role in the programme, together with the three Technical Universities, at the explicit request of the Dutch government who wanted to bring together the international academic excellence of the design departments of the Technical Universities with the international Dutch Design reputation of DAE. Staff and students at DAE were acknowledged as creative, conceptual thinkers and makers, as game changers who are crucial for successful innovation. The other governmental request was to collaborate with societal and industry partners, large and small. Almost 60 partners came on board, from small design agencies to design departments of large corporations, and all sorts of clients of designers, from the care sector to transport to printing to accounting and many more. Several of the people we worked with comment on the contribution of Design Academy Eindhoven to design research and CRISP


on pages 4, 11, 13, 16, 42, 48 and 71. A jointly chosen theme of Product Service Systems (a coherent combination of tangible products, intangible services and intelligent services – think public transport for instance) also brought and held the entire CRISP consortium of more than 60 organisations together. This choice resonated well with the importance of services in contemporary ­society and economy, and the potential for a strategic role for design in ­addressing ­so-called ‘‘wicked problems’[1] that are so complex that only a multidisciplinary approach can offer meaningful responses and interventions. Still, the challenge was huge. Once the plan had passed all governmental tests and was funded, after almost two years of discussing, writing and arguing for it, we as conceivers of the programme realised there was no precedence for its execution. We had to invent new instruments to make CRISP happen, make it successful. One new crucial element to create coherence were the bi-annual Design Review Sessions (see page 61) every April and October starting in 2011, where over time, participants of all eight projects came together to form a CRISP community. This avoided the more usual inward-looking project focus of participants in scientific programmes. As a result we could create a CRISP body of knowledge that is truly coherent and can be communicated to the designers and organisations that can benefit from it. The five CRISP magazines that were published (see page 61) were aimed at the creative ­industry and its clients, and are a second new instrument invented for CRISP. One last key challenge had also to be addressed while the programme was being formulated: how could the three Technical Universities collaborate with DAE and together form the backbone of the CRISP programme, as the­ government required?

Introducing the Research Associate model

Some collaborations between the institutions had occurred previously, but ­always one-on-one and in much smaller settings and for a shorter period. Most were aimed at design education rather than design research that had to result in knowledge. A new way to collaborate had to be invented. As co-writer of the CRISP programme for DAE I was personally responsible for the specific development of the Research Associate model. Eventually I would lead the execution of the CRISP programme for the academy for its duration, of four years. This model was inspired by the role of Research Associates at the Helen ­Hamlyn Centre at the Royal College of Art where I had worked for several years writing my PhD ­dissertation, before coming to DAE as a masters


tutor for design research in 2008. A Research Associate is part-time employed (0.5fte) by DAE for a period of one year to carry out design research in one of the eight CRISP projects. Only DAE alumni (both BA and MDes) could apply for this fully paid position – we were delighted to receive more than 100 applications for the 11 positions we a­ dvertised. Following interviews, we hired mostly ­designers with their own practices and self-initiated projects and clients, who had completed the academy a few years previously, sometimes even more than ten years back. We wanted to hire only DAE alumni because we were keen to explore what kind of design research we could develop, which had its roots in the academy. After all, design research at this scale was new to our institution and at the start of CRISP there was no shared understanding of what design research actually was (now there is, see Chapter 2). In four years we have worked with a total of eleven Research Associates*, most of whom were employed part-time (0.5fte) for fifteen months in the end; three have worked two consecutive years, or a bit more; and three stopped before their year ended, mostly because they had difficulties combining their own practice with the Research Associateship. These last few were alumni that had run their practices for a period much longer than a few years, and to cut out such a large chunk of time for CRISP proved to be too demanding. Having had a handful of years of experience in the creative industry with an independent studio of one or a few people turned out to be the ideal starting point for a ­Research Associateship. At the end of their contract, all design researchers who completed their project expressed that they had strongly benefitted from this unique role. It deepened their professional practices, taught them how to work much more strategically with their clients and partners, and the process of finding new collaborators and clients also broadened their networks. It almost always led to new opportunities such as teaching design research, ­being much better positioned to argue for and to do design research, or, in two cases so far, even undertaking a design research PhD. The publications edited by Research Associates about their projects in this series supported this; the publications became proof of the knowledge the Research Associates developed and are calling cards to open new doors. This all fitted very well with the objectives of CRISP mentioned above and created a new type of collaboration between DAE and the three universities. * In alphabetical order: Michelle Baggerman, Alessia Cadamuro, Susana Cámara Leret, Heather Daam, Maartje van Gestel, Cynthia Hathaway, Marijn van der Poll, Karianne Rygh, Mike Thompson, Joris Visser and Jonathan Wray. See page 73-77 for their biographies. Each completed project is i­ ntroduced from page 30. Personal reflections on their CRISP projects from most of them are spread throughout this publication (see pages 12, 24, 39, 49 and 68).


The Strategic Creativity Readership

Each Research Associate worked in two teams: one was as part of the eight CRISP project teams and the other as member of the design research team at DAE. The latter is the Strategic Creativity Readership (Lectoraat in Dutch) set up specifically for CRISP, led by myself as Reader/Lector and Daniëlle Arets as Associate Reader/Lector, from the very beginning. Ellen Zoete was a key member of the Readership as producer and co-editor of this publication ­series for the last three years. Research Associates came and went, overlapping large parts of each other’s project durations. Like this they could learn from the experiences of others who had started earlier and who were still there, as well as share experiences with new Research Associates coming in. At the academy a larger group was involved at times, including seven DAE tutors and some ­seventy students who participated in seven ‘Design Research Spaces’ (see Chapter 4). These Design Research Spaces were the Research Associates’ contribution to the DAE curriculum. This structure allowed us first and foremost to develop design research at DAE by doing it, and secondly, to organise reflection on our own emerging practices around that. This took formal forms – for instance, all Research Associates were interviewed by us, and many collaborators from partners in academia and industry as well, and the readership went through an external accreditation process in 2014 – and more casual forms too (bi-weekly meetings with all active members, sometimes with guest external experts, and the many contributions we made to workshops, presentations and discussions during CRISP (see page 64-65). These reflections led to knowledge that was disseminated in many ways, as detailed in Chapter 5. The Research Associate position is demanding, in all the bridges it has to build and all the choices that the design researcher has to make. But it is definitely here to stay because it helps to explore, understand, and prototype new collaborations between industry and academia in innovation programmes. And even more importantly, it offers a way into these programmes for small, often young creative companies that would otherwise never get into such a programme. The eleven DAE Research Associates have proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that this group of the creative industries has a unique and valuable c­ ontribution (see Chapter 3) to make. The Research Associate model, including the Readership team structure at DAE that provided an essential context, has proven its value too. This has been pointed out by the accreditation committee, the enthusiastic responses by students and tutors involved in the Design Research Spaces and the glowing feedback from the partners with whom we worked.


The model is being picked up on a wider scale in the Netherlands, in the 2015 call Research Through Design programme for creative industries from NWO, STW & SIA (three organisations who collaborate in supporting scientific research in the Netherlands) for instance, where collaborations between universities and universities of applied science, like DAE, are encouraged along lines that were developed in CRISP. DAE takes part in two of the nine selected projects, which start early 2016. This once more confirms that design research has become an established part of the academy. It has its own budget and structural integration in the academy organisation, which allows the Strategic Creativity Readership to continue its work. We have not yet completed our explorations and are keen to create more knowledge together, through designing, expanded upon in the last chapter of this book. This continuation is also a result of four years of doing design research in CRISP, and reflecting on the emerging practices. We hope you will enjoy reading this last, 10th volume of the Strategic Creativity series that documents many of the lessons learned at Design Academy Eindhoven during CRISP. May it encourage you to build design research into your design practice, to set up collaborations between industry and academia, and to get in touch with us with ideas and suggestions for future collaborations.

References [1] [2] [3]

Buchanan, R. Wicked Problems in Design Thinking, in: Design Issues (Vol. VIII, Number 2, Spring) pp 5-21, MIT Press 1992. CRISP partners. Creative Industry Scientific Programme (CRISP) Design of Product Service Systems. Page 7. October 2010. Florida, R. The Rise of the Creative Class. Basic Books, New York City, 2002.


Prof. dr. Pieter Jan Stappers Professor Design Techniques at Technical University Delft Head of Research at the Faculty of Industrial Design, TU Delft Member of the Executive Board of CRISP (2013 - 2015)

How did you work with the readership?

I, and my Studiolab group at TU Delft, knew Bas Raijmakers from earlier encoun-

ters and conversations around design research, also at Design Academy Eindhoven. Through these, we learned we shared much but also had complementary experiences and approaches. The decision to work together within CRISP in the PSS 101 project was a natural next step, and the collaboration format CRISP provided fitted well with this ambition. Through my position on the Executive Board of CRISP and the Design Review Sessions, I also got to see the other contributions of DAE to CRISP.

What is the biggest strength of design research at Design Academy Eindhoven in your view?

The biggest strength of the design research team at Design Academy Eindhoven

was show-cased well within the CRISP PSS101 project: the ability to make artefacts that are at once functional, evocative, and explorative. Both Value Pursuit and the Super-Maker expressed a vision of how design tools could support communication and understanding of complex matters within design teams. They could be used as a ­practical tool in a complex collaboration with several different partners, and also as a physical manifestation of an overarching perspective to help understand the ­complexities being studied.

What do you see as the legacy of the work by the readership within CRISP?

Probably the most enduring legacy of the Readership within the CRISP pro-

gramme will be the format of how the DAE researchers fit in with the University research. The Research Associate format of embedding short-term (one year) academy projects in longer-term (four year) university projects helped to secure new bridges both within academia, and between academia and industry. One sign of that legacy may already be the format of NWOs 2014-2015 Research Through Design call, where similar connections of university-research with academy-research together with other societal partners are promoted. I’m happy to see Design Academy Eindhoven actively involved in submitting proposals to this programme.


Karianne Rygh Designer / Researcher at Studio Rygh Research Associate for CRISP at Design Academy Eindhoven (October 2012- June 2015)

How did you experience your time as a Research Associate at DAE in CRISP?

My time as a CRISP Research Associate was a valuable training – or ‘boot camp’ as

I would like to call it – in how to do academic research through ‘making’. It allowed me to go deeper into the research than I had been able to do in my masters (Contextual Design at DAE). However, the PSS 101 project was more complex than I had expected, and my first year was quite stressful; I didn’t know how to intervene within the context of the research, and how I could contribute my skills as a designer, as it was quite abstract and meta-level. This changed though when I developed the Value Pursuit (see page 34) and with working on the Super-Maker (see page 37) as I had a better understanding of the project team and structure and saw that it was up to me to steer the outcome of the project.

