At the start of my Master studies, I was unsure what direction I wanted to go in exactly, so I started with trying out something new: game design, in my M1.1. It was a valuable experience where I learnt a lot about theories and practice of game mechanics and playfulness, but I also learnt that I do not want to become a game designer. I realized I wanted to make a societal impact and that I preferred other kinds of projects. During my M1.2, I started off with a research question in the field of the gendered design of a DJ set. However, throughout the project it turned into research into the role of design for gender inequality in a broader sense, as that interested me more. I used film as a medium for conversation. At this time, I joined the Future Mentors Programme and learnt about the role youth could have in influencing the system in Eindhoven and designing the future together, for the community of the future. During my M1.2, I learnt a lot about gender inequality theories and research, which motivated me to continue with a project on this topic for my M2.1. Here, I focused more on the community impact as well and continued with film as a creative medium to spark a conversation in a community. My internship company FabCafe Tokyo, is a community space where makers come together to make their future through innovative methods. This interest I had now gained in impact on a community and the maker-culture, is what motivated me to do my FMP on making the Future Mentors Programme, which also follows the mindset of youth making and designing their own city of the future, impactful and sustainable.
User and Society (CORE)
As a social designer, connecting with people throughout the design process is an inherent part of my way of working. I see it as my role as a designer to design creative and engaging tools and methods to include people and stakeholders in the design process and to encourage people to participate in the design of the future. Examples of these tools are tangible design games and using creative ways to ask questions and provoke thoughts. These tools are only effective if I first understand the context of the people I’m reaching out to. Through combining perspectives on wicked problems of society, in my FMP and M2.1 I showed to be capable of coming up with strategies and systems to create a future proof community.
Business and Entrepreneurship (CORE)
Making these aforementioned multi-stakeholder systems sustainable and meaningful is something I am able to do through using business design methods and through networking. In my M2.1 and FMP I put my ideas out into the real world and gained experience with entrepreneurship and starting up a brand with value. Also in my FMP, I gained knowledge on the economic systems in the Brainport region and I positioned the programme in the broader context in Eindhoven. Being aware of trends in this context and the organizational structure of systems surrounding the Future Mentors is vital for this.
Creativity and Aesthetics
As is defined by the New European Bauhaus movement, beauty means the creation of a positive experience . I relate this concept to my social design methodologies through researching what positive means to people. During my M1.2 I integrated this expertise area through making a convincing probe to do design research and during my M2.1 I showed awareness of the importance of expressing myself artistically in the short film and making sure the aesthetic quality of my deliverables were good.
 New European Bauhaus (2023). Brussels Urban Summit New European Bauhaus Workshop.
Math, Data and Computing
I create models, structures and diagrams to analyze and understand the context within a project and with the stakeholders, such as how I did during my FMP. I am able to use mixed methods analysis and have gained experience in analysing quantitative data using Excel and Python, during my projects Eindhoven as a student city, in my M1.1 and in Community Xperience Design.
Technology and Realization
As a designer, I want to make engaging prototypes and concepts that are in line with my ideas. During my M1.1, I learnt to design a game that could work in practice, through collaborating with a game design expert. I got acquainted with the basic workings of Unity to understand what was possible, which is important to be aware of during the process. Also during my M2.1 I gained experience with understanding software and hardware for the digital embroidery machine and other digital fabrication machines, which was essential for my designs.
Design and Research Processes
Design methods that engage people and let people feel comfortable to share their thoughts are important to me in the design process and I’ve used these in different courses and projects. Encouraging people to be creative, for example through organizing a creative workshop, is the way to let non-designers participate in the process as well. Through different speculative and design fiction approaches which I’ve used in Constructive Design Research, Research Methods and my M1.2, I believe I am now able to engage people around me to be able to design their future and it has also helped me in becoming a strong strategic thinker that can imagine a future that surpass the boundaries of what we are used to.