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“It is necessary to be able to “I’ve had quite a lot experience with this area, because of the projects we


did at secondary school and the fact that I was the executive editor of the school paper. Though I still need to work on it a lot.”


work with others, which is very important in almost everything you do, especially in this

dynamic learning system, so I see it as a primary issue to improve in them.”

“It seemed to me like the part of design. Interesting, but a little vague.”

“This sounded like trouble for me, but it will be very useful. So I will have to work on that.”

“This is in my opinion

“It can be difficult for me, because I often

the most

important and extensive

competency area, it’s like the this faculty. ”

fuel of

have a

lack of focus. ”

> CA Day 12-10-10 On this day we first had a lecture. The workshop Meeting Skills was mentioned, we have already done that one with our Project Group. We were asked why we were there, we watched a educational movie with John Cleese and had to do a meeting with the students there. Our group was honest about their pitfalls which helped us to get some feedback and keep each

other’s weaknesses in mind. It gave a common goal: improve our meetings, which is essential for teamwork. We had to do a had to do a some self-study on the basics of Traditional Presenting and Pitching, Scientific and Personal Writing and Teamwork. Because our team leader is a senior, a student from another project group joined in.

Design & Research Processes > CA Day 6-10-10 On that day I was sick, so I asked a fellow student for help, we discussed the slides of the lecture and the assignment. The overall idea I got was that the day was kind of vague and very deep for a first introduction. I talked about this with another lecturer, and told me that Matthias Rauterberg wants to show that you need a certain level of thinking on this level of education. I agree with that, it’s important to

learn to deal with complex material. Though the question was if this tells something about him personally or about the Competency Area Design & Research Processes. I tried to compare the slides with the description in the booklet ‘Eindhoven Designs’ but I’m still quesioning it. > Project I also tried to compare the description in the booklet ‘Eindhoven Designs’ with the things I learned during the project.

Someone in our group told me about the book Life is a Pitch, where is explained that you need to convince on an emotional level. Because we cannot predict the future our decisions aren’t just based on reason. Another thing I learned is how important sources are for scientific writing. During the lecture a student mentioned something about ‘the hamburger principle’, start and end a critical comment with a compliment. We tried

to use this in the two hour conversation we had on Teamwork and it really worked. One thing I learned is how important it is to be clear and to the point, the student from the other group solved a problem in our Project Group we’ve had for weeks by doing so. To me this informal evaluation made the day of Teamwork & Communication the most useful one of the whole assignment.

Something I recognize is the fact that every project needs it’s own design and research process, there is not one way to do it. The first time I recognized this was because of a drawing my group leader made. He showed with a sketch that you could go from A to B in a straight line but that it is better to take a spiral, reflective way of working. But it really became clear during the Midterm Presentations of all the project groups in my theme when I saw all the different ways of approach.

7-9-10 We started with a test on learning styles, but this didn’t really work for me. I recognized myself in a lot of things and the results weren’t that specific too. After that we had to do a group assignment: design something to make a presenter feel less nervous. This day was my first experience with Competency-centered Learn-

ing, and I was a little frustrated because I thought that I wasn’t really learning that much. I discussed this with my lecturer, he started a discussion with the whole group which helped me to think more careful. I noticed that I learned quite much about documenting and reflecting and about learning itself, to ask yourself by every step you take: how does this contribute to my development?

Teamwork & Communication

5-10-10 The lecture that day actually gave me a total different perception of what math can mean to people. I loved the simple but strong example of a algebraic model of the love between Rome & Juliet. It is wonderful how you can predict things. It was very interesting to see how plain things can get abstract by such exact science. I think I didn’t like Math at secondary school because of the fact that you had no idea how you could use it in every life. I also didn’t like the way of thinking, that there is just one solution for one problem. But now I saw how practical Math can be for me as a designer. This day definitely changed my view, although Math might still be hard for me I feel much more motivated to work on it.

> Future To get more grip on process I want to learn from our project process and from my personal design process for my showcase to become. I’m very curious to see how I’m going to recognize all philosophical and mathematical aspects of this Competency Area during my development.

21-9-10 This was the first day I really experienced stress. We had to make two chapters of our booklet in less than two hours and I had no idea where to start. Although I didn’t seem productive at all I actually learned a lot about myself that day. I tried to seek for a place that would helped me to calm down and noticed that I work best if I have a broad view, for example behind a window, with no direct distrac-

> Future My goal is to improve my meeting skills, because I tend to speak too much or be distracted. I want to have a constructive involvement for all participants, including myself. I am an outspoken person but when I have the feeling that I can possibly offend someone or feel offended myself, it’s hard for me to stay clear and honest. Most of the time I have a lot of thoughts flying around and although this helps me to be open-minded it can also confuse me, especially within teamwork. I need to learn how to deal with conflicts.

