This is competency level for my B1.1 (delayed) 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. If you want to compare it to my reflections on the competencies for the B1.2 period of last year click here
As for teamwork and communications, during this semester, I did learn enough to be able to say that I have progressed on these abilities. When I look back on how I was during the first year for in Industrial Design, and when I compare it with this year, I can see that I have made some progression, yet there is still enough room left for improvement.
During this semester, I can see that my sessions with the psychologist have payed off, as I am way more communicative on what I do. While there were some difficulties with the beginning of the smell project, I did not have those during the Design project.
Also during the USE learning line course of quartile 2, I find myself being in charge of what is happening, and I am the one who is leading the pack, so to say. This somehow does boost my confidence to do this more, and be more of a leader.
Outside of the Industrial Design bachelor, i also participated to be part of the team that had to realise the “kroegentocht 2015” for Thêta. I was the responsible person for the promotion of this event. To reflect on this, you can simply look at how many of the tickets would be sold. The goal of sold tickets for this, and last year was around the 350 tickets. In the last year, there were only ~260 tickets sold, while this year we sold around the ~330 tickets. This means that I was useful in the team, and that my stake in the team was on par with the others.
The USE learning line also involved a lot of teamwork, in which if someone was doing less, the total project would be dragged down due to that. While I may have been a person, whom would have been like such a person during past projects, I now found myself on the receiving end of such a happening. While I experienced this in two of the three courses, it was most noticeable in the second course. During this course, we had a colleague who did almost never show up, and whom did not grasp the group's idea of the project. Due to this, I and another person had to correct a lot of his work, this resulted in me understanding why good communication between team members is of utmost importance.
While some may say that teamwork can reach a limit of development, I find myself to progress after every project in this competency, in either bad or good ways, as even bad experiences, are still experience one can learn from. As I can say now, instead of past year, I find myself to be on par, and maybe in some aspects above the expected skill level.
The Design and Research process is a competency based on the ways that you apply different kinds and ways of designing on your project. Being able to reflect on choices that you have made in the past and information that you have gained through doing research on the kind of project and knowing who you actors will be.
To be able to focus more on this “new” aspect, I chose to do a USE learning line about New product marketing. During this learning line we had to learn theory about the different ways marketing works, and about how companies work. While useful when you want to focus on what kind of project you want to do, this was less useful for the progress of a project itself.
In the second “elective” we had to do research about a product ourself in two different ways, qualitative and quantitative.
I found that, in Industrial Design, I had already done the qualitative way of getting information multiple times, yet during this “elective” we immersed ourselves more in this method, resulting in more accurate and useful information. While this is just an small improvement, the second way of gaining information is something that i had not yet done in the past. This way consisted of creating a multiple choice questionnaire which you process with the help of SPSS. SPSS gave us a graphical view on what people wanted and how they saw your product, compared to other products and your own goals. This is really useful when doing a next Design project, as it does reflect on if you are going in the wanted direction with you project.
During the last “elective” of the use learning line, we had to develop a product which would make communication between elderly and Zuidzorg more clear. We ended with a product which was really liked by the elderly themselves and the staff of Zuidzorg. We did this by involving the actors alot, and by letting them try out a “dummy” version. While, if we would have not done that as intensively as before, we would have created something that may have helped them, but which would still not be completed enough to truly have impact on the interaction of the elderly and Zuidzorg.
Looking back at these electives, I see that during all these processes, i had to use multiple methods which all helped in progressing the project to a point in which it was useful enough to be turned into a real product.
During this year's project, we had to participate in the multi-disciplinary Design project. In this project we had to create a rescue vehicle, which would be able to rescue little “ducklings”, billiard balls and small foam cubes. To rescue these objects, we had to create a small vehicle which could be controlled from a distance. This meant that we had to do some programming and we had to realise the vehicle itself.
This meant that we had to go and find what would be the best to use as engines, lights, ways to carry the objects and how we would make the vehicle move around. Coming up with a plan, we created a lot of good ideas, from which we took the best abilities and put those together. While we were doing this with a multi-disciplinary team, we had sometimes problems with communicating, making clear that understanding the skill to understand scientific ways of communicating is of utmost importance as a designer. This is something that is nifty to apply in the upcoming years and in a possible career.
Also during this year, my little brother is doing his last year in secondary school. Here he has to do a final project for Physics. To do this, he made a Midi-controller. But due to the facts that there were a couple of things wrong, he asked me if I could take a look. When I came there, they had no technical drawings of anything, making it clear for me that when you want to realise a project, you should always be really good in the documentation of what you have done, and how it works.
