About my blog

Hello! I'm graduating this year from the double master degree of Industrial Ecology en Science Communication at TU Delft. This blog is about my final year at TU; how do I get sick of TU Delft so I can start my "grown up life" without getting too nostalgic the rest of my life about "my" University. Enjoy reading :)

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De meningen ge-uit door medewerkers en studenten van de TU Delft en de commentaren die zijn gegeven reflecteren niet perse de mening(en) van de TU Delft. De TU Delft is dan ook niet verantwoordelijk voor de inhoud van hetgeen op de TU Delft weblogs zichtbaar is. Wel vindt de TU Delft het belangrijk - en ook waarde toevoegend - dat medewerkers en studenten op deze, door de TU Delft gefaciliteerde, omgeving hun mening kunnen geven.

Posted in December 2011

Into perspective

I found the perfect image to get 2012 going in a great way. Imagine, you are sitting behind your desk, superstressed because you have to write this paper about polar bears, but you don’t think you will make it. At this moment it’s nice to realize that this thing you’re working on feels superimportant … but … if you take it into a greater perspective it’s not the end of the world when you finish it less perfect than you would normally do. 

If it’s difficult to put it into perspective, just watch this youtube video or think about the image I post below this sentence…

 

That puts your worries into perspective right? It’s the entire existence of planet earth, expressed in 24 hours. You’re just a tiny speck in this crazy world, make sure you enjoy it as long as it lasts, and don’t stress to much! That’s my mantra for 2012; it will be a superfun year without stress. Uhm … yeah, I wish myself a lot of good luck with that … [feel free to remind me writing this when I appear to be stressed; or put me behind a computer to show the youtube link, or the image of the timescale of the earth].  
 

 

Mindmap to the rescue

My head was terribly cluttered. It’s nice, taking one-and-a-half week off to relax; it’s a shame the brain relaxes so much that it now just keeps on sending me messages like: "do this!", "don’t dare to forget that" or "get your lazy ass of the couch, and start working on your graduation project". My brain is pretty demanding I’m afraid.

So, after being in this panicky state for 2 days (yesterday was my official first day back to work); I decided this couldn’t last longer. I needed to take some SERIOUS action. So, I took out my colored markers and started making sense of my brain … on paper that is. Do you know what mindmapping is? My life got a bit more happy the day I got taught how to do this. It’s organizing your thoughts in a way the brain approves of [at least my brain]. You cluster thoughts around central themes and connect them through colored lines. Also, very important, make drawings! The more effort you put in the mindmap, the easier it is to find it years later again, and remember what you tried to organize. If you think that you’re a bit like me; try mindmapping! It can be a lifesaver :). 

 

Above you see the mindmap that helped me to get a grip on my "What should I do next???? ARG!" state of mind.

 

Christmas break!

I’m breaking for Chrismas, you too? I found the graph below very insightfull for our christmas habits, so it’s the last thing I’ll show you before breaking for a bit (I will not posts messages at this blog next week 🙂

 
The graph tells you how much countries spend on Christmas; and see whose the "weird duck in the bunch" [I hope this makes sense]. It’s the Netherlands! With a high GDP we spend less then Ukraine, South Africa, Greece etc…. And do you know who is responsible for this low number? No, it’s not that we’re cheap people, I think it’s because of the bearded old man who we celebrate at 5 December with LOADS of presents
 
 
Thank you Sinterklaasje for making the Dutch look like smart people who save their money instead of spending it on loads of gifts. 
 

 

 

Make it fun!

Have you ever heard about the "Fun Theory"? No, it’s not a boring theory like those you [or at least me with my combinations of two kind of social studies at TU Delft: Science Communication and Industrial Ecology] NEED to study, it’s just this awesome idea of motivating people by making actions fun. Today I connected the dots, this is the thought I need to have to get a nice graduation result! 

I’m developing at the moment a sustainability support system for product designers. Where’s the fun in that? Well, the next 5 months I’m going to focus on FUN instead of "doing good research" [bluh]. Some inspiration for me can be:

What do you think: Would more people throw their trash in trashcans that look like these?  

 

 
Or would people walk stairs that looks ánd sounds like a piano?
 

 

 

Soooo dear readers, if you have any idea how to make something fun for Product Designers, please let me know! If you come up with a really cool idea, I’ll buy you a beer 🙂

 

Sky

 
 
I should warn you, I’ve got a "pretty sky-obsession". So photo’s like this one will show up more often at this blog… This one I took in Arnhem; outside of the Arnhem museum of modern Art.  Oh yeah, the flesh colored blurb in the left upper corner is my finger, I still have to master taking photo’s with my new second hand telephone.

Graduating is like digging

Friday, my mind made a discovery. I walked to the aula after a conversation with my graduation supervisor and a huge “AHA moment” struck me. Research is like digging… Let me explain.

 

 

 

I started my graduation project in September. The company I graduate for asked: “Product designers want information about sustainable design. How can we best give this to them?” The digging began… First I thought: Is it really just information they need? Is that all I need to do to help them? I found a model that described which factors influence a product designer while designing. This is for instance the knowledge he has, whether he has enough time to spend on his design and what kind of product he designs. This means that collecting and communicating information is useless when the designer doesn’t KNOW where to find this information (knowledge), doesn’t have TIME to find the information and if the PRODUCT he design can’t become sustainable in the first place. I dug 3 feet deep with this thinking step.

Now, that was interesting, but my supervisor wanted me to dig deeper. There are loads of support systems for product designers in the field of sustainability, why don’t these systems work? From literature I found that these other systems don’t take into account the person who has to use the system, they are made by researchers who can’t relate to product designers at all. So, I made the pledge that my support system is designed from the eyes of the product designer, with this decision I dug deeper again.

So now the real dirty work begins, who is this product design guy or girl and how can I design something that helps them? That’s what I will try to figure out the next 6 months… let’s see how deep the crater will get.

 

 

[PS: By the way, do you agree with this brainwave? A friend of mine believes that research is like building …]

 

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