What is the biggest strength of design research at Design Academy Eindhoven in your view?

The biggest strength of design research at DAE is that you can conduct the re-

search using the intuitive approaches that you have learned at DAE in a way that is understood by academic design researchers. We learned to put words to the things we do and to combine research and intuition through making. The ‘thinking–through-making’ approach works very well to include the making (the design practice) within the research. Working with students – who question everything – is very valuable in collaborations with large companies, which can become very self-restrictive in their thinking. The students are a great driver and motivation within the research and it’s great to have the opportunity to host Design Research Spaces to include the students in the larger research.

How did the Research Associateship help you to build a career as design researcher?

The Research Associateship has trained me in conducting academic research,

writing scientific papers, presenting and making my content understandable at international academic conferences, as well as how to orchestrate workshops. It has also trained me in how to coordinate and drive a project, while collaborating with a wide array of stakeholders. The design research has put me in contact with several research groups, fields, labs and experts, making it easier for me to continue as a researcher after CRISP. What has been most valuable to me is the co-writing we have done. Personally I thrive on collaborations and really enjoy when an end result reflects the input of, in our case, three different people with different backgrounds and viewpoints. It has brought my writing to a much higher academic level.


Klaas Jan Wierda Concept Developer CRISP partner Océ – A Canon Company

How did you work with the Readership?

As a concept developer for Océ Technologies R&D in Venlo I work in various inno-

vative projects on developing new products and services. I participated in CRISP with several colleagues and worked with Research Associates, students and their coaches at Design Academy Eindhoven. Our team at Océ participated in many activities, but above all we made many things to fuel all those interactions: we printed literally many hundreds of samples using our experimental elevated printing technique. The challenge was to build a product service system around it. This became the Super-Maker project, led by Karianne Rygh.

What is the biggest strength of design research at Design Academy Eindhoven in your view?

In the Super-Maker project I discovered an interesting characteristic of DAE

researchers and students. Do you know what happens when you clearly state the limitations of a particular technology to them? You’ve probably guessed it; they put all their creative skills to work to overcome those limitations. The results of their experiments with our elevated printing technology were both unexpected and inspiring to us. They showed us a completely new direction of research into applications for the technology. The Super-Maker samples we showed during Dutch Design Week convinced several new stakeholders of the relevance of our research into the potential of elevated printing.

What do you see as the legacy of the work by the readership within CRISP?

Recently the Strategic Creativity Readership started to explore how to design re-

lationships and design processes, which – in my opinion – is a very relevant, very new field of design research. Rather than the academic approach, the DAE brings an open and pragmatic approach to this topic. Open in the sense that they do not attempt to stay within existing bodies of knowledge or frames of reference; they are happy to venture into new fields of expertise. Thinking-through–making, indeed.

This venturing into the unknown can of course conflict with existing structures

of people and their interests. Designing for impact requires awareness of existing structures and respect for them, but this should not overpower the original creative strengths of the DAE. Let’s try to make a balance together and think about its impact: ­thinking-through-making.

13 (see page 19)

Thinking through making Thinking Noun The process of considering or reasoning about something.1 Making Noun The process of making or producing something.2 At Design Academy Eindhoven thinking includes collecting, documenting, mapping, analysing, reflecting, translating, synthesising, and concluding. Thinking is not only expressed through text, but also through everything we make. Making includes crafting objects, organising activities, telling stories, and designing systems and experiences. All of these can be vessels of knowledge expressed in ways other than through words alone. Thinking-through-making is a process in which making and thinking alternate back and forth all the time, in rapid iterations. The making or designing could be taking place intuitively. Reflecting on what has been made helps create knowledge and insights. definition/english/thinking


2 definition/english/making


Engineering Temporality is a collection of furniture that evolved from Tolvanen’s personal experience with his grandmother’s declining health due to Alzheimer’s. “Her Alzheimer’s disease is unravelling the fabric

Tuomas Markunpoika, Engineering Temporality Master contextual design, 2012 engineeringtemporality

of her life, stitch by stitch, and evaporating the very core of her personality and life, her memories, and turning her into a shell of a human being,” explains Tolvanen. He used tubular steel as the principal material, cutting the tubes into small rings and then joining them back together to form a semi-covering layer that fits over an existing piece of furniture. He also burned away pieces of the covered furniture to

Image: Joost Govers

symbolically reveal the idea of memory and vanishing.


RĂŠ Dubhthaigh Innovation Manager at Citi Designer & Service Strategist Interim Associate Reader for CRISP at Design Academy Eindhoven (March 2013 - July 2013)

How did you work with the readership?

I worked with the CRISP team for a number of months in 2013, mentoring some

of the researchers from a design perspective and helping them bridge the gap between research and practice.

What is the biggest strength of design research at Design Academy Eindhoven in your view?

The structured nature of the CRISP programme provided solid scaffolding for

early stage design researchers, while allowing them the opportunity to develop their own voice and approach. The social context of the design research at the readership was particularly striking, and contrasting with the view of Design Academy Eindhoven as a craft-led institution. The Strategic Creativity publication series, each exploring an aspect of the different research projects, perfectly captures this mix of emerging voices, grounded academic context and embedded learning.

What do you see as the legacy of the work by the readership within CRISP?

Design Academy Eindhoven has a strong reputation as a centre of design excel-

lence, CRISP expands this ethos into design research. In my view the legacy of CRISP is in developing a pathway into design research for DAE students, connecting them to ­international peers and helping shape the future of design research in the Netherlands and beyond.


Thinking-through-making as our approach

The main goal of the Readership Strategic Creativity is to develop a type of knowledge and knowledge production that builds on the strengths of Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE). These are specifically combinations of making and thinking, as well as ambitions to explore new roles for designers in economy, society and culture. This should help to expand and strengthen DAE’s profile as a knowledge institute that also produces academic knowledge. The main research question the Readership aims to answer is: how can we create knowledge that enables creativity to play a more strategic role in service innovation for society and the economy, through putting ‘doing design’ at the centre of doing research?

A new role for design in a complex world

Design is nowadays called upon to help address complex problems and build bridges between previously unrelated disciplines and interest groups. No expertise alone can solve the complex problems we face today. As DAE we can make a contribution by creating knowledge that introduces innovative solutions, shares insights across boundaries, and helps to understand the role of design including that of designers in such situations. In short, this role, and the value we contribute, can be described as creating meaning. Not only the knowledge we at the Strategic Creativity Readership create makes this valuable contribution; the designers who graduate at DAE make it too. In the end it takes people to create meaning in economy, society and culture. Learning how this is part of being a designer is a lifelong effort because the necessary skills and knowledge shift over time. Education has to be flexible in response, and focus on helping students to develop thinking and reflection skills parallel with acquiring existing design knowledge. By bringing students and tutors into design research projects such as CRISP, whose aim is to create new knowledge, the Strategic Creativity Readership helps them to develop these skills.


‘Thinking-through-making’ sums up our vision on the approach needed to create such knowledge. We often design intuitively, and create knowledge by reflecting on what we have made. In our vision, making and thinking are alternating all the time, in quick iterations. As a result the making and the thinking become very interrelated, opening up an opportunity to express knowledge not just through written, reflective text but also through designed outcomes. Specifically, making includes not only objects. In our vision, making is also about creating activities, events, services, spaces, narratives, systems, futures, and combinations of all of these. Design as a discipline has expanded beyond products and print, to services and experiences, to systems and transitions. This does not mean that products and print are no longer relevant. To the contrary, they are still part of the mix of everything that design creates and to which it contributes. And their tangibility has great value in the newer design disciplines such as social design and service design too. Similarly, aesthetics is also important when designing intangible systems and services that people experience, rather than see or physically feel. Thinking is not only expressed by text. In our vision it also can be expressed by everything we make, from objects to services to systems to futures. We take a multimedia and multimodal approach to knowledge creation, expression and dissemination. This helps to make the knowledge we create accessible beyond (academic) experts in our field, to participants in the triple-helix (creative industry, government, knowledge institutes) and open innovation, and the wider public in general. Aesthetics is important here too, as it helps create impact on those we want to reach and involve.

Establishing a Knowledge Circle at DAE

The ‘thinking-through-making’ approach also formed the basis for DAE’s ‘Knowledge Circle’ (in Dutch, Kenniskring), which was established three years into the CRISP programme. Comprised of representatives of bachelors and masters departments, readerships, teachers and staff, the Knowledge Circle aims to further develop design research at DAE. Design research happens in all departments - of both bachelor and masters - as well as in the research programme of the two readerships, Strategic Creativity and Places & Traces (called City & Countryside until Summer 2015, led by dr. David Hamers as Reader, not part of CRISP). The academy boasts a variety of design research practices: different departments focus on various subjects, each using their


specific methods. Manifestations of design research include objects, services, events, spaces, drawings, films, texts, maps, styles, identities, scenarios and more. We can safely say that there is a rich repertoire of design research approaches at DAE. However, until recently we had not developed a common language to explicitly discuss this repertoire and share knowledge and expertise in the field of design research at DAE. Therefore, DAE’s Knowledge Circle, established in spring 2014, took as its first task the development of such a language. The aim was to create a language suited for a shared conversation about what is distinctive about our design research practice at DAE, and to contribute to the debate about design research in the design practice and in design (and art) education, both in the Netherlands and abroad. So, how would we describe our design research approach? To answer this question we have tried to map our design research practice, since mapping is a much used method at DAE. Firstly, by conversing with heads of departments, teachers, students, research associates and the executive board. By looking for inspiring examples and documenting and interpreting these, we have tried to take stock of the multitude of existing approaches at DAE. Secondly, we have worked on creating a shared vocabulary with which to describe and understand what we have in common in design research.

A lexicon of design research

After nine months, this has resulted in what we call a lexicon of design research. It contains a variety of concepts that, together, characterise our practice. This, we describe as thinking-through-making. The lexicon currently describes 28 concepts within design research (see page 14), and gives visual examples of design research projects from bachelor and master students and the readerships’ Research Associates. ‘Thinking-through-making’ is of course one of these concepts, and is presented on page 17. Three other concepts are included throughout this book (see pages 22, 40 and 60) and all concepts in their current form can be viewed online at ­ This online resource also includes a short manifesto that expresses DAE’s design research approach. Neither the lexicon nor the manifesto is a finished, static manifestation of DAE’s design research practice. On the contrary, it is a tool and invitation to engage in a dialogue. Both the lexicon and the manifesto are living documents that are open to change at any time. The Knowledge Circle acts as editor of both, and offers the web resource


as a source of inspiration and knowledge to the academy, to support education and design research taking place throughout the school. Furthermore the lexicon is also open to other knowledge institutes and design researchers to encourage interaction and discussion with peers elsewhere. After all design research happens in many places and sharing knowledge is important to create a design research culture.