When I started this year, I participated in a in a design project. This design project was based on letting people be more active in their work space during their breaks. We wanted to do this by affecting the subconscious part of the brain of people. This meant that the project had to be subtle and concealed. This was already limiting our design in the aesthetics and placement. Looking back at this after the last course of my USE learning line, I see that we limited ourself by not involving the actors on this aspect, as they were, ultimately the ones who would have to (not) notice the prototype.
During the Design course we had more freedom in creating our product. This was especially noticeable during the phase where we had to decide how the prototype would have propelled itself. We had the ideas to give it tracks, make it a hovercraft or give it wheels. To be able to reflect more on these possible choices, I created drawings to make the possible positive and negative sides more clear. In the end, we chose to go with the most unconventional steering and propelling system, as it gave us the biggest advantage in how we could pick up the to be rescued objects. Another noticeable CA problem was how we would shape the vehicle, as it should not be scaring the to be rescued victims. This gave us a challenge in how we should have not to many lights and sounds, and to make it look friendly. While we may not truly have accomplished this, it was some serious food for thought.
Looking back at all the different design processes, and now having some experience with a less common area of shaping, namely using smell, I can say that a lot of the perception of a design by the actors can be related to the way people interpret the design, and thus giving your design the
In the project (smell project), which I started this year, we wanted to create a product focussed on a specific user, something that I had not yet done before. This meant that we really had to do research about this and that we really had to get to know this specific kind of user. While this does not really implement the differences in cultures, it does focus on the different mind-set that this particular kind of user has.
During this project, we thus learned how certain things can influence people in certain ways. Having learned this, we immediately started with user testing people to find what smell would be the most optimal to use. This really helped in the forming of the process, as we had some ideas that wouldn’t have worked, yet which we would have used. As well as the last questionnaires and just asking and talking about the last user test helped us a lot in gathering information about the experiment, and the acceptation of the prototype by the users.
I can really see how the user testing has helped us coming to the final product as we are now. It has had a great influence on what we have done. This is as well because the project really focussed on a specific group. This experience is definitely something that I am going to use in future projects, as it is from great importance to create projects more towards and for the users.
During last year, I did not really focus on this competency, although it was then called Designing Business Processes. I really had the idea that bringing a design onto the market would be a really simple task. But the opposite is true, as I am now following a USE learning line in the aspect of New Product Marketing. It has really opened my eyes on how difficult it is to bring your product on the market.
During the course of this first part of this learning line, I have already found myself to have learned more about this competency, than in the past year. I now know the primitive basics on marketing your product, and I find myself to still be able to learn a lot more.
So I still see this competency as not yet having reached the awareness I want it to be.
Math, Data and Computing is a competency focussed on the more mathematical part.
During this year, i have not been able to do much for this competency. During my second course of the USE learning line, we used SPSS to configure the best ideas applications for GameBus. During the Design course, we had to program the vehicle for some parts, including the way the steering system worked, needing some mathematical formulas.
Next year, I want to focus more on the MDC competency.
While Self-Directed and Continuous Learning may not be a competency teached by the faculty of Industrial Design, it still is an important factor for this study. SDCL stands for the ability that a person can work for himself at times that there are no lectures. For some this may come easier as for others. For myself, I know from experience that self study is one of my weakest points, and it will always be one. Adding extra weight to this is my diagnosed ADD, which makes it hard for me to stay focussed on one thing. Next to having experienced this in high school, I also experienced this during the first year of my study. While having consistent help during my highschool, I decided that, if I wanted to conquer this weak point, I had to take more responsibility.
This demonstrated itself in me having difficulties getting through the first year. This, in combination with more personal stuff, resulted in not being able to do enough to learn enough to pass my first year in one year. While my progression throughout the year wasn't enough, my assessor said, that during the last quartile of the year, my learning line was enough to, if the Binding Study Advice wasn't yet implemented, let me continue the study.
Luckily I got the chance to delay the verdict, and continued this study. Knowing that I had to improve my ability to study for myself, I participated in a workgroup for people who have ADD or who are diagnosed in the autistic spectrum. This “elective” helped me with planning my stuff and it made it easier for me. Over the course of the year, I feel that I have progressed enough to finish my tasks before the deadlines, and to be able to study self directed, yet it stays one of the points that I will learn a lot for.