> CA Day

Self-directed & Continuous Learning

> CA Day’s

> Project Teamwork was a difficulty within the project, because our coach changed the division within the group more according to our weaknesses. But now it’s much better, I learned that I should work on my sense of responsibility, I am afraid to lose control. Because of the fact that we have an international project group, communication is a problem too sometimes. But I learned that it can be very useful to work with visuals instead of words, although I found out that I personally prefer words, something I didn’t know from myself when I had to fill it in with the learning style test.

tions but a lot of indirect things to inspire me. I need to enter a different world, a different state of mind, to be concentrated and to reach that point I change my input, I want to sit behind a window, put some music on my ears and have something to eat or drink. I always want to get an overview of things, I want to know more than just what I’m doing, also why I’m doing it. I got more inspired by words than images, I always want to create

I got more inspired by words than images, I always want to create (new) words for things, it gives me more grip and understanding on what I’m doing (concreting), but also more change to come up with new ideas and create a vision (abstracting). They are just more stimulating, if I see pictures they often got stuck in my head, I quit thinking, but words really inspire me. I’m an analytical person, I always wanted to create structures, organize stuff, things like that. Actually, that tendency is a kind of surviving strategy to get a grip on the never-ending stream of thoughts and feelings going on in my head. With the learning test I wasn’t able to fill in a thing, but sitting behind this window a lot things became clear to me about myself. Because of that, this day was for me the best example

of Self-directed & Continuous Learning. 13-10-10 We had the ability to share our ideas on the final chapter of the booklet with each other and the coach. To me, this was very calming. The ability to share these thoughts, get feedback, feel how we’re all facing overlapping problems and trying to reach the same goal was really inspiring to me. This day was really like having a breath and taking a step back, now I’ve experienced how important that is. Because I have a lot of question questions and I am really eager to find the answers it’s not hard for me to keep learning.

Descriptive & Mathematical Modeling

> Project First I thought that we haven’t done anything yet with this Competency Area in our Project, but we have actually. We did some calculations on concepts that we came up with to see if they were possible and to do so we had to make models of our concepts. The formulas themselves weren’t new to me, but I learned how useful it is to combine creativity with math, also in a very early state of the design process.

> Project We have done a lot of things together as a group which was useful to have a common understanding of the project and to get to know each other better. But it also slows you down a little and therefore we tried to do some more individual work. This helps to learn more about yourself, about the way you learn and work. and it gives the ability to give and get really personal feedback. > Future My aim is to be more efficient and structured in my documenting and reflecting style. Some people have a hard time to start with documenting and reflecting, but I have problems with focusing and finishing it. I want be more efficient and productive in dealing with time, because I tend to delay everything. With making this booklet, I proved that part of me again.

> Future In my project group I have two guys that really enjoy Exact Science, and want to learn from their approach. Furthermore, I want to improve my prototyping skills.

Ideas & Concepts > CA Day 8-9-10 One really important thing I learned that day was that you’ll never be done with the design process, no solution is final. The challenge is to know where to stop and still be open for constant reflection. We really had that problem in our approach, we got stuck because we want to solve everything problem that came to mind and add every feature we came up with.

We had to act out how our system worked, to combine the action of the user with the reaction product. I learned that it very important how you present your idea, it can break it even if it’s good on itself. > Project The discussions with my project group and the coach learned me that the difference between ideas and concepts can be very unclear.

User Focus & Perspective > CA Day 15-9-10 During the lecture I learned some things about the differences between Usability and Usefullness, and between Technology- and Userfocused Design. We had to collect examples of bad designs. Because of the amount of products, we went to the MediaMarkt. By chance, we met a Bachelor student from ID over there and had an interesting conversation with him. He

told us that there is really much design that isn’t really userfocused. A lot of products can be much more intuitive, easy to use and even cheaper. That opened my eyes to look at all those products from a complete different perspective. Imagine yourself to be a senior citizen, ignorant of all the new technology. How would you try to play some music?

Designing Business Processes > CA Day 22-9-10 First I thought that this would be all about money, therefore it was very interesting to see that the lecturer used an example of a non-profit organization. Financial thinking has never attracted me that much, but now it became clear to me that this Competency is just all about thinking of the value of your project for everyone that notices the influence of your product. It

actually helps you to think about the advantage of your product in different directions and on different levels, which gives you the opportunity to come up with even greater things. It is the only way to get your idea off the ground.

