‘I love doing things with and for people, both personally and in my work as a designer.’
I have always been a social and caring person. I love doing things with and for people, both personally and in my work as a designer. This makes me naturally take a human-centered design approach, where the human being can be the user, but also other stakeholders. My empathy makes me want to truly understand all these people and discover their needs and desires. I believe that designers should design not for, but with people by using methods like co-creation. I am able to ask critical questions to define the real problems that need to be solved, because I empathize with all the people involved, delve into the whole situation and try to push the boundaries.
My curiosity drives me to understand everything at a good level, which I think is important in the multidisciplinary environment designers often find themselves in. Therefore, another important characteristic is my perseverance, which helps me to develop in areas like technology, which I am not naturally attracted to. It may not be my strong point, but I am able to develop myself to understand the language of this field.
So I am able to understand all areas within the field of Industrial Design, which makes me feel confident in a multidisciplinary team. Working with people from different disciplines who all have a different perspective on a project inspires me. I enjoy being the link between these different disciplines and perspectives. Because of my characteristics, such as team player, organizer, good planning skills and keeping an overview, I can take on this role in a natural way. This multidisciplinary environment can be hectic, but I am still able to keep the overview and ensure good communication. I like to contribute to a good working atmosphere, because I value good teamwork, because it not only results in beautiful projects, but can also bring personal development as you learn from each other.
‘I believe it is the responsibility of designers to keep technology humane.’
The role of technology in our lives is increasing. Everyday activities are taken over by technical systems, products and services. But where do we, the human being, stand in this world of technology? I feel like we are no longer in control, as systems are starting to push our boundaries, they begin to steer us in directions and influence our choices. All this is often happening at places we as humans do not see it.
This brings complexity that designers should dismantle to ensure that people can still be in charge of their own lives and the technology contained within them. I believe it is the responsibility of designers to keep technology humane. Designers already take on this role, but I believe designers should focus on maintaining a stance and an increased role in this rapidly changing world.
How we as designers can keep technology humane is something I am still exploring, but I believe a key element is free space. Free space to allow the user to grow, give time to reflect, understand and to use a product in a personally preferred way. Therefore, it is important to design good interactions and experiences that support this. Next, things should become more close to the human, to let the human understand and be in control again of complex things. I also believe people themselves should be at the center of technological development. Who knows better what they need, than themselves. Therefore, I believe that the role of designers is to involve and design with them to together keep technology human.