Embedding DAE design research in a wider context

The ‘thinking-through-making’ approach of DAE is not directly linked to any specific research question. This is a deliberate choice, because we aim to lay the foundations for academic design research at the academy, which can generate a wide range of research questions. The Strategic Creativity Readership, for instance, is a trail-blazer for academic design research on every possible subject within all fields in which the academy is active. The Readerships therefore consider it their task to set up a range of different structures and methods that can be embedded in the academy, and make it easier for others to set up academic research activities in the future. Our work is relevant to students to learn what doing academic research can mean for designers, how to do it and what its value is. We try to do this in an open way, for instance, publishing our work in this series, and talking about it, to contribute to the emergence of design research at other Universities of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands too. Making is a very important focus and skill at DAE, but thinking to the level of (academic) knowledge creation has some way to go before it is truly well-developed. At the Technical Universities participating in CRISP the balance seems to tip slightly the other way. This positions DAE well to develop knowledge using an approach that considers ‘making’ to be a crucial part of creating (academic) knowledge. This is, however, not a hands-versus-heads difference. In DAE making, conceptual thinking has always played a key role, while in Technical Universities’ thinking, prototyping has always been important. Design at DAE leans more towards the artistic, and design at the Technical Universities more towards engineering. Such differences, though not absolute and ranging widely on an individual level, proved to be very valuable in CRISP as they gave different perspectives on the complex issues that were addressed. Moreover, these differences demonstrated that DAE can create a distinct identity and role for itself in the academic design research community, building on its own strengths.


DAE does not aim to develop design research alone. In the past four years an extensive community has been built up by the Readership through collaborations, and through organising and contributing to conferences, workshops and work visits, all around the world (see Chapter 5). This has connected us beyond the CRISP network in the Netherlands, to a range of peers who take very similar approaches to design research in other academic research groups in for instance London (at Goldsmiths University, the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins), Genk (MAD faculty at KH Limburg), Milan (Politecnico di Milano), Copenhagen (KABK), Helsinki (Aalto University), Tokyo (Keio University SFC), Kyoto (Kyoto Institute of Technology) and Rio de Janeiro (PUC). These peers and others in industry, government and non-profit organisations, provide a great context to develop thinking-through-making over the coming years in collaboration and conversation with many, in and outside Design Academy Eindhoven.

21 (see page 19)

Ambiguity Ambiguity Noun 1. The quality of being open to more than one interpretation; inexactness.1 Ambiguity is an important part of each design-­related process at Design Academy Eindhoven. Ambiguity enables the designer or researcher to always question what he is working on. Questioning leads to analysis, reflection and research, to the rethinking of issues and, ultimately, it enables the discovery of different ways of exploring things as well as the unearthing of new possibilities or solutions. Being open and ambiguous makes a designer thrive. “The purpose may be merely to make the system seem mysterious and thus attractive but, more importantly, it can also compel people to join in the work of making sense of a system and its context,” write William Gaver et al, distinguishing three broad categories of ambiguity contingent on where uncertainty is located in the interpretative relationship that links person to artefact. Ambiguity of information finds its source in the artefact itself; ambiguity of context in the sociocultural discourses that are used to interpret it; and ambiguity of relationship is to be found in the interpretative and evaluative stance of the individual. definition/english/ambiguity


Gaver, W. W., Beaver, J. & Benford, S. (2003). Ambiquity as a resource for design, Chi Letters, 5(1), 233-237. 2


Jan Pieter Kaptein, Second Self Laboratory Graduation project, Man and Leisure, 2013 the-second-self-laboratory

At The Second Self Laboratory you can experiment with different social roles. Embrace a new way of being by simply changing costume. The costumes function as universal symbols, revealing information about the wearer’s rights, duties, abilities and social status. Wearing them not only changes your image, it also influences your self-perception and behaviour.

Image: Conor Trawinski

Explore your character by changing your clothes!


Mike Thompson Co-Founder and designer at Thought Collider Co-founder and designer at FATBERG Fellow at Waag Society Tutor at Design Academy Eindhoven Research Associate for CRISP at Design Academy Eindhoven (April 2011 - May 2012)

How did you experience your time as a Research Associate at DAE in CRISP?

Being a Research Associate at Design Academy Eindhoven was an eye opening,

valuable experience and certainly not what I had expected. Being involved in year one of the project, there was perhaps not the urge within the team to jump directly into prototyping from the offset, so my focus lay mainly in scoping the research theme and in the development of the projects’ theoretical framework. I’m very grateful for having been involved in the Readership as it helped me strengthen my own perspective on design research and my role within such interdisciplinary settings.

What is the biggest strength of design research at Design Academy Eindhoven in your view?

In my experience, the knowledge generated from more hands-on experiences and

informal insights are an extremely valuable layer that complements fundamental research. Thus DAE, with its strong focus on making, has an important role to play in the development of new roles for designers within multidisciplinary research.

How did the Research Associateship help you to build a career as design researcher?

The Research Associateship helped me create my own perspective of what design

­research is and could be, particularly in the advantages and disadvantages of existing as a design researcher both within (embedded) and outside of (autonomously) fundamental research. Similarly, it led to a deepening of my critical, theoretical methodology, something which I continue to explore in projects over a variety of scientific and cultural settings. You could say that in some ways these learnings led to the founding of Thought Collider, a critical design research studio founded by myself and fellow ­R­esearch ­Associate Susana Cámara Leret, in 2014.


Lessons from nine Research Associate projects

Creating knowledge through doing design has always been our aim at Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE); hence, the CRISP projects were always at the centre of our attention and activities. Each Research Associate involved had to define her or his own project once hired, within one of the eight larger CRISP projects (see Chapter 1). In total nine projects were completed by Research Associates, in six CRISP projects. Sometimes Research Associates worked together, or in parallel in the same CRISP project, and sometimes a Research Associate project was placed in two CRISP projects at the same time. This flexibility was possible because the content of the projects done at DAE was not predefined. The Research Associate projects had to fit within the framework of the broad topic of the CRISP project to which they were connected, but that requirement left quite some room for interpretation. The positive aspects of this flexibility outnumbered any negatives, as we grew better at coaching the Research Associate through their initial months. Difficulties for Research Associates faced included getting to know the CRISP community as a whole (more than 200 people) and the CRISP project of which they were part (around 20 people). It was not always easy to grasp or get an overview of the expectations of different players both in CRISP and at DAE. Where could they start with defining their own project in such a context?

Formulating a Research Agenda

To address this, we asked the Research Associates to formulate their research question. Some examples: • •

‘How can the social context of traditional textile crafts advance the development of meaningful, smart-textiles?’ (Michelle Baggerman, Social Fabric, see page 30) ‘How can design fictions stage playful interactions in the clinical setting, that can critically explore human behaviour and experience, in the context of drug addiction and rehabilitation?’ (Susana Cámara Leret, Kindred Spirits, see page 33)


• ‘How can the importance and presence of trust within networks be properly acknowledged, increased and maintained through design?’ (Karianne Rygh, Value Pursuit, see page 34) Furthermore, the Research Associates were asked to situate their question in the context of work of other designers and academics, and develop ideas about how they were going to answer that question, i.e. their design research methodology. Finally, they had to consider the relevance of this question in the larger context of CRISP and the Strategic Creativity Readership and DAE. Together, the answers formed the Research Agenda for the Research Associate project. This approach provided the much needed core in a new, open field for everyone involved at both DAE and CRISP. Every partner in a large programme like CRISP must find its own role of course, but for the DAE team there was little to go by, in the beginning. The universities constructed their contributions mostly around 4-year PhD projects with their own culture and structure. The industry partners involved largely followed the dynamic of workshops and meetings set up by the project leaders who were always university-based. Time-scales between the two differed hugely, from a common four-year horizon in academia, to a refusal to look beyond six months in some industries because of the unpredictable, swift changes endemic in their field. DAE chose to set up its own dynamic somewhere in between these two extremes, with the one-year Research Associate projects, embedded in the 4-year CRISP projects, some way or other. We made sure we actively learned by reflecting regularly on our experiences. Every other Thursday the entire DAE team gathered at the academy for a joint working day, filled with group discussion and reflection, individual coaching and the collective organisation of educational activities and CRISP events. This team varied in size as Research Associates came and went, and because they were spread across the four years of CRISP, which allowed later joining associates to learn from longer serving colleagues.

Striking a balance between freedom and fitting in

Perhaps the most important lesson is striking a careful balance. The art is to fit into a larger project and programme, while guarding the freedom to set a Research Agenda as a Research Associate, and as DAE. We knew from the start that we wanted both, but had to learn how to fulfil both wishes in equilibrium. Many unknown factors played into this, the most important ones being the


aforementioned differences in time-scale, the lack of a clear list of expectations, deliverables and deadlines, and differences in perspective. The differences in time-scale between partners in joint industry-­academia projects are notorious and almost impossible to resolve, but we learned that putting a medium scale of one-year Research Associate projects in b ­ etween helped to build bridges between academia and industry. The Research ­Associates could pick up questions that arose later in the CRISP projects, and address these in their own shorter projects. Karianne Rygh’s Super-Maker ­project (see page 37, initially with Research Associate Cynthia Hathaway) is a good example: after an early experiment in one of the CRISP projects, by partner Océ – A Canon Company, Super-Maker became a follow up project that investigated questions that were left unanswered by that first experiment. The duration of Research Associate projects was generally seen as very ­positive, but one year was often a little too short. Most projects were extended a few months, to allow Research Associates to meet the long list of expectations. Among these were iterated prototypes and a final design that helped to create knowledge as well as express the knowledge gained. Ideally, this also had to be presented in a conference paper (which everyone eventually did, see page 64) and a publication in the Strategic Creativity series. Students and one DAE tutor had to be involved at some stage too, in a Design Research Space of 4-5 weeks (see page 43). These were the expectations from the Readership. The expectations from the CRISP project leaders were added on top. These differed wildly between projects, from supporting existing project work of PhD candidates or partners, to actually contributing to or organising project workshops, and presenting at the CRISP-wide bi-annual Design Review Sessions (see page 50). At times, Research Associates felt it was impossible to meet all these expectations in their part-time (50%) capacity. As a team, we had to learn how to deal with this by helping Research Associates to prioritise: to say ‘no’ sometimes, but also by offering help to each other, working as a team. Towards the end of the four years, a better balance was achieved from the accumulation of experience by the eleven Research Associates. The different perspective that Research Associates brought into the projects was appreciated. It was different from the purely academic perspective of PhD candidates who generally didn’t have the experience of working in the creative industry, unlike the Research Associates. This view gave Research Associates a broader view on the topics they investigated and allowed them to bring a creative industry network into the design research, which was much closer to the


world of industry partners in CRISP. As a result, Research Associates were able to take up a highly appreciated go-between position between academia and industry. Bridges could be built and new, different approaches were introduced. It also meant there was no precedent; therefore, opportunities had to be discovered and Research Associates had to make many choices. To navigate that, DAE team discussions and reflections proved crucial. For example Research Associate, Mike Thompson, worked under the initial expectations that his role would be mainly making prototypes. But, he was able to shift this expectation so drastically that eventually Mike’s major contribution was to the conceptual framework of the project (see page 36). In another project, Research Associate Jonathan Wray brought a theatrical approach to design research, which no one expected, but was very much appreciated by his industry partner KLM/Royal Dutch Airlines (see page 31).

