Designer Identity

Today, I participated in an (semi-)international seminar for Industrial Design Engineering programs of University of Applied Sciences. I joined a session on Identity Education. We shared how identity education played a role in our programs and what questions we had that we wanted to tackle in this session. As an answer to these questions, we created a vision on how identity support could be for 2025. We envisioned a student who steered in a cabriolet through an ever-changing landscape full of challenges.


Remarkable for me, was how values play are role in shaping the identity of a designer. Students should be allowed to work on projects that are linked with their personal value set. Choosing projects or semesters is thus a requirement. A student should be support to make this selection based on their values.

Colleagues of other programs came with the idea this support does not stop at point of graduation. Design students should be trained to formulate goals based on their values. A toolkit to continue this after graduation is important. Goals based on these values should be made visible for coaches in such a way they could cheer along during and after graduation.

These ideas connect to my own ideas based on interview results. It supports my itch on how my research should enter the third stage. In this stage, I want to create an approach that support junior design professionals to cope with value conflicts in collaborative practice. Being aware of ones’ values and visualize clear goals could be one of the strategies within this approach. I am getting excited and might have found people to collaborate with to further these ideas.

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