You need a constant switch between the concrete and abstract level to keep grip on the process. Furthermore, you need to go back in time sometimes, a spiral way of working is more productive than a straight line because it is reflective. My project coach learned me that this faculty wants students to create opportunities instead of just solving problems. It is very important to have an open mind, to not limit yourself by practical issues. > Future Sketching is a thing I want to develop further although I have some experience with it. I want to be able to make a clear expression of my intentions an develop my own style.

> Project In our project we are the user, because we’re designing for students. Therefore we should avoid focussing too much on the things you prefer personally. An insight I got during the project is that it can be really useful for the idea generation to study human behaviour. Learn the product how to fit the user, instead of learning the user how to fit the product. This way of thinking might seem limited, but provides a lot of designing opportunities. If you let people interact with your prototypes without telling them what to do, total new functions can come up you’d have never thought of yourself. > Future We’re in contact with our users all the time with our project, but I’m looking forward to more concrete, thorough user-centered research.

> Project I noticed that there is a difference between our client and our user. Our client is the staff of the university but students are the users. It means that we have to convince the staff to invest in our product and the students to use it. After I shared this with my coach he gave me the example of napkins, parents buy them, babies use them. Insights like these are a good starting point to think of a business model. > Future I think this Competency Area is really useful for me, because my lack of financial thinking might be the missing link in the future why my ideas won’t sell. Within our project we will have to design a business model and I think this will help me.

Integrating Technology > CA Day 14-9-10 The assignment was to solder a system. First off, I had no idea how to start. Because we worked together, I actually learned something about Teamwork & Communication. I learned that I like to work very structured and precise, just as the colleague student. Although it was pleasant working, we didn’t finish our system because of that. I learned that it is very important to work

time-related and be aware of the fact if it is necessary what you’re doing. The coach told me that that day was about getting an introduction the way of thinking of engineers. Indeed I learned something about that because I did something totally new and we had to figure it out on ourselves.

Social Cultural Awareness > CA Day 28-9-10 During the lecture I noticed that it this Competency Area is about quite sensitive aspects of society and that ‘awareness’ is always relative because of the subjective character of national identity, what culture is all about. An engineer had a speech about his project in China, the Dutch Pavilion, but the audience thought the Pavilion wasn’t that Dutch at all. After this, we had to

design the Dutch Pavilion for an imaginary World Expo in Africa. We had to work with our general knowledge and some research we did on the internet. If you do so, it happens quite easily to fall into clichés. We had a beautiful concept at the end of the day, but to be honest, I felt like we lacked the Social Cultural Awareness which this day was about.

Form & Senses > CA Day We had to design a lamp with a period in mind: Renaissance. Of course this sounds more like Social Cultural Awareness, but the aim was that you should design something based on an interaction as an abstract expression of that period. The actual form was more like a result of the sensual part of the design and I really enjoyed that way of working. The feedback we got from the coaches during the was a little

confusing but we succeeded to work with it by really understanding what they were trying to say and keeping it simple. I learned a lot about presentation skills. A collage for example is more than a collection of images, the whole thing should communicate on its own. The most interesting comment to me was that we should “get back to our senses, get rid of what people created, back to the naked world.” This was really inspiring.

> Project We tried to find a way to make our concepts possible and did research on mechanisms that would do so. That was very interesting, to see how things actually work. First I thought that thinking too much on the technological part of the design would just narrow your mind down, because a lot engineers think very practical and realistic. But I found out that working with and thinking about technology actually helps you to think of totally new directions, especially if you focus on the opportunities more than the problems involved. > Future I want to improve myself in programming first, I will have an assignment on that. The technical part of design is a problem for me, I have always had some trouble with Exact Science.

> Project In our project, we should keep the image of TU/e and Campus 2020 in mind. What I learned about working with these social cultural boundaries is that you really have to do although you might think that you know quite much about it. > Future Sustainable design is getting more and more attention over the world, especially in the Western world, and that’s one reason why I want to gain more knowledge about it and the principle of Cradle to Cradle.

> Project When we were trying to define directions for our project that is about working outdoors, we thought of ideas that were all about changing the perception of the user. For example we came up with things to make people enjoy the rain by changing their perception of grey into vivid colors. We actually made a ‘Wall of Sense’ out of cardboard, isolating material and some tape where you can get different senses stimulated. This way of thinking really helps you with the idea generating, > Future Because I already know quite much about the basics of aesthetics, I’d like to go deeper into this Competency Area.


