Empati - Towards Inclusive Policymaking

Energy transition, the transition to renewable energy sources, is one solution for tackling global warming. Everyone is impacted in this transition, therefore inclusion is essential. However, interviews with policymakers showed that they work and communicate through values of native Dutch.

Minority groups have different values and are thus excluded to a certain extent in this transition. Empathy among policy makers towards these different values could help include minority groups.

The research aims to understand whether experiential speculative storytelling can be an approach policymakers could use for empathy building. Through critical making, we gathered stories and values from Dutch citizens with a Turkish immigration background (DCTIB) and translated those into an immersive experience. Policymakers experienced the design and reflected upon it, thus leading to the main question: did policymakers experience the values of the DCTIB? First analyses revealed that policymakers experienced the DCTIB perspectives and saw potential for implementation.

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TU/e Towards Together

At the TU/e there are a lot of different people with different nationality, gender, educational background, cultural heritage, beliefs, opinions and values. All with all, we don’t see things the same. What we do see the same is that it’s important that everyone is treated equally and that everyone is included. We, the TU/e, as Drivers of Change want to reach that goal because strength lies in difference and that’s also the only thing we have in common.

Mist of Memory

Mist of Memory is a video game for adults stuck with a fixed mindset. They can develop a growth mindset by practicing with adaptive thinking using this game. This is done based on a storyline which provides choices to the player to explore opportunities to solve the mystery. Experimenting and making mistakes is needed to get essential information. These knowledge, skills and attitudes can be applied in real-life. It turned out to be hard to implement the concept into a video game since it’s a simulation of real life and not real life itself. This point of concern made us think outside of the box.

While working on the Business & Entrepreneurship aspects, one thing I found out is that it can be challenging and also risky to create a new concept for a new market. This doesn’t guarantee success. This let me recognize that it’s important to have solid arguments for the business model of the concept. 

For the prototype, I learned to work with Blender to create characters and its animations. I see it as an useful tool to be able to work with. This basic understanding of Blender gives me the opportunity to create more objects and animations for other projects.

All with all I learned the most about the process and how to make sure an idea is successful in its implementation to the target group and to the market. This couldn’t be done by gaining practical skills to make a feasible prototype.

The Goodnight Light

Smart to touch is about creating experiences making use of reversible materials. This project suits me since I can analyze a specific situation, ideate, and combine possibilities into a system.

During Project 1, our team designed a tool that helps children establish an evening routine whereby their sleep quality will improve. This relates to the Sustainable Development Goal Health and well-being.  

In the project, our team started off with doing research. As soon as the concept was developed we started user testing and talking to experts. This gave me more experience with the gathering and use of data. The user tests and scenario descriptions gave me more insight into the user group. The combination of this data and user-based perspectives helped to make this concept a good match for the user, society and societal needs.

With making a business model and applying the concept to a theme, our team wants to anticipate the selling market to make sure the product can be sold. The combining of existing shapes and tools into something new makes products unique. The combination of this way of doing business and creativity can make a product very successful.

To create interaction with the user, technology is needed. Also, a realization is needed to show the concept. Here is where creative ideas need technology and realization.

During Project 1, I developed myself as a videographer by making product videos. Another goal of mine was to apply 3D ideation techniques like sketching in Solidworks. This gave a positive contribution to the visualization of the shape. Another goal was to apply a design concept to users and businesses which we did by doing user research and making a business plan.


To reach results you have to work together with people from different expertises and ways of working. I want to get used to several ways of working because I want to be able to adapt to others. During design projects, I got more experienced in working together and found out that communication is important to steer the process. My goal is to communicate actively.

I learned that envisioning, making, exploring, thinking, and deciding are part of the design process. The iterations through these steps make a project never-ending. During Project 1, I experimented with different ideation techniques. In my experience, the most obvious ideas seem to come first and daring to take risks can bring you further.

Moreover, I learned is imperitive to be patient because a design process needs time for reflection and rethinking. Investing more in the preparation is a wise choice. My result-oriented view has changed to a critical entrepreneurial, view which helps me to make shaper decisions.

It’s important to show the process next to the result. A concept can be developed infinitely but time will be limited and choices have to be made. This way, the story is clear and better feedback can be exchanged.

Smart cooking

The device is designed with the purpose of allowing patients with Alzheimer’s to stay independent for longer by assisting them in a daily activity, cooking. The product consists of two parts, a kitchen module that measures the temperature and activity in the kitchen, and a bracelet which is worn by the user. 

The temperature sensor and distance sensor keep an eye on if the person is cooking or not. As soon as the stove is turned on and the person is away for too long a signal is send to the bracelet. In the case it takes even longer for the person to respond to the signal, a message is send to the caregiver via WiFi. 

Because the target group is people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, it was necessary to create a device that required as little human input as possible. The only interactable function is a switch on the kitchen module that allows the user to switch between a short and long timer to allow them to cook meals that require a shorter or longer cooking time. The device itself however is always measuring the temperature, so it does not need to be manually turned on. 

Wake up experience

Design can help to provoke, imagine, question and develop. Good design is intuitive and perception is needed to reach that. In this wake up experience, the emphasis lies on intuitiveness. Different expertise’s make use of different processes. For creativity & aesthetics the process consists of feeling, exploring, prototyping, experiencing, critique and reflecting. To create this wake up experience, four iterations of this process were done. This prototype functions as a representation of the design made before the final artifact exists to inform the design process.

Actively thinking about affordances and doing experience prototyping helped to be aware of the functioning of the design as well as its position in the process. The Frogger framework showed to be a helpful tool to put design interaction into words. 

Coffee vending machine

The collaboration of electronics and mechanics gives the opportunity to make high-fidelity prototypes. Thinking in three dimensions and visualizing can help to ideate along the way. During the course Exploratory Making, I learned to make cardboard models with electronics. Later, I developed my understanding of electronics during the course: Creative Electronics.

3D Printing

The Dino Egg is a 3D design created in SolidWorks wherefore the principles of exact constraint design are being used. The egg makes use of a spherical iris mechanism. The product is made of three parts: the inner sphere, the four doors and the outer rotatable sphere. The doors rotate around hinges protruding from the inner shell. They are guided through slots with pins protruding from the outer shell. These two separate pins allow the doors to stay in between the two other layers. The slots make sure the doors move up when the outer shell rotates clockwise. 

In the design of the Dino Egg is used as little material as possible by making holes in the outer sphere and the horizontal plate between the inner and the outer sphere. This is done to save material and thereby costs, without affecting the stiffness of strongness. By taking into account the shapes and placement of these holes the design is in charge of this preservation of stiffness and strongness. 

poster anti pollution mask !

Anti pollution scarf

This anti-pollution scarf with an integrated filter system makes use of sensors that warn users when to wear the scarf. The goal is to help people who experience hindrance in their daily lives due to allergies or smog, for example. During this project, I learned how to combine problems and solutions.

Self-sufficient house

By designing a self-sufficient house I also gained more experience in conducting scientific research about systems that use energy. By the end of our research, my team and I were able to make  concise design decisions to create an optimized situation for any given circumstances.

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