Creating a team at DAE

A constant factor across the four years were Bas Raijmakers as Reader and Daniëlle Arets as Associate Reader, coaching the Research Associates, with Ré Dubhthaigh replacing Danielle during her maternity leave. Ellen Zoete joined the team as producer and co-editor to manage the publication series. These three roles provided much needed continuity in the DAE team and also towards the CRISP boards and communication teams. The trio participated actively to give DAE a firm presence in the CRISP programme as a whole. They also provided bridges to the academy, especially when setting up the Design Research Spaces (see page 43) in which Research Associates collaborated with students as part of their design research. The diversity in the DAE team created great opportunities. We could do things together we could never do alone, such as creating academic design research papers and publications about how design work creates knowledge, and introduce these to a(n) (­ inter)national audience in a myriad of contexts. Research Associate Alessia ­Cadamuro, for instance, presented her work on severe dementia (see page 32) at the Graduation Show where 10,000s of visitors saw the prototypes she created; she presented an academic paper about the same work at the Design4Health conference in Sheffield, UK in 2013, and published an article about her work aimed at the creative industries in CRISP magazine #2. Such concrete output, delivered by every Research Associate, formed the basis for the thinking-through-making approach to academic design research that DAE has developed over the years (see Chapter 2).


Collaborating with CRISP partners

Each of the CRISP projects consisted of a network of partners, often around 10 organisations and 20-40 people per project. These networks developed their own dynamics that Research Associates had to navigate. We learned that these networks had to be approached as communities, rather than tightly-knit project teams to be managed, or led. Within those networks people with very different goals, expectations, resources and struggles existed – and only approaching them as a community could stimulate collaboration. Research Associates, Heather Daam and Maartje van Gestel, engaged most actively on the community level within their CRISP project (see pages 35 and 38), by initiating and organising activities for all partners to get to know each other better and connect their work. In a community the focus should be on the evolving dynamics in the network of people, not on a predetermined hierarchy between partners or team members, as in a traditional project. A community must be stimulated rather than managed. The shared vision of CRISP (the strategic importance of design in innovation) helped to bring and keep the community together. The Design Review Sessions twice a year were perhaps the biggest stimulus for the CRISP community to emerge, because they were organised not as a meeting or workshop, but more as a celebration, or party. Everyone had to bring something to these gatherings, but how that came together was very much left to the people present at the time. This is a way of working that fits DAE well. We need the space to develop our own original voices in design research, (which was achieved by each of the Research Associates individually and the team as a whole) and a context to bring these voices together with other design research voices, and present them to audiences who are interested in engaging with us. This is how design research at DAE can grow and flourish. CRISP provided that environment, shaped by us in collaboration with many others. The Research Associate model has proved to be successful inside DAE and for partners from academia and industry as a way to collaborate with the academy. Many of our reflections on this model, and the structure we have built around it at DAE, are collected in this book because we believe that they will help to grow design research and make it more durable at Design Academy Eindhoven, and possibly elsewhere. They will also be useful for the further development of collaborations with partners in academia and industry, an outcome to which we very much look forward.


Michelle Baggerman

Social Fabric Collaborating with: Eindhoven University of Technology, Saxion University of Applied Sciences, V2_, Waag Society, Textielmuseum CRISP project: Smart Textile Services Research period: February 2012–March 2013

The ‘narratives’ of smart-textiles must be designed, all the way from the personal to the global. Who creates and uses smart-textiles, in what environments and to which purposes? How do national and global industries and networks participate in this? Social Fabric identifies ways to bring the age-old skills and wisdom of craftspeople together with the new technology and ingenuity of engineers, creating new narratives for smart textiles.


Jonathan Wray

The play’s the thing Collaborating with: KLM, Delft University of Technology CRISP project: CASD Research period: October 2011–January 2013

Given the challenges society, culture and economy face, we can no longer afford to separate products, services and people when we design. Instead we need to thread them together strategically, like a carefully constructed piece of theatre. The play’s the thing proposes a new perspective to the understanding of what Product Service Systems are, and how designers can operate in this strategic role, as product designers who make objects that allow for personal meaning creation and facilitate interaction between people.


Alessia Cadamuro

What Remains? Collaborating with: Delft University of Technology, Careyn, Monobanda CRISP project: G-Motiv Research period: April 2012–June 2013

The growing number of people affected by late-stage dementia demands new solutions and requires innovative approaches. What Remains? aims to ­stimulate positive behavioural changes in elderly patients affected by this degenerative disease, and helps family and staff to humanise care home ­ ­services. What Remains? took a design approach that is firmly grounded in the daily lives and practices of the people involved, and had very personal implications in their lives. This emphasised that empathy, respect and humility are crucial ­capabilities for designers.


Susana Cámara Leret

Kindred Spirits Collaborating with: Brijder, Delft University of Technology, International Flavours and Fragrances CRISP project: G-Motiv Research period: April 2012–June 2013

Designing with young addicts and healthcare professionals in a rehabilitation clinic requires a deep understanding of the everyday situations they face, especially when the anticipated designs aim to use an unfamiliar medium as smell. Kindred Spirits brings together a wide range of perspectives, with ­stories about how the design of a set of smells influenced the youths’ treatment and how the design of fictional ‘companion species’ allow people at the clinic to see and discuss their daily environment in new ways, opening doors – for all of us – to future uncertainties.


Karianne Rygh

Value Pursuit Collaborating with: Delft University of Technology, Connect to Innovate, Exact, Océ - A Canon Company, STBY and VanMorgen CRISP project: PSS101 Research period: October 2012–September 2014

Designers are usually trained to follow briefs and solve problems, but what happens when the contexts they work in become so complex that there is no clear problem to be solved, yet it’s obvious that some kind of change is needed? These contexts require multidisciplinary approaches, but people within different professional fields often struggle to work together as a team. Value Pursuit explored how designers can bring these people together in a way that enables them all to collaborate, in networks, across and between organisations, and created a tool to support this.


Heather Daam

Moving Stories Collaborating with: Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Twente, Connexxion, Gemeente Eindhoven, Hermes, Indes, Roessingh Research and Development, Stichting Vrienden van de Thuiszorg and ZuidZorg. CRISP project: Grey but Mobile Research period: November 2012–September 2014

The health and well-being of older people is gaining attention as a central issue in making our society stronger, and as crucial for keeping government spending on care within limits. To address such issues we need to create change systemically, throughout all levels of society. Moving Stories explores how the collaborative creativity needed to achieve this can be nurtured on this large scale, with a focus on improving the mobility of older people, allowing them to live at home longer.














GRIP. V7 GRIP model for developing capabilities for data design


= Design led

Mike Thompson

Stressed Out Collaborating with: Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, Geestelijke Gezondheidszorg Eindhoven (GGZE), Philips Design CRISP project: GRIP Research period: April 2011–May 2012

Designing services to alleviate stress at work is a typical topic for Product ­Service System design – where designers look for a balance between control over the outcome of their work, and flexibility in accommodating a multitude of changing circumstances and contexts. Such designs follow certain principles and are based on models, but have many different (and sometimes unforeseen) outcomes and results. Stressed Out created a service model that questions dominant ideas about Big Data visualisation and the Quantified Self.


Karianne Rygh

Super-Maker Collaborating with: Delft University of Technology and OcÊ – A Canon Company CRISP project: PSS101 & CASD Research period December 2013 – June 2015

Today even large multinational companies need to collaborate in order to innovate. Designers can play a key role in making those collaborations successful by creating tangible results very early on, even before new technologies have matured enough to reach the market. Super-Maker is a thinking-through-making approach to how designers can take on more strategic roles and orchestrate co-creation that stimulates innovation for both companies and their customers; in this case architects who could benefit from the revolutionary elevated printing techniques with which Super-Maker designers extensively experimented.


Maartje van Gestel

Empathy Through a Lens Collaborating with: Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Twente, Connexxion, Gemeente Eindhoven, Hermes, Indes, Roessingh Research and Development, Stichting Vrienden van de Thuiszorg and ZuidZorg. CRISP project: Grey but Mobile Research period: September 2012 – October 2014

Documentary photography offers an extremely accessible means to communicate people’s personal stories and perspectives in all their richness and complexity. Its high impact provokes many different perspectives when a social issue is explored, analysed and presented in design research. Design teams and other professionals can use the pictures to have detailed conversations about and often with the people involved. Empathy Through a Lens investigates what is needed to create such empathic pictures: how their analysis can benefit design teams, and how sense-making, as a skill, can be integrated in design education.


Maartje van Gestel Tutor at Design Academy Eindhoven Design Researcher and Photographer Research Associate for CRISP at Design Academy Eindhoven (September 2012- October 2014)

How did you experience your time as a Research Associate at DAE in CRISP?

During my time as design researcher at Design Academy Eindhoven, I got the

chance to experiment, deepen and improve the methods in my work. There was an interesting overlap with academic methodologies, which taught me new ways of working and how to communicate results to an academic audience, combining designers’ intuitive and empathic approaches with more conventional academic research methods. My research was a team effort in many ways, working closely alongside Heather Daam, the DAE-CRISP team, the CRISP Grey but Mobile team that included people from the TU/e and University of Twente, our commercial project partners and of course the people whose lives we researched. This opened my mind to doing things differently.

What is the biggest strength of design research at Design Academy Eindhoven in your view?

Alumni of DAE intuitively ask the questions behind the facts, dogmas or presump-

tions, making them design researchers without realising it. This type of research is so obvious to us, that we do not see these investigations as valuable in themselves. The Strategic Creativity Readership at DAE brought more appreciation for design research and forged stronger connections to international knowledge institutes that are more used to utilising these methodologies. DAE should take pride in its unique thinking and working, by emphasising the process and not only the end result.

How did the Research Associateship help you to build a career as design researcher?