“It reminded me of Computer Science, a subject I had at school. I thought it


would be , but probably quite difficult for me because I am not that technical.”

“Because culture, history and

With the lay-out of this booklet I tried to express my impression of Competency-Centered Learning. The words on the backside are the connections between those two. The drawing on the front I made on an Assignment Day, it was my first try to visualize the competency areas. I was actually thinking of how my booklet describes my growth as a designer. It reminded me of flowers and suddenly the word ‘Bouqluet’ came to mind. The sun is an expression of Self-Directed & Continuous Learning, I think it is like the energy source of your whole growth as a designer and the department itself. Teamwork & Communication is like rain, you need it for growth, but sometimes it can be frustrating.

The Design & Research Process is like the breeding ground of design, it keeps everything in place and gives the opportunity to realize your ideas. Descriptive & Mathematical Modelling is like a flower pot, a thing we as people use to make nature more understandable and controllable. The leaves of the flowers stand for the other Competency Areas.


intrigue me, this made me feel

But although ‘ ’ sounds quite emotional, I thought that


I think the most useful thing about DG000 is that you have to make a booklet, that is based on your identity. Output needs input and translation, so you must have learned a lot. Within this assignment, you have to get to know yourself in a way you never did before within a system that is totally new too. Therefore, and because I spend a lot of time feeling and thinking, it was hard to keep my reflections up to date.

During the of Ideas & Concepts we had to act out the use of our product, which learned me more about User Focus & Perspective. Almost every Competency Area can help you with idea generating. And because we worked in teams, I learned something about Teamwork & Communication almost every day. The booklet ‘Eindhoven Designs’ is a nice back-up, but I’m glad that I first tried to define the system on my own by trying it out. After doing so I remember Diana Vinke saying that this learning system is not about getting the knowledge from the teacher’s head into the student’s. It’s about self-directed growth, being your own teacher. It also reminded me of the ‘learning by doing’ quote from one of the coaches.

DG000 - overall reflection

here at ID are about much more than just that.”

lots of research would be involved in this area.”

> Connections between CA’s Because of my lack of focus I always work on different subjects and levels. It can be very annoying sometimes, but during this assignment I saw also a lot of pros of this tendency. It helps to see more connections between what you’re doing.


new ideas. ”

“It seemed very interesting, I love the empathic part of design.


“It sounded like shaping to me. Though because of my visits to the TU/e in the past few years I knew that

“Obvious, designing is all about

“This reminded me of a subject I had at school,

Management & Organization, it sounded a little boring on the one hand, but

necessary on the other.”

> Reflecting on lay-out booklet My Competency Coach gave me the advise to be aware of unexpected insights, this helped me when I found out that I learned a lot about the way I made my booklet. I like to structure things to get an overview, I changed the structure of both the content and the lay-out several times. This is also a pitfall, you have prevent too much pigeonholing, especially within competency-centered learning. Although I limited myself in the amount of words I could use by the lay-out of this booklet, it actually helped me to have a much deeper look at myself by finding the essence of my reflections instead of just putting everything in the booklet. Especially because I tend to use too many words to express myself.

Looking back on my first drawing of the flower, I love the comparison with an eco-system, everything is connected and necessary for growth. Making something arty really helps me to get grip on abstract things. But it lacks the opportunity to express overlapping areas, every Competency Area is still a separate unit. It’s also not able to show my relative growth in every Competency Area. I tried to make a new one that is less about the Meta/Core structure and more about the overall competency of being a designer.

> Personal growth as a designer As we are evolving, the system itself evolves. As we students aren’t perfect, the system isn’t. But the question is, how do I fit in? Now I can tell more about my learning style, I need to get to the helicopter view. The biggest insights came when I felt relaxed, for example behind a big window, in a bean bag or even in the shower. I tend to analyze things very thorough, but I noticed I learn a lot by just doing it. When I’m reading through my reflections I notice that I like to write about my interactions with other people. Especially the informal conversations I had with fellow students and some coaches learned me a lot, it was really easy to remember their insights and feedback. The system really

helps me to find my weak spots and find a way to work on them. > Vision Being a designer effects everything you do. During our brainstorms, the making of this booklet, the preparation of a presentation and even while making this booklet I noticed that, how entering the state of awareness is basically about redesigning the way you think. Everything you have to do can be seen as a designing process, that was the most inspiring insight I got during this first weeks. As there is no end to a design process, there is no end to reflecting. A period will always stay a comma.

Booklet DG000  

Jeroen van der Meij

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