At the end of 2019, I started walking a new path in my design and personal development. On this page, you can follow this process when visualized with some small explanation. Expect graphs, models, and prototypes of all sorts of projects.
20th of July 2020
The Designers Identity program is slowly coming to an end. For the last five months, we had several workshops, digitally and physically. As the closure of the program, there are two long weekends planned. One in Tholen, and one in North Germany end of August.
The weekend in Tholen was last weekend and focused on building something physical based on your identity. A part of the assignment was to bring your own material, which was able to be constructed and deconstructed at least three times based on iterations.
I started out with two complete old Ikea closets and two old drawers my parents made me take with me. First of it was necessary to come up with an subject to work with, derived from my identity. After the first brainstorm, it would either be about a current world-issue that I feel for or it would be about my bodily deterioration in compression to my parents. Going some back and forth I finally chose the latter. With that, I made an inventory of my material after taking everything apart and started creating my first prototype.
With my first small prototype came the idea of making something big and overwhelming, as bodily deterioration can feel like. And so started the brainstorming, sketching and building.
And so I created over five prototypes in total and eventually my final product. Scroll down to see the final result and a synopsis of the story behind it.
My parents have done physical work their entire lives. At the moment, certainly my mother, they have to live with the toll that has taken on their bodies.
When I was younger I chose a non-physical profession to bypass the same deterioration but it seems like this doesn’t work out that way. Even at my age, my body doesn’t work as it should be, with the main problems in my back and feet.
For the similarity and difference between me and my parent’s journey in physical pain and complaints, I wanted to create a representation. And so I made two windows, looking into the world. One from my parent’s perspective and experiences and one for mine. Each colored beam represents 5 years, 5 for me, 11 for my parents. The color is a reflection of 5 years and therefor warps the view.
Standing straight in front of the piece gives you a way to look at the world both through mine and my parent’s eyes.
10th of July, 2020
A few weeks ago, during the Mid-year assessment day, one of the assessors offered the idea of applying for a fund to be able to finance a personal project and to play with fulfilling the role of design researcher.
At first, this seemed rather complicated, and not something I wanted to do. But with time the idea stuck with me and a subject for a project arose. Today I started creating the application document which I want to finish by the end of this month.
The subject: A research by design into the use of past and present signals in the development of action perspectives for rape survivors and their relatives.
A rather complex and personal subject, but I feel confident about the chance of succeeding.
To be continued…
I also started creating the first minimal viable product example for the Hum. Last week I came up with the visual concept and wanted to create an animated version of this idea to convey it better to potential technical help. Here the still image and the moving animation.
3rd of July, 2020
It has been a while since my last update. A lot has happened since, including some really interesting workshops. Because of that, my focus on my project Hum has been pushed to the backburner. Today was the first time in a month I took some time to focus on making my plans concrete regarding technical execution.
I created two categories to keep in mind; medium and channel and used these to do a small brainstorm with myself on the final form for the project. Pictured on the right.
In combination with some inspiration research collected on this mood board, I saw some potential in combining “scattered monologue” + “Desktop app” or “Webpage / -site”.
Putting this parallel with my 8th of May update I came up with the idea to view the story through literal windows into the world. The interactivity will be collecting audio fragments that create the closing story at the end of the experience.
12th of June, 2020
As mentioned in the last log we had our midterm assessments for the Designers Identity program. Today, one week later, I penned down my main takeaways and thoughts that resulted from this day in a brainstorm with myself. Here you can see the results translated to English.
9th of June, 2020
Last Friday was the midterm assessment of the Designers Identity program. This day contained 3 half-an-hour one-on-one conversations with design professionals, interchanged with individual assignments, and conversations with our peers. The professionals on the other side of the table were Keimpe de Heer, Fred Montijn, and Elsemieke van Rossum. Below you can listen to my retrospective on this day and what I took away from it (in Dutch).
