• Competencies B1.1

These are my competencies

This is competency level for my B1.1 period. All the knobs displaying my grade for my competencies are relative, because my view on what the highest possible awareness is may change over time. Due to some technical difficulties, did i lose my B1.2 PDP

If you want to compare it to my reflections on the competencies for the B1.1 period click here

Teamwork

In Industrial design, teamwork is something that happens a lot, more often with other designers, but also with people with another profession. Because there are a lot of projects which involve teamwork, it is something important to master.The coöperation inside a team is very important, and I found myself to be more of a loner. But working in a team is not just about cooperation. It is also about finding you place in the team and contributing your part of the work.

Whit in the Out of Control-project, I found this difficult when we were half way into the semester, and I experienced the problem of me not knowing what I had to do. Because of this, I started asking, and thus depending to much on my team, while I should have tried things out, and experienced myself if it would be good to do. I was pressed upon this fact because my coach addressed me with the message that my team was thinking I wasn’t doing enough. Because of this I woke up and started to do more and to be involved again, but it was already to late. I experienced that I really have to keep myself sharp and that I have to keep myself busy. Because of this I do feel that I still have to change myself and to improve on this, while recognizing this problem is a start. I do think, that this is my biggest trap, because when I lose the grip on myself, I slide into it without me knowing it

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Communication

When you are working in a team, communication is critical to lead the path of the project in good ways. Also is the ability of communicating essential when you are confronting other parties that are involved in your project.

When we were working on our instrument, Lumus, I experienced this importance of this competency. This was playing a big role when my productiveness started to decay. Due to me not communicating enough to my other team members, we were falling behind schedule. Luckily, because of an interference with my coach, I acknowledged this and tried to correct the things that I let decay.

While it possibly may have been too late for me, it is something that I have learned. I have learned that when you are working with a team, the communication between the members is vital for the process of the project.

I do want to improve this in the next semester by taking more responsibilities for my share in the project.

Another part of the Communication competency is having the ability to present your ideas to your team, and to the users that want to use your project. You have to be able to be clear what your ideas are and in explain how you want to implement them.

This is something that I noticed, and thus learned, when we were still in the start of our project and when we had to come up with ideas for an instrument. I was full of ideas, but I was not always able to explain them in such a way, that they could understand my intentions. This is something that I need and want to improve in the next project.

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Design and Research Processes

During the first weeks of the semester, we had Out of Control-project meetings in which we had to do challenges which were related to our own project. These challenges contained things like different methods to come up with ideas for an instrument, and how we could visualize it. For a design process you do have to make some kind of plan which describes the road which you have to cover to get to your final design. A couple of these methods are mind mapping, brainstorming, body storming and applying Wizard of Oz. These methods am I surely going to use in the next project.

During these weeks, I started to pick up on how the path of a design process, of a project, roughly looked. Although it is hard to explain exactly how such a process is like, due to the fact that every process is different.

"From the first Demoday on you managed to work yourself through the iterative design cycles. You where able to create a prototype, verified this with the user, got conclusions and changed the concept and prototype. You followed a nice iterative design process. Keep working on this during the next semesters." -Sjors Eerens

While this is still just a start on what there is to learn about the design and research process of a project, I have the feeling that I made a good start in this part of my competencies.

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Ideas and Concepts

For Ideas and concepts, I was thinking quite easy over it in the beginning, as I thought it would be easy to come up with good ideas. Yet when we started this year, and when we got the assignment to create a music instrument which is really of the twenty-first century, I had no idea what to do. The pressure-cooker we had later on gave us some good methods on how to think about coming up with good ideas. The methods gave you some more insight in the instrument I was creating in my head.

For example, during the pressure cooker I came up with the to generate electric with water that would fall into a receiving hopper. Yet when we drew the idea, the seemingly harmless device became a terrifying killing machine. This was because combining waterworks with electrics is quite difficult and is also enormously dangerous. Due to this, I started to work ideas out, so I could see if they are possible.

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Integrating Technology

Concerning Integrating Technology, my plan for development was having the ability to understand the basics of coding. To have the ability of knowing what a part of a code does and where it has to stand. I specifically wanted to do this for Processing (Java), HTML and CSS.

Before I started with these codes, I had absolutely no knowledge about nor experience with any of these coding languages. So, when the opportunity came to attend a HTML and CSS workshop, I signed up for both and followed the 3 day workshop.

This workshop opened a lot of doors for me. Due to the workshop I had the ability to understand the coding for Processing and for creating a showcase webpage. Although this webpage may be a template, I have still adjusted a lot of the code and rewritten some codes, and the most important thing; I know how it works. I can now also write simple websites, with the help of the internet

My next step will be to improve more on understanding the codes and having the ability to write more complex programs. A possible approach for this could be to see if there is another workshop which includes writing a code or program. Another way for me to learn how to write HTML and CSS is to continue to update my own website.

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User Focus and Perspective

When we were constructing and optimising our project, Lumus, we shared the idea to let our product be simple, fun to play with and most of all, everybody should be able to create music with it.

To achieve these goals, we conducted some user tests. Our experience experience was, that when we tried to conduct tests on other Industrial Designers, they would already know what to do. As soon as we noticed this, we understood that we had to use people from outside the Industrial Design department, because they would not have our state of mind. This is something that I did not really think of in the start, but I do acknowledge that you have to use people that do not share the same state of mind as you for your user tests. Because when you have people with another state of mind, you can really see if your product has the goals of simplicity and that it is approachable for everyone.