My Research Associateship offered an opportunity to enhance knowledge on

researching with visual means. It showed that the strength of using photography in design research is stronger than I expected. This gave me more arguments and a stronger conviction to continue developing ways to use photography for design research, which I will also benefit from when approaching future clients. The perspective of the publication we worked on at the end of my research period ‘comparing visual design research with documentary photography’ is not only interesting for the design community but also for the field of photography. Photography as an art or profession is searching for new values. Nowadays more pictures are taken than ever before; this makes us re-­ evaluate why we would look at them. Design research can help to create some answers.

39 (see page 19)


Systematic Adjective Done or acting according to a fixed plan or system; methodical.1 A systematic or methodical way of working within Design Academy Eindhoven is not necessarily bound by rules that are placed upon the maker or researcher. Rather, it could also follow a set of rules that fit with a system or method developed by the maker himself, following a logic of its own. A systematic approach, however, does entail a way of working in which a certain goal is set and a particular path is chosen. Especially in the field of design research, the objective and the path towards achieving it are related to a research question. Whereas an exploration in an intuitive research project can follow a crooked path, in methodical research it will follow a more straightforward route. This route, however, need not be linear, leading directly from a to b, on the contrary, in the design research field, thinking through making leans heavily on iteration as a principal way of achieving progress and results. definition/english/systematic



Olivier van Herpt, 3D printed ceramics Graduation project Man and Activity, 2015

Studying within the Ceramic Research Program, Olivier van Herpt built his own equipment (an extruder and a 3D printer) to conduct a methodical research into ceramic materials. Step by step he developed his own process to learn how to get better results for his goal, which was to make individual,

Image: Dirk van den Heuvel

functional objects that were safe for food.


Gerard van Bakel Manager Zuidzorg Extra CRISP partner ZuidZorg

How did you get to know and work with the readership?

Back in October 2012, as a new manager who took over activities from a former

ZuidZorg subsidiary, I got involved with CRISP. To be specific, it was a trial with electric cars in Eindhoven. After that I took part in several workshops in the CRISP projects Grey but Mobile and later PSS 101.

What is the biggest strength of design research at Design Academy Eindhoven in your view?

To me, it was the completely different, refreshing viewpoint of Research Associ-

ates, students, teachers and readers on existing bottlenecks. It became clearer to me that I­ /we were educated at a certain time, with a certain vision, when there were other types of problems and basically we couldn’t think up any more adequate solutions for the ­problems that are apparent today. Unorthodox measures need to be thought up and ­taken. I’ve always said that the people of DAE are differently hardwired, which means they can come up with better solutions.

What do you see as the legacy of CRISP work by the Readership?

Bridges have been laid and permanent connections have been made between

­completely­­different fields of expertise. To do this, tools were enriched or produced, and through this an atmosphere emerged that invited you to look beyond your own domain and put it (momentarily) in second place. The magic word was co-creation. The coming together of students from DAE and TU/e had a catalysing effect and delivered better results. The PSS 101 programme was where I got very well acquainted with service design thinking, service blueprints and an extensive toolkit. We are still trying to include all these tools in the development of new services and products.


Teaching Design Research Daniëlle Arets

A new generation of designers has entered the market: a generation that feels the urge to engage with societal issues, that is fluent in digital technology and is able to navigate a globalised culture where ideas, products and services are continuously shared, copied, redesigned and rebranded. For designers these are exiting and challenging times that require a design education that is different from the product and industrial design based training of the 20th century. For many students and alumni of DAE, the Strategic Creativity Readership and the focus of CRISP came at just the right time when the institute was questioning how to deal with new markets, new opportunities and, subsequently, new roles for designers. Also the Readerships focus on a broad topic like Product Service Systems was rather unusual. And finally, the strong connections of the Readership to other important knowledge institutes like the three technical universities and more than 50 industrial companies were compelling to students and staff alike. What was very unclear to many at the start, however, was what the Readership could bring to design practice. How would it affect the dominant ‘making’ culture in the DAE curriculum? Could we develop new relationships between reading, reflection, analysis, writing and this making culture in education? At the start, we did not know the answer to these questions ourselves either. But we did know how we wanted to find out: by doing design education rather than reflecting on design education from an outside perspective.

Design Research Spaces

Early on in the CRISP programme we decided to organise short extra-­ curricular modules for Bachelor students, based on the research agendas of the Research Associates. These ‘Design Research Spaces’ were four or five week programmes held one day a week. Each Research Associate ran a programme for which students could apply with a letter of motivation. We also offered tutors the opportunity to participate. The tutors in return assisted the Research Associates with the educational challenges of running such a course.


By using their own knowledge on the topic and by bringing in experts from their project network, the Research Associates compiled a jam-packed programme that offered students an insight into what design research entails. A key principle was that the students and tutor would temporarily be part of the design research project of the Research Associate, and thus experience doing actual design research. For the Research Associates this offered the opportunity to - suddenly - have a big team to work with, for instance to create many prototypes, or to interview many people. The Design Research Space on Smart Textile Services by Michelle Baggerman (with the help of tutor and material expert Simone de Waart) resulted in many interesting discussions amongst students of both DAE and TU/e on defining the field of smart textiles. Participant Jos Klarenbeek, DAE graduate student realised that students from TU/e and DAE were similar, but different. Jos: “We share the same passions but we definitely use a different vocabulary and approach. At DAE we usually dive immediately into a topic, using our intuiting and skills. There is not a huge part of time dedicated to analyses or reflections. That comes at the end. TU/e students seem to have a clear picture of what process they will follow from the beginning.” Confrontations with researchers and students from other knowledge institutes, as well as companies involved in the Design Research Spaces, provided strong points of reference for the DAE students. It helped them to understand the unique position DAE has in doing research through design and how a very tangible and often intuitive approach can contribute to, or be an academically valid alternative to the generally more upfront analytical approach of the technical universities. Nevertheless, it was specifically the strong presence of reflection throughout the Design Research Spaces that most participants, including the Research Associates, found of most value and importance. This contributed to the formulation of ‘thinking-through-making’ as our approach to design research at DAE (see Chapter 2). Our Design Research alternates continuously between reflecting and making, we realized, and we explicitly applied this to the Design Research Spaces too. Each day included time for reflection in plenary discussions or one- to-one conversations between students, tutors and external guests. “I really like to reflect while making; I always go back and forth in my decisions and actually made better choices by making and exploring,” explained Gosia Polak, DAE bachelor student, after her Design Research Space. The analytical skills needed to investigate the situations in which designers intervene is something students are not so familiar with, observed Catelijne van Middelkoop who participated as tutor in the Design Research Space of Su-


sana Cámara Leret: “In design schools, intuition is often accepted as the single starting point for creation.” In order to help students to get acquainted with a more analytical and reflective approach several Design Research Spaces challenged them to do extensive ethnographic research, to get in touch with the people for whom they were designing. In the Design Research Space on empathy, Research Associate Alessia Cadamuro and tutor Jacqueline Cove found out that students were struggling to set up conversations with people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and their relatives. By training the students to follow patients in their daily routines, record their experiences and simply listen to their stories, the students became more familiar with this approach and came to understand that these stories are a result in themselves. That provided them with essential information for their designs. The Design Research Spaces also offered an important introduction to new roles designers could take on. Research Associate Jonathan Wray did research on new services for KLM inflight services and used storytelling and theatrical techniques as a methodology. Based on the interviews and workshops he initiated with passengers and cabin crew, he unpacked detailed stories and experiences of long haul flight passengers. In his Design Research Space, together with tutor Piet Hein Clijssen, he encouraged students to explore these experiences in theatrical settings as a way to challenge their own preconceptions regarding long haul travel experiences. These confrontations generated very rich reflections that formed the basis for newly designed interventions. This taught us that theatre techniques can be very valuable in design education – as a way to understand situations and people, but also to generate new ideas.

Educational connections with industry

Furthermore, The Design Research Spaces created a welcome opportunity to make new connections between DAE and industry. DAE students and departments regularly work with industrial ‘clients’ through the Friendship programme of DAE, but knowledge creation is seldom an aim of these partnerships. In the Design Research Spaces industry partners were always easy to involve because they were already part of the project of the Research Associate. As a result they were also interested in both new concepts and new knowledge about how to develop such concepts that could influence how they worked themselves. Research Associate Karianne Rygh set up a Design Research


Space around a brand new technology, elevated printing, that was still under development by Océ - A Canon Company. Together with DAE tutor Allard Roeterink and designers from Océ, she challenged DAE students to produce samples in a setting she designed, called Super-Maker. “What I greatly enjoyed was the trust from the side of Océ. They gave us a fair amount of freedom to explore the possibilities of their printer. It was also very valuable to see how large companies think. It is not easy for a student to create such a opportunity yourself,” said Eric Barendse, DAE bachelor student. The results stunned Océ, and everyone involved was part of understanding why such good results had been achieved using the Super-Maker model. Tutor Allard Roeterink said that the approach of the Readership didn’t differ so much from the one he is teaching in the LAB department at DAE, but that they “usually don’t have so much time to reflect with all stakeholders”, and he found it very insightful to do so. The Design Research Spaces offered the Research Associates often a critical distance and new perspectives on their own research. “Taking a step back [myself], students were encouraged to explore the scope of [the concept we had developed], pushing it right to the limits, developing more radical, technocentric, humorous, or even moralistic, concepts in response to the theme [of stress at work]”, observed Research Associate Mike Thompson about his collaboration with students. The evaluations the Readership Creativity conducted with students and tutors demonstrated that the Design Research Spaces were of great importance to get to know the value of design research as a way to create knowledge in creative industry. Some students also used these courses to get an internship, or tapped into the network of the Readership to join other design research activities outside DAE. Jacqueline Cove, the tutor involved in the Design Research Spaces on empathy by Alessia Cadamuro concluded: “Design education could benefit from these courses, including the methods in the regular educational programme. Students would acquire an exciting and innovative design research attitude, an asset in the constantly changing design field.”

Towards a design research curriculum

In the coming years we aim to further strengthen the design research culture at DAE. The Readership has started to act on its insights gained through doing design research in education in a structured way, to try and scale up some of the lessons from the Design Research Spaces to the entire school. First,


design research must become part of the curriculum in a coherent way that is recognised and acknowledged across the academy, and connected to the two Readerships at DAE. To achieve this, the two Readerships have set up a ‘Knowledge Circle’ (see Chapter 2) with key people from across the academy, upon the explicit request of the academy’s board of directors. The Knowledge Circle discusses and creates ways to further embed a thinking-through-making approach in the design curriculum. It has looked into the several ways design research is already taking place at DAE and made a start with developing a shared vocabulary (see Chapter 2 and to talk about design research and further develop the thinking and making involved, together. The Knowledge Circle will work in the coming years to further integrate design research into the curriculum, to make sure students, early on in their educational journeys, are already introduced to the key skills and crafts of design research, like reflection and analysis. Then, later they will learn how to combine these acquired abilities in proper design research practices underpinned by solid or experimental methodologies. By the time they have graduated those who pursue this path of design research will then be very well positioned to take up a Research Associate position and push the boundaries of design research in one of the Readerships at Design Academy Eindhoven.


