My top three books about meaningful design

1. The Designer’s Atlas of Sustainability

The first book that inspired me to create meaningful design is by Ann Thorpe. I read quite a while ago. I used the book for the course Sustainable Product Design. Before I read this book, no book has crossed my path with such to the point tips for designers.

The Designer’s Atlas of Sustainability: Charting the Conceptual Landscape through Economy, Ecology, and Culture

2. Designing Things

When I started my research project, I loved to go to the university library to find books about meaningful designs and designing with values. I found a book by Prasad Boradkar. This book is easy to read and loaded with examples and theory. That was the book that helped me formulating what values are and how to use them as a designer.

Designing Things: A Critical Introduction to the Culture of Objects

3. Innovation Design

Another book that helped me through the first period of trying to understand the topic is by Elke den Ouden. She not only included design theory in her work, but also perspectives from psychology, sociology, and business. It a great resource for theory.

Next to that her book provides two concrete tools you could use in teams or networked innovation to get insight  in all value perspectives of project stakeholders and value flows between them.
Innovation Design: Creating Value for People, Organizations and Society

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 Continue reading “Designer Identity”

Being creative versus earning a living

Making a living from your craft is a challenge. You are no longer focussing on your craft solely. Being creative and contributing to a better world are opposing values to earning a living and building a public image, values you need to pursue as (senior) employee or entrepreneur. Jacob Waites recommends to shut down the computer and keep making stuff by hand. Underlining this story is a typical value conflict experienced by many designers. Read the full blog here.


The little epiphanies

Why do I research? Why go through so much effort and long, long days of pondering, going through my data, writing small bits of a paper? It is these little epiphanies you experience after a day of hard work. The insight you gained. The proof you found. The piece you were able to write.

Epiphanies, may be small, are the things that make you tick. I find them in my research. I make sure to have at least one per day. How? Continue reading “The little epiphanies”

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