But this was not the only thing that I experienced during the user tests. Users do also see things, possible problems or improvements, that you do not see, because they have another mind-set.

since the above factors are highly important for your design, I want to apply these user tests even more in my next project.

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Socio-Cultural Awareness

When we entered the second quartile of this year, we had to choose what elective we wanted to follow. I signed up for the elective Design History in a Global Perspective.

During this elective, we had to present, and when possibly discuss, about designs, designers and their designs and ideas for a perfect world as they would see them. This led to discussions in which we questioned the ideas of designs for cultures around the world. Due to this, I learned that when you are designing something, you have to take into account the cultural differences and acknowledge the fact that people have radical different views of the world, and therefore as well on the designs.

Since our product is a music instrument, and therefore not being something that could be radically different between cultures, it was hard to apply this awareness I had learned during the elective. I hope I can apply it during my next project, and possibly improve my awareness in this competency.

We did manage to apply the awareness of the difference between the genres of music and it's history. The most closely related genre for our instrument has to be electronic music, due to the fact that our instruments produces digital created sounds.

I learned that, due to my project and my assignment, it is important to know about cultural history to be able to understand to be able to understand the impact of your project on different cultures in the present and the future.

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Designing Business Processes

So far, I have not been able to focus on Designing Business Processes during my study and my project. However, the fact that we always tried to make the instrument as economically as possible, that it could be used by a broad range of people and that we optimalised the design so that it would be able to operate in a lot of situations and circumstances, would certainly apply to this competency.

While I haven't yet spend time to really focus on Designing Bussiness Processes, I do want to spend more attention to this competency in the next project.

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Form and Senses

When we were in the first weeks of our project, we decided that we wanted to create an instrument based on the interruption of lasers. Having lasers in our instrument drastically changed our mind-set on vision, hearing and touch. This was because when you wanted to create music, you had no physical feedback which gave the instrument some difficulty when using it for the first time.

Because one of our goals was that we wanted to let it be played by everyone, we had to alter our minds on the ergonomical side.

We redesigned our instrument by giving it the ability of being more flexible and being more easy to use than our first design. We placed the lasers on heights relative to the body parts that you would use in the instrument and we gave the lasers the possibility to being adjusted in the pole itself.

While building this instrument I gained experience on how to use the machines that Vertigo housed.

When I take a look back at the changes, I have learned, like my teammates, that Form and Senses is a really present concept, which decides the approachability of your product. You have to be open to alter or improve your ideas of the Form and Senses of your project when necessary.

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Descriptive & Mathematical Modelling

One of my goals was to create designs for my project, GMIS, in the form of sketches and to also create 3D models of them. When we went into the first weeks, I had the idea that this would be necessary, yet it seemed to be enough to only create sketches. Because of this, I did not accomplish my goal to create any 3D models of my project.

Fortunately I can improve myself in the next semester on this competency, because there will be a course on Modelling. I hope I will be able to improve myself enough so I that can create models of all my upcoming projects.

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Self-Directed and Continuous Learning

When I started my study at the TU/e, I immediately noticed the difference in the way I had to handle my homework and projects at the university compaired to high school. University means self-management were planning is done by yourself, and not by school. This new study discipline, which you are ought to have, is something that I found myself lacking.

"This is the first semester of Pepijn. You are an optimistic person who enjoys life. And in my opinion a bit too much." -Sjors Eerens

"You should really change your attitude. Take you work serious and act more professional." -Sjors Eerens

Due to the fact that I have difficulty with this discipline, I can see myself failing to complete the bachelor course, especially when I look back at how I started with my study. At first, I was motivated and really keeping up with my homework, but that changed when I heard that no one else was doing his or her homework. Unfortunately due to this, I was losing motivation to continue to finish my homework and I also lost some of my dedication for my project. When my coach pointed this out to me, I acknowledged it and started to pay more attention to both. To avoid this problem in my next semester, I am going to follow a course that will help me to plan better in order to keep myself up to date of what I have done and still have to do.

However, SDCL is not only about motivation, it is also about your ability of reflecting upon yourself and the work that you have done. This is something that I have improved in. Before I started this study I was not able to give good reflections about myself, yet now I can give better reflections on myself and my work while there is still room for improvements.

"Seek more coherence in your reflections. Your reflections are swinging. You rambled on about the different topics." -J.M.L. Kint

I have the feeling that I have made some progression on this part of my competencies. While it may be not that big of an improvement as I had expected, it is a stepping stone to more improvements in the next semester.

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My future plans for improvements

While I wanted to improve myself a lot, I see, when I look back at this semester, that I did not improve as much as I would have wanted. While I see that I have improved myself, I do also see that I have dropped a couple of stitches, and thus did not improve myself as much as I have wanted to do. But this is not only negative, because it shows me where I have to improve myself even more to bring myself to an awareness level whom I deem necessary to have as an Industrial Designer.

This includes that I need to improve my discipline a lot, and that I need to make more use of the fact that I can ask fo feedback on what I have done. I do also need to start documenting what I am doing, so I can see if I have done, and possibly learned, what I wanted to do and/or learn.