Renske Spijkerman Senior Researcher CRISP partner Parnassia Addiction Research Centre (PARC), Brijder Addiction Care, Parnassia Group

How did you work with the Readership?

Brijder Addiction Care collaborated for four years in G-MOTIV – one of the

eight projects of CRISP. Together with all involved parties from different sectors and disciplines we examined innovative game-oriented approaches to increase treatment motivation of adolescents in addiction care. This was our first close collaboration with the creative sector and, although I was enthusiastic about this exciting, interdisciplinary project, I had no clear picture of the concrete opportunities and challenges it could bring. Two projects that formed part of G-MOTIV were conducted by Design­ Academy Eindhoven.

What is the biggest strength of design research at Design Academy Eindhoven in your view?

Our collaboration with Design Academy Eindhoven showed us that co-exploring

other approaches than our current therapeutic ones can be promising and can actually result in a concrete, co-created product/technique to motivate and help our clients. Through this experience, we have obtained a better picture of the opportunities and merits that collaboration with designers and the creative industry can bring. The fact that we focus on psychological problems and that a lot of our therapies involve social interaction and communication may have narrowed our ideas about potential strategies to improve our therapies. With the input of designers there are more opportunities for true innovation.

What do you see as the legacy of the work by the readership within CRISP?

For me two important insights from this project were the need to create a balance

between freedom to create and practical utility, and secondly the challenge to understand and connect all different perspectives, goals and vocabularies of the collaborating parties. I am convinced that designers can be of great value to facilitate organisational change and solve important problems within mental health care. To increase the impact and value of designers for mental health care it is important that designers are embedded at different levels of the organisation and that designers are not only well-informed about the main problems professionals are struggling with, but are also aware of the organisational structure and its main problems. An important next step will be to look for a more structural and fundamental collaboration with the creative sector.


Alessia Cadamuro PhD Candidate Design Open University Milton Keynes, UK Research Associate for CRISP at Design Academy Eindhoven (April 2012- June 2013)

How did you experience your time as a Research Associate at DAE in CRISP?

My experience being a CRISP Research Associate was characterised by three

phases. The first phase was driven by my deep interest in gaining information and knowledge related to the topic of dementia. The second phase has been the most challenging one as I used an inclusive design approach involving external partners, including people in vulnerable life situations such patients affected by dementia. The creation of the co-足design team was required a few months before trusting relationships could finally be built. The third phase was mainly dedicated to the project and prototype development. In all the phases my research approaches received valuable input through the 足dialogues/ collaborations with the other researchers within the Readership.

What is the biggest strength of design research at Design Academy Eindhoven in your view?

In my opinion the biggest strength is the unique mindset. The Design Academy

research community was conceived as a multidisciplinary platform. It is driven by a hands-on approach where knowledge can be shared and offered, I believe that my research gained a great deal of value in such a diverse context.

How did the Research Associateship help you to build a career as design researcher?

This experience of being a Research Associate showed concretely to me the funda-

mental importance of being part of a multidisciplinary research network. My research approach received valuable inputs through the dialogues/collaborations with other researchers, students and professionals. From this experience I have learned that the success of a research is also based on the quality of the exchange within the network and I am extremely interested in framing similar environments around my future research proposals. I have a strong fascination for research, which has been fuelled by the experiences at the DAE. Being a Research Associate was very inspiring and finally encouraged me to continue my professional career with doing a PhD in design.


Sharing Design Research Daniëlle Arets

Early on in the Readership programme we decided to present our research outcomes on various platforms paired with conversations, dialogues and debates that aimed to explore the meanings of our design research outcomes and approaches. We elaborately experimented with how to communicate our thinking-through-making approach, the topic of Product Service Systems, and other not-so-easy-to-explain topics and results. By the end of the first year of the Readership (April 2012) we had already set up a small exhibition at the Graduation Galleries of Dutch Design Week 2012 (DDW), and curated six guided-tours through the show on topics such as Care, Bio Design and Social Design. The tours led to small selections of the works of the more than 150 DAE graduates, as well as work of the Research ­Associates. The latter were also in charge of giving guided tours and explaining how the selected projects dealt with design research. From 2012-2015, DDW proved to be a very effective way of introducing design research to a wide range of ­audiences from design professionals to people interested in visiting design events. As for the knowledge that was developed through the CRISP programme as a whole, The Knowledge Transfer Office (KTO) played a key role in ­disseminating the insights to the Creative Industry. The KTO tried to build a new dissemination culture. In academic settings it is very common to start the communication after the work is done. The KTO however, challenged all the researchers to share their insights with the community as the process unfolded. Every design research project, at some stage, needs to find out what its place in the world is, in order to establish its meaning. This justifies spending a considerable amount of the project budget on communication. The Readership played an important role in the CRISP Knowledge Transfer Office, driven first and foremost by Associate Reader/Lector Daniëlle Arets and Writer/ Editor Ellen Zoete who both were key members of the office, as well as ­Reader­/ Lector Bas Raijmakers and the Research Associates who all considerably contributed to the bi-annual conferences that were set up by the Knowledge Transfer Office. Also the Readership contributed to all the magazines that the CRISP programme produced.


When it comes to the dissemination activities of the Readership specifically, we could name a tonne of events and activities varying from workshops we led, and guest lectures we gave, to exhibitions we set up, interviews we held, as well as interview platforms we built ourselves‌ But we had to be ruthlessly selective, and in the following pages these six activities give just a taste of what we did and how these activities succeeded in engaging the various audiences in the work we do. At the end of this chapter, a more comprehensive list of activities is included. With all these activities we came to understand that communicating about the work and sharing insights of the journey is a crucial part of design research. It is not something that, in a classical academic setting, follows the completion of work; rather,it develops alongside the work and in fact is part of the design research process. In fact a lot of insights and ideas span from the organised activities. Observing how people perceived our presented outcomes helped us to reflect on our research from the perspectives of others. We understood what parts of our story were missing and which things in fact communicated very well. A crucial notion here is that we were often able to turn intangible insights and knowledge into tangible, well-designed outcomes. Those tangible outcomes not only stimulate stakeholder-alignment in a design research project, they also help the Readership in communicating what happens in the projects to the broader audience of the creative industry and everyone with an interest in design. It goes without saying that aesthetics is important here too, as it supports communication and helps to create impact with those we want to reach and involve. The fact that all our Research Associates had completed excellent design training at DAE before taking on a position as a Research Associate showed in the results, and was clearly perceived as distinctive by our CRISP partners in industry and academia. The focus in the DAE curriculum on aesthetics and on communicating the message clearly and distinctly proved to be very valuable for all Research Associates, and all students of the academy involved in CRISP. This skill is crucial to design research and can be used even more in the future to develop thinking-through-making as a distinct approach to design research at DAE.



Academic networks

We were asked to become a member of the international DESIS (Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability) network, a ­ worldwide knowledge network that aims to share important findings on social design and sustainability. One of their initiatives is a s­ eries of Philosophy Talks. These talks aim at enhancing the dialogue between practice and theory, between design and philosophy. Research Associate Heather Daam hosted two of these philosophy talks in Eindhoven that were very insightful for our researchers and students, and proved very helpful for Daam’s research on storytelling. Furthermore they helped us to make strong connections with international, like-minded design research communities.

What did we learn?

Students were intrigued by how they could use storytelling as a way to do research. Aside from this, we had very interesting discussions on the fact that designers are not just storytellers, they are story creators. They are not ‘just’ journalists capturing a story, but they try to intervene and create social change by using the input of the stories.



Exhibition Design Research at Dutch Design Week & Radio Emma

During Dutch Design Week 2014 we built an exhibition studio and paired it with the DAE student radio channel, Emma. The exhibition showed the research process and outcomes by several Research Associates in the Readership, with a very prominent role for the Super-Maker project on elevated printing, run by design researcher Karianne Rygh and students. Next to that, we hosted daily radio conversations to discuss the outcomes of our research with the experts we worked with, as well as with the audience. These recordings were also picked up by other radio channels in Eindhoven and Dutch Design Daily, the tabloid produced during the Dutch Design Week. Presenting research in such a lively workin-progress environment communicated effectively that design research is an on-going progress and that the designed outcomes are often starting points for new research.

What did we learn?

We came to understand that these conversations parallel with the exhibit were a perfect means to communicate the various layers of design research. The conversations were also an ideal moment to reflect on the process with all the partners involved. Such a setting with open dialogues gave a very good impression of the daily context of ‘doing’ research.



Design Debates and Dialogues

In the first two years of the Readership we involved the Research Associates as well as partners of the CRISP programme in DAE’s Design Debates programme, a monthly compulsory programme for bachelor students. During Dutch Design Week and the Salone del Mobile in Milan we involved students in setting up the dialogues, and towards the end of the CRISP programme we organised an internal design research symposium at DAE where we presented the design research lexicon created with the Knowledge Circle (see chapter 2).

What did we learn?

On such an international platform as the ­Salone, which is very much centered on product design, it was very inspiring to discuss these new design directions and get feedback from the design community.



Academic design research conferences and workshops

With the ambition to create academic knowledge through design it was essential to get involved in more academic settings. Therefore we encouraged the Research Associates to write academic papers for design research conferences. Over the last four years we managed to participate in more than 20 conferences, either by presenting papers or leading workshops. Participating in these conferences was very important to inform the international design research community about the work done in Eindhoven and it built and reinforced international relationships. These conferences were also very informative for our Research Associates to present their work in a more formal setting and get feedback from expert peers. With Daijiro Mizuno (Keio University SFC, Tokyo), Waag Society and STBY we organised two master classes open to designers and academics.

What did we learn?

The presentations were generally very well received for their 足content and for their strong visual quality. The workshops were always 足supported with carefully designed materials and were considered very 足 engaging by the audience. These experiences helped the Research Associates to position their work in an international academic design research context, and find new peers and create new networks for 足furthering their work.



Design Review Sessions and CRISP magazines

Every six months the Knowledge ­ Transfer Office programmed an internal ­ conference called Design Review Session, with the main goal to communicate progress, ideas, results, failures and concerns between the CRISP projects. This meant that a CRISP commu­ nity emerged of people who got to know each o ­ ther’s work well to the level that they were influenced by it. Research Associates and the Readership were always present with presentations and workshops. At the last five D ­ esign Review Sessions a new CRISP magazine was presented, with themes such as Prototyping and Value Matters, aimed at the Dutch creative industry, its clients and policy-makers in Dutch government. Bas ­Raijmakers and Daniëlle Arets also co-edited several issues.

