Golden dot award 2015

Every year CMD Amsterdam awards prizes for the best work done by their students. This year there were four categories and these are the winners, Congratulations!
Better World Award’
: ‘Vlucht voor Willy!’ (Flee from Willy) by Dylan van Sprang.
Technical Award: : Xpression Play by Ted Voorend.
P-Kings Award: SheepTogether by Jardi Kroes, Dieuwertje Okkels, Sophie Hoeboer, Jurre Visser, Merlijn Vos en Pim Jenniskens.
Creative Award: Bricky ( by Simon Dijkman, Roan Zuman, Willem Smit.

In the category ‘Better World’, first year student Dylan van Sprang won the prize for a game called ‘Vlucht voor Willy!’ (Flee from Willy). ‘Vlucht voor Willy’ is a game that lets you ‘experience’ fleeing like a refugee and triggers your thinking in an unexpected way. Try it yourself and play the game!

Karin – Filterdesign & University of Applied Science Amsterdam

Designing? How?

This week I was a guest lecturer at the Maastricht University Zuyd as a 2nd examiner for CMD graduates. A very nice experience! One of the students introduced me to a new form of design: Intervention Design. This method is taught by Theo Ploeg, a lecturer at CMD Zuyd. It occurred to me how many types of design methods I’ve encountered lately. Most of the time I use the term User-Centered Design to describe my design method and my work as a designer. “UCD is putting the user central during every part of the design process”, I explain to people who ask about it. Out of curiosity I made a list of the design methods and approaches that came to mind. It is difficult to indicate the difference between an approach, a process and a method. How you are going to do something and the progress are closely linked within the flexible parts of the design practice. But this is what I came up with:

Design Research: Researching the history of design, media theory, semiotics and the role of the designer.
Research for design: Research tools and techniques for the purpose of better design solutions like prototyping, interviewing, personas, flow models and so on.
Research of design: Concerns the design methods that are being used or can be used.
Research through design: Gaining or constructing new knowledge through designing, building and testing in the environment so that people can experience the design within their daily live. Research through design has a focus on fashion, industrial design and architecture.
Social design: Social design in the broadest sense, addresses a social issue. A carefully selected social and political attitude drives the design process. The methods which are used are also social, actively involving the target group or making the design process a form of co-creation. The goal is to design products that solve a social issue.
Service design: the purpose of service design is to improve the infrastructure with regard to the communication and material components of a service by offering the right customer experiences at the right time. A typical tool used by service design is a ‘customer journey map’. A ‘customer journey map’ describes and visualizes the journey, experience and emotions of the customer based on the moments of interaction with the service. These insights enable service designers to realize an optimal customer experience through various channels.
Evidence based design:
Design movement which emphasizes on credible evidence by supporting every design decision by doing research. Evidence based design is originated from healthcare.
Speculative design
: Speculative design serves two distinct purposes: first to enable to think about the future and second to critique current practices: by Auger in Speculative design: crafting the speculation. (
Critical Design: “Critical Design uses speculative design proposals to challenge narrow assumptions, preconceptions and givens about the role products play in everyday life. It is more of an attitude than anything else, a position rather than a method.”: by Dunne & Raby.
Action research: “… is a disciplined process of inquiry conducted by and for those taking the action. The primary reason for engaging in action research is to assist the “actor” in improving and/or refining his or her actions.”: by Richard Sagor. Important to add is that action research happens in one given setting, in contrast to research for design.
Educational Design Research: “…a genre of research in which the iterative development of practical solutions to complex educational problems also provides the context for empirical investigations that yield theoretical understanding that can inform the work of others.”: by McKenney and Reeves in Conducting Educational Design Research (2012)
Educational Design Research has two goals according to McKenney:
– positive intervention in the real world of today, or maybe tomorrow
– scientific (theoretical) understanding of these interventions that could inform the works of others who are interested in similar kind of issues outside of the design context. This in contrast to Design-Based Research and Instructional Design.
Design-Based Research: “A systematic but flexible methodology aimed to improve educational practices through iterative analysis, design, development, and implementation, based on collaboration among researchers and practitioners in real-world settings, and leading to contextually-sensitive design principles and theories.”: by Wang and Hannafin in Design-Based Research and technology-enhanced learning environments. (2005) (
Instructional Design: “Instructional experiences which make the acquisition of knowledge and skill more efficient, effective, and appealing.”: Merrill, Drake, Lacy, Pratt in Reclaiming Instructional Design (
Participatory Design/Co-Design: A design approach  where all stakeholders (e.g. employees, partners, customers, citizens, end users) are actively involved in the processes and procedures of design to help ensure the result meets their needs.
Persuasive design: Design principles that focus on influencing the decision-making and purchasing behavior of (potential) customers. To accomplish this influence on decision-making several psychological theories on behavioral change are used. For example, from Robert Cialdini (Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University).
Generative design: “Generative design is a design method in which the output – image, sound, architectural models, animation – is generated by a set of rules or an Algorithm, normally by using a computer program. Most generative design is based on parametric modeling. It is a fast method of exploring design possibilities that is used in various design fields such as Art, Architecture, Communication Design, and Product Design.” (Source: Wikipedia)
Intervention design: Goal is to design for the near future: by Theo Ploeg.
Image: Intervention design by Theo Ploeg

