Identity as a Designer
Vision on Design
Hi, my name is Sebastiaan van de Venne.
I have been studying Industrial Design for the past 4 years and now it is coming to and end. This has been my final semester and I have been working on my Final Bachelor Project City Vitality.
Under past you will find concise descriptions of my semesters in the past. I briefly explain the designs and the process and focus on how that process contributed to my development.
In present you will find both my project and my assignment work. For City Vitality I first give an overall insight in my process and its developments and go further into detail beneath that. The assignment of Designing for the Here and Now! is reflected seperately and is referred back to in other reflections.
Overall competence of design brings everything together and summarizes all the development I have experienced throughout the years. I also made seperate competency reflections to show my understanding but also my personal perception of these competency areas.
Future discusses the plans I have for both my near and my far future. Starting with what will happen after the summer! It also contains 7 different directions that I envision to be my goals for future develoment.
Currently I am concluding 4 years of studying Industrial Design. The growth I have experienced throughout these years is enormous, both educationally as personally.
It hasn’t been an easy ride for me. Many times I was on the edge of deciding to quit but always found the motivation inside me to give it all one more time and await what comes out of it! This eventually brought me here in my final bachelor in Industrial Design and has brought forth a designer that is very aware of his own believes, capabilities & responsibilities.
I live by the credo ‚Become who you are’ which is taken from the works of Nietschze. The reason why I live by this quote is because it is both a goal as an encouragement.
For me this means that I have to take the past for what it is, learn from it and apply the lessons into the present. When you ask people „if you could have done that differently, would you?” most of them answer yes. I ,however, am grateful for who I am now. There is no possible way to know if I things would have turned out for the better if I had made other decisions. Therefore regretting this has become irrelevant. The only thing I can change is how I live now and I am really aware of that. This has a direct link to how I envision myself to transform society through design.
I believe that true relevancy is only achieved in the present and to stay relevant I therefore have to change over time, together with the environment and the rest of society. I believe this is the main reason for me to become a designer. To help society become self-aware and self-organized in adapting to (needed) changes.
Within the years at ID I have developed to an analytical and critical designer but also social and intuitive. I am truly passionate about the profession of designer. I am mostly interested in the area of Social Design which is an ambiguous term. I believe this is a term to describe projects that point out the responsibility of me as a designer. I have the responsibility (and the capabilities) to help society change to increase or stimulate their human and social well-being.
My vision on my designer’s identity relies heavily on balancing both reason and intuition. A scale that continuously balances emotional to rational thoughts and results in the need to truly empathize and involve myself in any situation. In design processes this results in a highly explorative and iterative process to find out what are the available, applicable and relevant design directions. One could say I am a strategic designer. Because of this, next to it being necessary, I also like to involve as many people in my process.
I have developed an understanding of my own needs as designer to run a smooth integrated design process where my involvement with others is highly needed. The moment I exclude myself from the context environment I notice that I slow down in my progression.
Overall I have developed personally and educationally to quickly adapt to new situations and show strenght even when things are going wrong. I am persistent and passionate and I believe I can show this in all my work! --
On my first day at Industrial Design Kees Overbeeke, my coach back then, put a chair upside down on a table and asked me and my teammates what it was. Completely dumbstruck, not knowing what he was implying we all skeptically answered what we saw, " A chair…?". He countered with another question "What is a chair for?" and again we stated the obvious, "To sit on". And back then he showed me the meaning of design, although it took me over 3 years to begin to understand what he meant. It's all about perception and perspective!
"Meaning is neither inside the mind nor outside in the world: It is in-between the human being and the world. We perceive the world in terms of what we can do with it, and by physically interacting with it we access and express this meaning. Meaning is created in interaction."
(Matter of Transformation C. Hummels & P. Lévy)
To link this back to the chair. Because of its changed position we perceive it from a different perspective and therefore are forced to interact with it differently, thus new meaning is created.
Our human abilities to analyze and create, enables us to apply change and cope with the world changing around us. We live in a fast paced world and I believe that most designs in the present are designed to make people feel more comfortable or for their needs of ease and efficiency. This is not a bad approach but I believe this keeps the people at a status-quo that results in passive and unconscious behavior. I therefore want to approach this from the opposite side and design to engage and stimulate people to use their own intelligence and unique skills and capabilities. In my designs I aim to solicit people to create value themselves.
"Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you will feed him for a lifetime"
For me this sums up how I want to apply the vision stated above. Design for me is the mean, shaped by thorough research for its relevance, that enables others to adapt or apply to varying needs of change in their societal context. No matter how big or small the issue is, if the created meaning has relevant impact, my mission is accomplished.
This is my design vision and approach to transform society which has formed throughout the years and has a close bond to my designer identity.
The goal is social and cultural well-being and the path towards that is laid by people themselves. I am the person who opens their eyes how they can do this themselves!
B3.2 Showcase by Sebastiaan van de Venne
Industrial Design Student at TU/e Eindhoven