What did we learn?

“These magazines were an easy read for someone who has just a little of knowledge of what is going on in design research”, said Marjan Hammersma, director-general of the Ministry of Education and Culture stated at the final CRISP conference, in June 2015. They filled a gap between academic publications and professional design magazines. The Design Review Sessions were very helpful to build a community with the researchers of the institutes and industrial partners involved.



Strategic Creativity publication series

Every Research Associate project resulted in a publication, edited and partly written by the Research Associate. Daniëlle Arets, Bas ­ Raijmakers and Ellen Zoete acted as ­co-editors. The nine publications that preceded number ten of the series contain articles on the process, the outcomes and reflections by the authors and the experts with whom they worked. The reflection part was in particular very important to the researchers, to help them understand the role they took in the process, and how their field of research c­ onnects to existing academic fields. As a result the series became an exploration into how designers can create knowledge through doing design. As such, the series is very useful for both education and designers in the c­ reative industry who want to engage more with design research.

What did we learn?

The publications were a great calling card for Research Associates to connect with design researchers they valued, by asking them for a contribution that often contextualised the work of the Research Associate in the design research field. The publications also helped Research ­ Associates to present a particular perspective on their work.


Communication activities of the Strategic Creativity Readership during CRISP (2011-2015)

The Readership presented peer-reviewed papers at 15 (inter)national conferences: - HAID, Gothenburg (2011) - Ambient Assisting Living Forum, Eindhoven (2012) - Cumulus, Helsinki (2012) - Disruptive Interactions, Lugano (2012) - Nordes, Copenhagen (2013) - Systemic Design Conference Oslo, Oslo (2013) - Design for Health, Sheffield (2013) - Games for Health Europe, Amsterdam (2013) - IASDR, Tokyo (2013) - Design Principles and Practices (DPP), Vancouver (2014) - ServDes, Lancaster (2014) - Design Research Society, Ume책 (2014) - Designing Critical Messages, Plymouth (2014) - PIN-C, The Hague (2015) - Design Anthropological Futures, Copenhagen (2015)


We delivered dozens of workshops in the projects, these are some for an audience outside CRISP: - - - - - -

International Service Design Network Conference, San Francisco (2011) Design and Emotion, London (2012) Service Design and Tourism, Innsbruck (2012) What Design Can Do, Amsterdam (2012 & 2013) Play the Future!, with Ranj, IJsfontein and Monobanda, Utrecht (2013) The Power of PSS, with Daijiro Mizuno and Waag Society, Amsterdam (2014)

We organised many workshops and presentations for design students - - - - - - - - -

Design Debates with Marc Stickdorn, Tobie Kerridge, Christian Nold and Lucy Kimbell, Eindhoven (2012-2013) Lecture and workshops at KABK Den Haag, Den Haag (2012, 2013) Lecture at Hogeschool van Amsterdam, Amsterdam (2013) DESIS Storytelling philosophy talks at Design Academy Eindhoven, MAD faculty Genk, Politecnico Milano (2013 - 2104) Lecture at Keio University SFC, Tokyo (2014) Lecture at Kyoto University, Kyoto (2014) Lecture at Artez, Arnhem (2014) Lecture at HKU, Utrecht (2014) Seven Design Research Spaces in collaboration with students from TU Delft and TU Eindhoven (2011-2015)

We set up or contributed to the following exhibitions and platforms - Graduation Show, Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven (2012-2015) - Designhuis, Eindhoven (2012) - Design United, Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven (2013) - Mind the Step, Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven (2014) - Heat hand design, Eindhoven and Taipei (2013, 2014) - Design & Health exhibition, Eindhoven (2014) - Feral Experimental: New Design Thinking, Sydney (2014) - CRISP Shakes It Off, Rotterdam (2015)

65 (see page 19)


Map Noun

1. A diagrammatic representation of an area of land or sea showing physical features, cities, roads, etc. 1.1 A diagram or collection of data showing the spatial arrangement or distribution of something over an area.


1. Represent (an area) on a map; make a map of (...). 1.1 Record in detail the spatial distribution (of something).1

At Design Academy Eindhoven, mapping is used as both a research and a manifestation and communication tool. As a research tool, mapping is used to analyse spaces, such as cities, landscapes or specific sites, through the collecting and ordering of data. Mapping can be termed a manifestation and communication tool when data is ordered and visually represented in a map that can be discussed, compared, and shared or disseminated. The map is a graphic format that is first and foremost read and understood in a visual way, making it a particularly suitable format for designers. definition/english/map



Collective mapping of public performers, old town square Prague. 24th of June 15:30 p.m. Turquoise = Officials, Blue = Segway, Green = People selling things, Gold = Babies.

Naomi Bueno de Mesquita, Between Realities: collective mapping of public space Research Associate in TRADERS multiple performative mapping project, 2015 (ongoing) http://performativemapping. com/between-realities-collective-mapping-of-public-space/

Between​R ​ ealities is a series of mapping sessions to visualise, negotiate and reflect upon imaginative coping strategies in public space using a mobile phone. Participants are scattered around the city centre while they collectively map qualities of public space​t​ hat enable and/or disable certain coping strategies. This introduces the participants to a novel way of studying, and engaging with public space

Image: Naomi Bueno de Mesquita

as well as the opportunities that arise from it.


Michelle Baggerman Designer/ Researcher at Bureau Baggerman Docent Lector Beatrix College Tilburg Project Researcher at Kyoto Institute of Technology Research Associate for CRISP at Design Academy Eindhoven (February 2012 - March 2013)

How did you experience your time as a Research Associate at DAE in CRISP?

Becoming a CRISP Research Associate at Design Academy Eindhoven felt like

moving to an exciting new city. My horizon as a designer suddenly broadened, but at the same time I could focus more on one particular aspect of my practice: creating and sharing knowledge through design. It was very interesting to work in a multidisciplinary team where everyone had their own research focus, but also contributed to a shared goal. The different agendas would on occasion complicate and confuse things, but our research outcomes benefitted from this diversity. The team at DAE provided a safe ­haven with like-minded people who stimulated and challenged each other and acted as a sounding board.

What is the biggest strength of design research at Design Academy Eindhoven in your view?

I think research is in the DNA of DAE, although we’re only just starting to recog-

nise that. DAE students are taught to have a flexible attitude, an open mind and sensitive intuition, which allows them to jump into almost any project, quickly distil its essence and navigate tricky challenges. Taking a more academic approach and participating in projects such as CRISP brings these innate skills to the forefront and allows them to become more defined and refined.

How did the Research Associateship help you to build a career as design researcher?

The most important thing for me in any job or project is that it allows me to learn,

develop and grow. My Research Associate experience has helped me to see opportunities I would not have recognised earlier. Before CRISP I was working mostly for industry and on self-initiated projects where research certainly played a role, but was never a goal in itself. I’ve now been empowered to make my favourite part of the design process – researching concepts, testing and experimenting – a key component of my work and expand my practice into academia and education. I had not seen any of my peers do that before CRISP.


Where to go next?

Design as a discipline is expanding its borders and is connecting to many other disciplines in new ways. The CRISP programme is only one example of this development. Much of the proliferation of design happens through new design activities that create knowledge about where design is going and can potentially go. Given its history, Design Academy Eindhoven must be at the forefront of such explorations, and it is. ‘Redefining Design’ is one of the key directions set in the current vision of the academy, formulated by chairman of the board, Thomas Widdershoven, and strongly supported by students and tutors. Design research at DAE in collaborations with other academic institutions and industry and societal partners will be crucial to redefining design, for it will create the knowledge that is needed to help shape the future of design. The design research lexicon that has been developed by the ‘Knowledge Circle’ of the Readerships at DAE in brings this all together and opens up the conversation about design research to the academy as a whole. We have also started to use this resource in joint projects with external partners of the academy, with the Dutch Science Museum NEMO in the summer of 2015, for instance, where it proved to be a great tool to trigger conversations on various ways of doing research. At DAE, for a large part through the CRISP programme, we have explored ‘thinking-though-making’ as our own vision on design research and turned it into nine projects that now have designs and publications that together express new design knowledge as is documented in this book series. This is our contribution to academic knowledge, to design education and to innovation in industry and society. It contains several new meanings of design in society and the economy. But we are by no means done yet. The past four years have created a solid basis to continue. Design research is now being integrated structurally in the academy, with its own budget and design researchers on the payroll and a formal connection with education through the above-mentioned Knowledge Circle. This Circle, comprised of key people from across the academy, has also produced advice on how to further


integrate design research in the curriculum of the academy with a new minor programme that has already started this year. The experience with ­involving DAE students in academic design research projects with many ­ partners through the Design Research Spaces over the past four years provided a s­ olid basis for this advice. The eagerness of the students and tutors involved in the Design Research Spaces to continue to work with the thinking-through-­ making approach and design research after attending Design Research Spaces emphasises the need to develop a clearer position for design research in the educational programme. Reader Bas Raijmakers and Associate Reader Daniëlle Arets have each accepted a new four-year contract for 2015-2019, while Daniëlle Arets also embarked on a PhD study in collaboration with TU/e in 2015. The second Reader at the academy, David Hamers, started a EU-funded international project in 2013 (TRADERS) that is set to continue into 2017. New collaborations with partners in academia, society and industry are being set up, or have already started, building on the successful Research Associate model. Our ambition as the Strategic Creativity Readership is to use the coming four years; to use this model as a lever to further develop Design Research at DAE to make a major contribution to redefining design, at our school and in the design research community around the world. Collaborations between academic knowledge institutes such as our own, and industry and society partners, are particularly interesting to us because we would like to make a difference outside academia as well. After all, that is where the future of our students lies and where they will have to make a difference as designers in the future. With the Strategic Creativity Readership, we aim to support them in achieving this goal.

If you would like to join us on our Design Research journey, please, do get in touch. Bas Raijmakers PhD (RCA), Reader Strategic Creativity Daniëlle Arets, Associate Reader Strategic Creativity


Prof. dr. Aarnout Brombacher

Dean Department of Industrial Design CRISP partner University of Technology Eindhoven

How did you get to know/work with the Readership?

During the four CRISP years, I chaired the Programme Committee which oversaw

the execution of all projects. DAE Reader Bas Raijmakers was also part of that committee. In this role, I have been able to monitor and interrogate the work of the DAE Research Associates in six of the CRISP projects.

What is the biggest strength of design research at DAE in your view?