29th of May, 2020
One of the main objectives for The Hum is that it eventually becomes an interactive experience (regardless of the final medium on which you’ll get to experience it). Like I mentioned in the update of the 22nd of May I want the interaction to connect to the story. While the story is about the natural phenomenon E.L.F. (extremely low frequencies) I want the interaction to regard audio as well.
Here I visualized how one of those interactions might work in 4 stages. By holding down the button in the middle the sound you hear slowly shifts from vague and blurry to crisp and clear. When holding it down long enough you hear a small *pling* to notify you correctly altered the audio, which opens up a new chapter to read/experience.
On the 4th of April, I created several graphs and models to visualize me as a designer. Today I reviewed these pieces, focused on the final one, and revised it with new insights. I added new people who I met during the past months and changed the layout a bit to enhance the readability.
You can download the print version by clicking here.
As an assignment for one of the workshops within Designers Identity, we created a personal pitch based on Aristoteles’ Ethos, Pathos, and Logos system. Here follows my pitch as written directly on paper (in 200 Dutch words).
Ik kom uit een familie van werkpaarden. Werken voor je brood, werken om te leven. Vanaf kleins af aan met de paplepel dus geleerd en aangeleerd dat jet niet werkt met plezier, maar voor plezier. Toen ik zelf begon met werken was ik direct lead designer bij een internationaal bedrijf, maar hier verdiende ik niet genoeg om mijzelf te onderhouden. Op het moment dat ik echter koos oor een baan met geld, maar me ellendig voelde ervaarde ik zelf dat deze werk/leef ethiek niet bij mij hoort, maar is aangeleerd. Dus tegen beter weten in nam ik de beslissing om te luisteren naar mijn gevoel. Het plezier achterna. Ik ben er nog niet, want ik betrap mijzelf er bijna dagelijks op dat ik te streng ben voor mezelf en vind dat het moet draaien om geld en status. Gelukkig volg ik nu een paar maanden het DI-programma en leer veel handvatten eigen maken om deze aangeleerde ethiek af te leren. Ik denk dan ook dat ik de goede keuze heb gemaakt want ik heb plezier en maak me steeds minder druk over werken om te leven en steeds meer over leven om te werken en dus plezier te hebben.
The feedback I got on this pitch was that I had to focus more on the invitation within this pitch for the listener. What does the other person in this conversation have to do with my story? What do I want from them?
For some reason this feedback created a negative spiral within me, making me believe I did it wrong and was worthless. Immediately I noticed self-doubt and self-loathing taking the lead in feeling, rather than the pride I had just seconds before. Recognising this feeling I decided to create a small poem to give this feeling a place to live and for me to move on with my day.
22th of May, 2020
One of the most important elements for Hum is the natural phenomenon Andrew hears through his entire life. I want the eventual interaction within the Hum experience to be linked to sound in a certain way.
Without knowing what kind of interaction I want the experiencer to have I thought it would be useful to do some visual research in how sound waves can be visualized. Based on this Pinterest board I created the following 3 visuals.
8th of May, 2020
To be able to write the dialogue and story for Hum, the first step seemed to be sketching out the scenes based on acts. To put pen to paper I used this article and focused on steps 1 to 4 to make my first scene drafts.
First I made a visual in which I would be able to put the outlines. Here you can see the acts, scene titles, and purpose per scene.
Based upon the aforementioned article and accompanying worksheet I created a simple quadrant to fill in the information per scene for steps 1 to 4. #1 is seen back in the storyline visual above.
I left out the actual content to not spoil the end results just yet.
Besides that, I wanted to create my first piece of music, inspired by this video essay on video game horror music and this tutorial on an ambient drone made from an audio sample.
This audio file is matched to the scene Forest: Abandoned building, reflecting the feeling of realizing you have been wrong about something your whole life and how this makes you feel nostalgic and melancholic.
24th of April, 2020
In my head there are three main characters in the story in Hum.
