Archive for the ‘Designing’ Category

Sustainable packaging? Bring out the popcorn!

Another way of 'recycling' packing peanuts?

For my first post of the year I received the inspiration from a Christmas present my sister received while I was visiting her.

I’ve always had the habit of keeping the little styrofoam packing peanuts of any package I receive so that I can reuse them whenever I have to send something out myself. It saves me money and I ensure that the material is used at least once more. Sadly though, I’m sure that this is not something that everybody does and undoubtedly most of these peanuts end up in the trash after a single use, contributing to our waste problems.

But what’s the alternative? Well, as I mentioned, my sister received this gift during the holidays which I thought was brilliantly simple and a very nicely thought alternative. It was a little box with shower and bath soaps which used POPCORN (!!!) instead of styrofoam.

I’ve still got it a bit :-D

I recently discovered the newest version of Sketchbook Pro (2010) and I have to say “oh my freaking god! this is the coolest sketching program ever!”. I absolutely LOVE the simplicity and elegance of the software’s interface and I’m also very grateful that they follow the KISS principle very nicely (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) without cluttering the program with a whole bunch of tools and features that you seldom use.

Just for kicks I made a few sketches to add to my portfolio (pretty sketches sell VERY well on an industrial design portfolio, even if that’s not what you want to focus on) and I was very positively surprised that I still have it a little bit in me to come up with decent results. So here are a few underneath… What do you think? would you hire me??? :-)

5 principles of service design thinking

I’ve been in contact with Marc Stickdorn ever since my MSc. graduation project, as he is an expert in service design. Well he is now working on a new book project along with some of his colleagues in which they will deal with basics, tools and service design cases.

The interesting part of it is that the project is getting the service design community involved as co-authors of the book so to speak, and as such the book is meant to be a reflection of what “the scene” thinks.

In order to get some feedback on the first sneak preview of a few pages from the introduction of the book called “5 principles of service design thinking“,  we at SusaGroup worked together with Marc and his colleagues in arranging a special Panoremo setup which could be used by service designers to give their feedback on the content and the layout of the upcoming book’s sneak preview pages.

If service design thinking is your thing, I suggest you drop by at www.susagroup.com/marcstickdorn to give Marc your own feedback.

TEN: 10 years of Design & Emotion (Workshop Part II)

TEN workshopA while back I wrote about the workshop organized by the Design & Emotion Society to celebrate their ten year anniversary, and I said I would make a second post explaining the rest of the workshop and the results… well, after finally making some time to sit down and go through it, here it is!

If you haven’t read the first part, I suggest you do so here, because that will make the coming lines much more clear to understand.

so, here it goes….

Cradle to Cradle: Hype or hope?

c2cI’ve been meaning to make a post about Cradle to Cradle (C2C) for a while and last week we had a mini-symposium about it at the TU Delft with the attendance of Michael Braungart, one of the original C2C advocates, so I figured that this was the perfect excuse to get down to it.

So, to get started, let’s explain the C2C concept a little bit, and the best way to explain Cradle to Cradle is to first explain what Cradle to Grave means.

Until not so long ago, our production paradigm was focused on manufacturing products as cheaply as possible which would be later discarded into landfills (in the worst case) or burned up for energy (in the best case), meaning that we were producing or processing materials (cradle) which would later be rendered useless because they were being buried or destroyed (grave)

Creative Sessions: Playing with serious stuff

Creative Session photos (11)A creative session is a gathering of people who, following some steps and rules shaped by a facilitator (or organizer), let their creativity loose. Working together, in one or more teams, they eventually generate ideas for the subject matter in question. The session doesn’t need to have very strict guidelines in order to work. As long as it is well organized most likely creativity and inspiration sooner or later emerge (Grudin & Pruitt, 2004).

I have participated in a couple of creative sessions and always found them extremely useful as a means to let your mind go free and be creative in solving problems or in generating ideas and so I wanted to share with you the process that I followed while organizing one such activity during my Design for Interaction MSc. graduation project in which we were dealing with emotions in hotel environments.

And just to get you a bit exciTED…

TEDx Amsterdam… in Delft!

TEDxAmsterdam in DelftNext Friday (20th of November) a conference called TEDxAmsterdam will take place in… well, in Amsterdam (duh!)

TED as some of you may know, is a very famous yearly conference held in California, which brings together top people from the worlds of Technology, Entertainment & Design. Their TEDtalks are AMAZING to say the least and I’ve featured a few here before (I promise a post in the not so far future with a collection of my very favourites). They are trully Ideas Worth Spreading as their motto goes.

So anyways… TEDx is an initiative of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience and of course, we couldn’t be left outside of the big party here in the Netherlands.

At the TEDxAmsterdam event, TEDtalks videos and live speakers will be combined to spark deep discussions and connections from the local and world communities.

Unfortunately enough, TEDxAmsterdam is an invitation only event so not everybody can attend (yours truly included), but in the true spirit of the original TED (Ideas worth spreading, right???) a live video stream will be sent to various cities in the Netherlands where people can gather to see them in high quality video (a so called simulcast)… and waddaya know??? I’ve taken it upon myself

Differentiating emotional hotel experiences (EuroCHRIE 2009)

EuroCHRIE 2009I’m finally back home after attending the EuroCHRIE 2009 conference in Helsinki for a few days, and I have to say that it was quite an interesting experience for me, since it was not really in my professional field as a designer, but it did have to do with what I’ve been working on for the past few months first as part of my MSc. graduation project and now as an interaction designer/researcher for SusaGroup.