Karin – Filterdesign & University of Applied Science Amsterdam

OER & MOOC’s by dr. Robert Schuwer

I highly recommend to watch this public lecture (lectorale rede) by my colleague/friend dr. Robert Schuwer where he talks about his passion Open Educational Resources. Unfortunate I could not attend his public lecture  at the Fontys University of Apllied Sciences last Friday but I watched his lecture online (in Dutch). I am again impressed by the inspiring content presented in such an enjoyable way and I can only underscore Robert’s mission:
“Open Educational Resources: Imagine!”

Additional I would like to refer to another talk (in Dutch) by Robert Schuwer on ‘MOOC’s: kansen en uitdagingen’ (opportunities and challenges) organized by the Open University where he talks about the opportunities and challenges of MOOC’s.

Karin – Filterdesign & University of Applied Science Amsterdam

P.S. The initial start of this blog is based on the motivation (literally supported by Robert Schuwer as client) that research which is funded by tax money must be shared!

A moral dilemma for design

Yrjö Sotamaa: “Papanek’s Heritage – Design for a Real World”, a seminar at the Aalto University on March 6, 2012: “Designers in Finland felt that is was unethical and immoral to talk about beauty in a world full of inequality and problems.” This moral dilemma stems from the sixties of the last century. World famous Finnish designers were awarded for the beauty of their designs, not because of their social impact.
Does this dilemma still play a role today? I think so, especially the question about design as an elite activity within the social classes of the 21st century. For me, design, the role of designers and design education should be (more) about social impact within a critical attitude towards design itself.
“Considering all the areas which my list touches upon, it might be easy to assume that I feel that all the problems of the world can be solved through design. But in fact, all I am saying is that a great many problems could use the talents of designers. And this will mean a new role for designers, no longer as tools in the hands of industry but as advocates for users.” (Victor Papanek, Design for the real world, 1985)

Karin – Filterdesign & University of Applied Science Amsterdam

Design and empathy

At CMD (Design school in Amsterdam) we try to teach new designers that empathy is crucial in order to design for others. The others are people with different needs and circumstances than (young) designers. This video by Brené Brown on Empathy is a great help showing students the difference between empathy and sympathy:
(It is also a beautiful animated story :-)

Karin – Filterdesign & University of Applied Science Amsterdam

Intelligent Coalitions: Design & Social Impact

“In February 2012, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, the Lemelson Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts brought together designers, planners, inventors, and funders from Australia, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas working in the public, private, and social sectors for the Social Impact Design Summit—a one-day participatory event to discuss strategies and actions to advance the field of socially responsible design.” Source: Cooper Hewitt.

Introduction by Ezio Manzini founder of DESIS asking himself the next questions:
– What can design do?
– How can design do it?

Karin – Filterdesign & University of Applied Science Amsterdam

Tear down workshop: useITsmartly at CMD in A’dam

Last week 11 CMD students at the applied university of Amsterdam joined in a tear down workshop in collaboration with useITsmartly. First they tore down different IT devices and household appliances to subsequently incorporate the pieces into a collage. Then using future narratives and life cycle diagramming to start a campaign with which they made their peers aware of the consequences  for the environment when using IT. The amazing results of this week; campaigns, videos and photos can be seen on the website of useITsmartly, Facebook, YouTube and twitter #‎useITsmartly‬.
Have fun watching!

2015-02-24 11.58.42

UseITSmartly “is a current project funded by IEE (‘Intelligent Energy – Europe’) aiming at capacity building towards behavioural changes in the way youths use technology. The project wants to close this gap by developing innovative solutions for capacity building in young people towards smart IT use and ideas on how to reach them with this topic.” ( The Dutch representation of useITsmartly is Duneworks from Eindhoven.

Karin – Filterdesign & University of Applied Science Amsterdam

Designing Social Innovation by Dr. Ramia Maze

The parts where dr. Ramia Maze discusses life cycle diagrams and future studies I found particularly interesting.

“How are designers working to advance the social good? In particular, how can the field of interaction design address sustainability? This presentation presents a model for an interdisciplinary and international approach to design research based on expert interviews and case studies.” via


Karin – Filterdesign


“The symposium tries to understand the phenomenon “interface” in its dynamic development in order to develop critical perspectives beyond culturally pessimistic reflexes. We are looking for papers dealing with topics such as  inclusion and exclusion, subjectivation and desubjectivation, continuities and non-simultaneity. Considering that many interfaces are not only connected with each other, but also merge into one another, that they not only enable communication with technology, but also normalize it, it becomes evident: understanding interfaces is an approach to understanding the world.”

August 15: Deadline for submissions
November 7/8: Conference in Berlin