As a player you’ll be Michael Moore in 2016, a 34 year old man who comes back to the island where he moved with his family in 1988 as a final resort for your mother Louise Moore-Davis. In the year 1999 he moved away for university on the mainland.
Now you are returning to the island because of the passing of your father John Moore, finding known and unknown material about the mysterious disappearing of your brother Andrew Moore in 1996-1998.
Because there are a few more relations (relatives and others) who influence the short life of Andrew I created this Relation-tree to illustrate the connections of all the family relations and other cameo’s in the story. Below the final tree you can see the first draft.
16th of April, 2020
Creating the first outlines of the characters and the story for Hum I realised I had some trouble channeling the energy of the project. To counteract this I created three photo-collages, three soundscapes and a floor plan to accompany the feeling matched with the story and characters.
8th of April, 2020
Sometimes it seems really hard so see your self-worth and believe you are, as person and as a designer a unique being. To be able to acknowledge and eventually believe my worth and development opportunities I started a R&D project to figure out how others see me as a person. Find here the final results and some noteworthy answers I got during the conducted interviews.
“You appreciate anyone the way they are. As a team-member you are skilled in letting yourself and others in their value. You always had it in you to give everyones identity, talents and skills enough space and to create a bigger whole than the sum of its parts by working together. The credo “Alone you are faster but together you get further” fits you well.” – Former colleague
“Learn to see the capacities other see in you. Be confident about yourself, you can do so much more than you are willing to admit.” – Family member
“You are such a good listener. Not only superficially but also in the layer underneath in the things that haven’t been spoken out loud.” – Friend
“You are always willing to dare yourself in to doing something nieuw and getting out of your comfort zone. You may be a little frightened, but you do it anyway!” – Friend
“You are a real go-getter. You work hard, take up challenges and responsibility which makes you very reliable. Your dependability makes that I really like working with you and would always chose to have you in my team if the opportunity arrises.” – Manager
27th of March, 2020
One of the projects I’ll be focussing on the coming months will be a fictional interactive experience called the Hum. I’ll be writing, creating concepts and eventually will build an actual interactive experiencing surrounding a fictional story about a strange audio phenomenon.
As a visual research experiment I created the following 12 screens to look into possible ways of showing the story I’ll be writing. The imagery and text is still a placeholder but conveys enough of the potential future content.
25th of March, 2020
In assignment of one of the participants of Designer Identity I created a vlog about what I appreciate about my body and the world around me while walking through the city of Rotterdam. The assignment was to register the good things about life when I’m full of doubt and angst what will become of my body as it is degrading way too quickly for my age.
4th of April, 2020
To figure out who I am as a designer I create several graphs and models to explain visually where I position myself in the creative spectrum. This is the final model I came up with to represent me as a designer.
This project is commissioned by Designers Identity – Fundamentals.
Previous versions to final graph
8th of March, 2020
During the first time we came together as Designer Identity 2020 we had a kick-off weekend full of self-exploration and research into what we wanted to gain from the coming half year.
The first presentation we had to answer which project we were the most proud of till this point. I choice to talk about We Were Lost.
In the second presentation we had to answer two questions:
– What do you want to learn during the coming program?
– How do you want to see this represented in a mentor – who could this be?
The following I wrote down (and translated for the page) as a response to these questions:
This is Lieke and Lieke is proud. Because she is strong and smart, sensible and angry, sweet and tough, caring to herself but mostly to others.
Lieke has only one thing that keeps her from excelling and that is that see doesn’t see what others see in her. Namely the things aforementioned.
I grant Lieke a playground to have fun in, fall from swings and laugh about it afterwards. I grant her peace to surround herself with people who treat her by her value so that she can’t simply move around the loving burden of proof that she is enough. That she can take up space and not feel guilty about that.
I think a mentor being in a playful environment would do her wonders to learn that recklessness can bring you further in life and prove her that it can be fruitful in the long run.
Below you can watch back the footage of both presentation in Dutch.
Be aware of the fact that the end of the footage of the second video is not included.
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