Design Academy Eindhoven provided a most valuable contribution especially with

“out of the box” ideas and concepts. The Research Associates are highly appreciated creative people that certainly added a new dimension to the program.

What do you see as the legacy of CRISP work by the Readership?

The most interesting legacy from CRISP I consider the network that has been

­established and that is now fully operational. It would be a most valuable asset for the ­Netherlands if this network could be maintained and extended in the future. Especially the strong connective and communicative capabilities from the readership have been of tremendous value!



Contributor biographies

drs Daniëlle Arets

Associate Reader (Associate Lector) in the Readership (Lectoraat) ­Strategic Creativity, Daniëlle Arets led the CRISP programme at DAE with Bas Raijmakers for the four-year duration. She was also instrumental in the ­ ­Knowledge Transfer Office of CRISP. Her preferred method is via p ­ ublic debates and dialogues, an area she is currently exploring for her PhD ­ ­research. She was editor of the Strategic Creativity Series, with Bas Raijmakers and ­Ellen Zoete. — Strategic Creativity Series no. 10, Thinking-Through-Making

Michelle Baggerman BA

Michelle Baggerman was Research Associate in the Smart Textile Services project within CRISP, and combined her research with design work at her studio, Bureau Baggerman. She graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven in the Man & Leisure department in 2009 with Precious Waste, where she explored low-tech textiles, using plastic bags as a raw material. She uses her fascination for textile crafts to form the starting point for explorations in the CRISP project, Smart Textile Services. — Strategic Creativity Series no. 1, Social Fabric

Alessia Cadamuro BA MDes

Alessia Cadamuro is a researcher and designer who brings a strong sense of empathy and humanity to her work, to co-create solutions focussing on real people with real histories. Alessia completed her Bachelor in Architecture at I.U.A.V. of Venice, and later obtained her MDes at the Man and Humanity department DAE. As part of CRISP she was involved as a Research Associate in the G-Motiv project. In 2015 she started a PhD in Design at Open University, UK. — Strategic Creativity Series no. 3, What Remains?


Susana Cámara Leret BA MDes

Susana Cámara Leret’s work concerns a trans-disciplinary and experimental practice, creating stories that explore things possible. This materialises through multi-disciplinary collaborations with experts from the life sciences to computer sciences. During her Research Associateship within CRISP she took part in the G-Motiv project. In 2014 he co-founded THOUGHT ­COLLIDER, an Amsterdam based experimental, critical art / design research practice, with Mike Thompson, who was also a CRISP Research Associate. — Strategic Creativity Series no. 4, Kindred Spirits

Heather Daam BA MDes

Heather Daam is a designer and design researcher who works with people. She believes in different disciplines sharing knowledge towards a common goal, and in empowering people as experts of their own knowledge and experience. Her interest is to understand the role a designer plays in involving different people and stakeholders into the design process. She was involved in the CRISP project Grey but Mobile. — Strategic Creativity Series no. 7, Moving Stories

Maartje van Gestel BA

Maartje van Gestel is a visual design researcher, using photography and ­video to document, analyse and communicate her research. Her work revolves around finding opportunities to improve peoples’ lives, an interest she used in various projects in the healthcare and aged care fields. She teaches young designers at DAE how to analyse the world around them and how to bring their insights into their design processes. She is also a portrait photographer and was involved in the CRISP project, Grey but Mobile. — Strategic Creativity Series no. 9, Empathy Through a Lens Dr. David Hamers

David Hamers is a spatial researcher trained as a cultural theorist and economist. He obtained his PhD from Maastricht University in 2003. Since then, David has been working as a researcher in the field of urbanisation. He is a senior researcher for Urban Areas at PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment


Agency in The Hague. Since 2009 he has been a Reader (lector) for City and Countryside (named Places and Traces since 2015) at DAE. While David did not have a formal role in CRISP, he coached Heather Daam and Maartje van Gestel in the Grey but Mobile project.

Cynthia Hathaway BA MDes

Cynthia Hathaway is a design educator, creative consultant and designer. Her focus includes design research, concept development and final designs, often based on social themes. Many of Cynthia’s projects are reliant upon, and reflective of, a co-creative and collaborative relationship with individuals, groups or communities. Cynthia participated for several months in the CRISP project, CASD, as a Research Associate.

Marijn van der Poll BA MS

Marijn van der Poll graduated from Design Academy in Eindhoven in 2002. He has more than ten years experience as a product designer, has taught at DAE since 2009, and is co-founder of vanderPolloffice, a multi-disciplinary design studio. He completed his Master of Science degree in 2015 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with his thesis on conceptual thinking. Marijn participated for several months in the CRISP project, Grey but Mobile, as a Research Associate.

Dr. Bas Raijmakers PhD (RCA)

Bas Raijmakers is Reader in Strategic Creativity at DAE and led the CRISP programme for DAE with Daniëlle Arets. With her and Ellen Zoete, he also formed the editorial team of the Strategic Creativity Series. His main passion is to bring the people for whom we design into design and innovation processes, using visual storytelling. He holds a PhD in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art and is co-founder and Creative Director of STBY in London and Amsterdam: a design research consultancy specialised in service innovation. — Strategic Creativity Series no. 10, Thinking-Through-Making


Karianne Rygh BDes MDes

Karianne Rygh is a designer and researcher with an interest in how designers can take on more strategic roles in changing mindsets by taking an inter-disciplinary and systemic approach to exploring encounters between people and design. For more than two years, she combined her work as a Research Associate in the CRISP projects, PSS101 and CASD, with design work at Studio Rygh. She worked previously in governmental institutions in Norway and has professional design experience in large organisations. — Strategic Creativity Series no. 7, Value Pursuit — Strategic Creativity Series no. 8, Super-Maker

Mike Thompson BA MDes

Mike Thompson was the first Research Associate at DAE and within the CRISP project, GRIP. He sees design as a tool to confront and reframe societal norms and preconceptions. His work investigates themes such as energy, biotechnology, health care and Big Data. In 2014 he co-founded THOUGHT COLLIDER, an Amsterdam based experimental, critical art / design research practice, with Susana Cámara Leret, who was also a CRISP Research Associate. Mike also teaches at various institutes including TU/e, Willem de Kooning Academy and DAE. — Strategic Creativity Series no. 5, Stressed Out

Joris Visser BA

Joris Visser is an independent designer, ‘word breeder’ and creative c­ onsultant. With combined knowledge in the fields of design, technology, new media and communication he creates creative solutions for various customers in the Netherlands and abroad. After graduating from DAE in 2007, he ­founded a ­design studio. His project ‘Sculptaal’, about designing words, kicked off in 2007 with a book containing 650 newly designed Dutch words. Joris ­participated for several months in the CRISP project, Grey but Mobile, as a Research Associate.

Jonathan Wray BA MDes

Jonathan Wray graduated with a BA in furniture design from Buckinghamshire


University, and went on to pursue a Masters degree in the Man & Humanity department at DAE. He researches the intangible characteristics of objects and human Interaction rather than objects’ form and function. Jonathan has been explored these intangible characteristics as a Research Associate at DAE as part of the CRISP project, CASD, as well. — Strategic Creativity Series no. 3, The play’s the thing

Ellen Zoete BA MA

Design writer and curator, Ellen Zoete, graduated in 2007 from DAE. She received her Masters title from Design Writing Criticism at the London College of Communication. Within CRISP she worked as Knowledge Transfer Officer on the internal and external events of the programme. She is the producer of the Strategic Creativity Series, and completes its editorial team alongside Daniëlle Arets and Bas Raijmakers. — Strategic Creativity Series no. 1-10


Colophon Thinking-through-making The Readership in Strategic Creativity at Design Academy Eindhoven Editors:

Bas Raijmakers and Daniëlle Arets

Editorial team: Daniëlle Arets, Bas Raijmakers, Ellen Zoete Proofreader:

Jane Hardjono

Graphic design: HeyHeydeHaas Printed by:

Snep, Eindhoven



The Readership in Strategic Creativity has collaborated with many students and tutors at Design Academy Eindhoven and 60 organisations in the CRISP programme. Special thanks to:

Ellen Zoete who coordinated the production of this publication series. The 11 Research Associates who led projects within the CRISP programme from 2011 to 2015: Michelle Baggerman, Alessia Cadamuro, Susana Cámara Leret, Heather Daam, Maartje van Gestel, Cynthia Hathaway, Marijn van der Poll, Karianne Rygh, Mike Thompson, Joris Visser and Jonathan Wray. The supporting staff at Design Academy Eindhoven over the last 4 years, 2011 – 2015. Images:

Readership Strategic Creativity members unless indicated otherwise.



Design Academy Eindhoven Emmasingel 14 Eindhoven, The Netherlands email: ISBN: 978-94-91400-25-4 Price: 10 euro Readership Strategic Creativity, 2015 Reader (Lector): Dr Bas Raijmakers PhD (RCA) Associate Reader (Associate Lector): Drs Daniëlle Arets Visiting Research Fellow: Ré Dubhthaigh MA (RCA) Research Associates: Michelle Baggerman BA, Alessia Cadamuro MDes,

Heather Daam MDes, Maartje van Gestel BA, Susana Camara Leret MDes, Karianne Rygh MDes, Mike Thompson MDes, Jonathan Wray MDes The Readership Strategic Creativity is partly funded within the Creative Industry Scientific Programme (CRISP). CRISP is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. CRISP:

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-­ NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. © 2015 Bas Raijmakers and Daniëlle Arets.




CRISP (Creative Industry Scientific Programme, 2011-2015) was the first large scale programme that put design at the heart of government-funded innovation in the Netherlands. It explored how design can play a strategic role in Dutch society and the economy, by using design methods and approaches to collaborate with people and organisations outside the design discipline itself. Design Academy Eindhoven and the three Dutch technical universities acted as programme co-founders. Putting Product Service Systems at the heart of the programme required designers to think and work more broadly and more strategically in response to large-scale societal challenges such as the growing need for care in an ageing society and the disruption of traditional industries. At Design Academy Eindhoven we used design in new ways to address these challenges. Thinking-throughmaking presents the lessons we learned. This publication concludes a series of ten publications of the Readership in Strategic Creativity at Design Academy Eindhoven on its contribution to the CRISP programme. The Readership explores how designers trained at Design Academy Eindhoven can create academic knowledge through design.

Bas Raijmakers PhD (RCA) Reader in Strategic Creativity at Design Academy Eindhoven

Strategic Creativity Series #10: Thinking Through Making  

CRISP (Creative Industry Scientific Programme, 2011-2015) was the first large scale programme that put design at the heart of government-fun...

Strategic Creativity Series #10: Thinking Through Making  

CRISP (Creative Industry Scientific Programme, 2011-2015) was the first large scale programme that put design at the heart of government-fun...