The conference dealt with experiences in the hospitality and tourism industry and I was actually there presenting a working paper which came from a small exploratory study I conducted at the early stages of my graduation project with the aim to identify what type of emotions people felt the most in a hotel environment and towards what exactly.

God! you gotta love Delft

DDEAThere’s a reason why Delft is ranked as the 15th best engineering university in the world, and god, you gotta love them for that!

In Australia, only a crash 3 weeks before the start of the race managed to keep Nuna 5 from being the top dog of the World Solar Challenge so far… After a speedy crash recovery operation, we’re still third by the second day of racing and breathing down the neck of second placed University of Michigan. But watch out Tokai University (leaders so far) ’cause the Nuna team went to Australia to claim their rightful place and beat the competition for the 5th time in a row.

[UPDATE: As of October 27th, Nuna 5 has already surpassed the car from the University of Michigan, so Tokai is next!]

And back in Delft, the Design and Engineering Award is underway with some very, VERY interesting stuff going on.

On this post, you can find a couple of my favourite videos of some of the participating projects from our different faculties, which are just to show off a bit of why Delft is soooo cool ;-)

Panoremo: A tool to assess the emotional experience of environments

Panoremo_thumb

Relevant Keywords:

Evaluating emotions, environments, services, consumer experience, online application, prototyping

Design Goal:

During my Design for Interaction MSc. graduation project a concept was developed that was deemed very interesting and promising for the potential assessment of emotions experienced towards a physical environment. This concept was later developed even further in collaboration with SusaGroup in order to bring it into the market as a fully functional instrument that can aid in emotional design research.

Methods Used:

  • Early prototyping to perform user testing of working principle.
  • Software development.
  • Usability testing.

Symposium Advanced Automotive Design at the TU Delft

Last Friday (Sept. 25th), I attended the Symposium Advanced Automotive Design organized at the TU Delft as part of the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the Industrial Design Faculty. It was a very nice event in which top designers from the automotive industry (all of them TU Delft alumni) shared a bit of their work and experience as designers for these well known firms as well as giving us their view of the future of automotive design.

The keynote speakers were Fedde Talsma (Exterior Chief Designer at Volvo), Adrian van Hooydonk (Design Director at BMW) and Lowie Vermeersch (Design Director at Pininfarina) who were asked to choose a fragment of a movie as introduction to their talk. We also enjoyed shorter presentations by other TU Delft designers working for Ducati, Alfa-Romeo, DAF, Mercedes and Audi.

TEN: 10 years of Design & Emotion (Workshop Part I)

TEN workshopThe Design & Emotion Society is celebrating this year their 10th anniversary and they decided to organize an event at the Delft University of Technology to commemorate this milestone.

“TEN – 10 years of design and emotion” was a one day workshop held at the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering on the 28th of August and luckily I was there to participate. In this post I’ll explain what the workshop was all about and I’ll give a brief explanation of what we did in the first half of the activity. In a later post, I’ll show some of the results that were obtained at the end of the day.

emoments: Developing a tool to assess emotions elicited by services

emoments_thumb

Relevant Keywords:

MSc. Graduation project, evaluating emotions, services, consumer experience, hotels, mobile application, prototyping

Design Goal:

Various methods are available for measuring emotional responses elicited by products (design) or human-product interaction. Up to this point however, no instrument was available that could be used to assess emotional service experiences. The aim of the project was to extend the possibilities of assessing emotions to the realm of experiential service design. As a case study for the project, the focus was laid on the `hotel experience’, that is, the experience of a guest while staying at a hotel.

Project duration:

5 months (full time)

Methods Used:

  • Thorough literature research to become acquainted with the project domain.
  • Online survey to identify the most common types of emotions experienced by hotel guests and the stimuli associated with these experiences.
  • Creative session organized with a panel of users and designers to generate ideas.
  • Early prototyping to perform user testing of concepts.
  • Creation of wire-frames and navigation flow-charts to define the software’s architecture.
  • Hi-Fi prototyping of final concept.
  • Usability testing.

Measuring and evaluating emotions towards physical spaces

emotional_space1Well, it’s kind’a cool at the deep end of the pool. Two months into my current status as a Master of Science I’m having lots of fun working on a temporary basis (let’s hope that changes soon) with the good people at Susa Group, the company that I worked for during my graduation project.

And it’s lots of fun because I’m doing something which I really enjoy, and we are working on transforming one of the concepts I developed during graduation into a fully working and marketable tool which hopefully people will be using in a very, very near future.

It’s still a work in progress, but the idea is to develop a tool that can help in measuring and evaluating emotions towards  physical spaces. This opens up the door to a plethora of possibilities and applications: evaluating an urban environment to know how people feel about their surroundings (emotions in architecture and urbanism), finding out how people feel about that new interior design that you are developing for a new store (emotions in retail design) or identifying the critical emotional points of a restaurant or of a hotel lobby (emotions in experiential services) are but a few of the examples I can think of.

Developing a tool to assess emotions elicited by services – MSc. graduation presentation (Video & Pics)

So… it’s been a little over a week since I did the presentation for my Design for Interaction MSc. graduation project (Developing a tool to assess emotions elicited by services), and since I went off on a short one week vacation right after that, I didn’t have the time to post the video and some photos of the presentation during that time.

But as I promised some people, today I finally got back and had some spare time to upload everything. So above,you can take a look at the video of the presentation (takes about 45 minutes including the questions round). The file is quite big (around 500 Mb) because I couldn’t