Sustainability | Teamwork | Inclusivity
through transformative design"
Back in the day, I would be the kid who was always wondering why things are the way they are. Where my kindergarten teacher already put this in my report, my internship mentor mentioned: “she always asks until she understands everything”. I recognized this curiosity led to me being analytical while conducting user research.
On the other hand, it also led to overthinking. Luckily, learning through experiencing design processes, taught me a more iterative style, whereas learning from others, taught me a more pragmatic approach. Gaining practical skills in prototyping, during, for example, the course of Exploratory Making, made me shift my focus to creating, as visible in my personalized double diamond design process . This is also where, teammates would say, my strengths lie: rapid concept creation and prototyping.
Throughout all projects, one value would be recurring. I want that what I create is meaningful. A big area see potential to add value is sustainable development. To work on this I joined the GO Green Office and Team Energy.
To be able to achieve this development radical change is needed for everyone. This means everyone should be able to change and thus be included. To work on inclusion I did a project for the Diversity Fund and one on “Inclusion in the Energy Transition”. This project also touches on my desire to work on transformative design.
Where, at the start of the studies I was interested to learn anything, I now scoped it down to sustainable development through transformative design. In this area I see two different roles for myself: speculative design to let people change values or designing sustainable practices to help people create habits. To me, an ideal design challenges societies’ values on the relations with our environment.
“Let’s be good ancestors by creating together with our social and natural environment.”
To me, climate change  and biodiversity loss  are big driving forces to create meaningful impact. There shows to be a huge opportunity to work on transitional and systemic design  for sustainable development, to aim for an ecological balance . Here, we should value our environment more and invest our time, energy, and financial resources in it more.
To provoke this value change, I recognize designers could apply value-sensitive design  and speculative design . Other roles are creating sustainable products and practices to create ways of living bottom-up; and systemic design to initiate change top-down. In both, to make design work, it should be directed towards “Most Advanced Yet Acceptable” , where speculative design provokes discussions.
This all corresponds with the insight of Krznaric: “Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors.”  While doing a project for policymakers, I recognized that long-term thinking shows to be challenging. So, as a designer, I want to show, via speculative design, that thinking multi-lifespan is possible.
From doing an internship at Six Fingers and my Final Bachelor Project, I recognized that the biggest challenge is the implementation of a concept. Therefore, creating habits through sustainable practices is something else I want to work on. Next to this, designing for Six Fingers and Digital Agency JaxX helped me gain a balanced approach between idealism and realism.
All with all, to create big impact, collaborative action is needed. Teamwork is essential to combine expertise. Next to this, if everyone needs to make a change, everyone should be able to. This makes inclusion important. Spark, which creates ownership of and access to electricity in developing countries, is a great example. Also, the sharing economy , driving away from the value of ownership to access, perfectly combines sustainability and inclusion here.
 Auger, J. (2013). Speculative design: crafting the speculation. Retrieved 21-07-2022.
 Curtis, S., Lehner, M. (2019). Defining the Sharing Economy for Sustainability. Retrieved 13-07-2022.
 Hoven, J. van der, Manders-Huits, N. (2017). Value-sensitive Design. Retrieved 21-07-2022.
 IPCC (2019). Climate Change and Land. Retrieved 13-07-2022.
 IPCC (2022). Climate change: a threat to human wellbeing and health of the planet. Taking action now can secure our future. Retrieved 13-07-2022.
 Krznaric, R. (2020) The Good Ancestor. Retrieved 13-07-2022.
 Schwaniger, M. (2018) Systemic design for sustainability. Retrieved 13-07-2022.
 Self, J. Andrietc, E. (2016) Most advanced yet acceptable: A case of referential form-driven meaning innovation. Retrieved 28-07-2022.