Captivating Cape Town

Cape Town is very hard to resist: with its majestic Table Mountain, golden beaches, tropical food, city life. Like five different countries all on walking distance! I am sure this city won the hearts of many. 
I visited Cape Town for work related activities. Unfortunately I am not allowed to share any details due to confidentiality reasons. But what I like the most about this city, is its awareness about sustainability. A lot of nature inspired brands, and locally produced vegetables & foods. 
Probably because the people from Cape Town have so much nature around them.  
Below some snapshots of my favourite spots in South Africa’s Mother city! 
 

Pictures by AG

Middelland Boulevard Project

Middellandstraat Rotterdam Delfshaven is part of a long shopping street that runs from the Westersingel to Mathenesserplein. Middellandstraat is in a very dynamic district with a lot of potential. The Middelland district is home to a wide variety of residents and has a diversity of features and buildings. Middelland distinguishes itself by its location near the city center, the cultural, historical and architectural qualities as well as a very involved residents population. Middelland is on the right track however has to make sure it keeps on responding adequately to problems that are still playing in the neighborhood.

In order to stimulate the economy and employment in the area of the 1st, 2nd Middellandstraat and Middellandplein through innovation, the project called Middelland Boulevard is devised. Together with SA Line – a transportation company located at the core Middelland – we are working on the strategy of this project for a few months now.

Yesterday we had a huge breakthrough and were able to set a clear direction for which we want the project go into.  It is a true pity, because at this moment we cannot provide you with any details. However, make sure you stay tuned! These details will follow in the near future.

Pictures by AG 

 

Summa Engineering Students explore the future of nanotechnology at the Nano Supermarket

February 24th and 25th the Nano Supermarket visited the Summa Engineering College at Eindhoven. In the restyled SRV truck both startling as disturbing speculative nano-products were shown:  i.e. Nanowine of which its flavour can be changed by the microwave, and the Conception Control that makes prospective parents able to choose the gender of their baby on forehand. Those products are designed with the intention to debate the opportunities and dangers of nanotechnology. 

Nanotechnology is any technology that deals with the manipulation of structures on molecular and atomic level. A nanometer (nm) is one billionth of a meter. In order to give you an idea about the scale: a fingernail grows five to ten nm each minute. While many people know that nanotechnology is very small, there is on the other hand almost no discussion about the impact of this emerging technology in our everyday life. The Nano Supermarket provides a podium for this discussion and centralizes the following question, namely: What nano-future do we want?

In a subsequent workshop, students had the opportunity to contribute to the broad public debate on the future of nanotechnology. Together with Jeroen van der Meij, also a freelance designers with a background in Industrial Design (TU / e), AG gave a three-hour program for third-year students mechatronics, mechanical engineering and industrial product design. The students were provided with a brief introduction to nanotechnology and how how nanotechnology can change our daily lives. Afterwards, the students worked in teams to design a fictional nano product that makes people think. While using the supplied materials and being supported with personal guidance, the students came to provocative concepts. For example the Slaughter Ready Cows that fall into pieces by themselves, and the Mini Robot Razor that removes facial hair flawlessly. At the end of the workshop, each team presented their designed nano product. Afterwards a group discussion about the potential impact of the product was held and the final results were provided with sufficient feedback.

The students' responses were overwhelmingly positive. Especially the clear explanation, the constructive guidance and useful tools were appreciated. Some students expected that the workshop’s emphasis would be on the technical side of the story, however at the educational value of the workshops was clear. The purpose of the workshop was to develop a vision on nanotechnology. At the end we can say that most students realised that it is virtually certain that they have to deal with nanotechnology in their later life, even professionally. The first step of awareness was created with this. The workshop was therefore seen as meaningful and worth repeating.

Pictures by AG

Femme Tech Magazine

Femme Tech Magazine is an annual publication for technical and professional women in the Netherlands.
Within the section "Outstanding Women in Technology", the magazine shows that women whom choose the field of technology are not ordinary types.  Aylin Groenewoud has been chosen as one of the four women mentioned within this section and explains how challenging and versatile the field of technology can be. 

Content by AG & Femme Tech Magazine

Mona Lisa - Musée du Louvre

Last week my boyfriend and I went to the Louvre Museum in Paris. Basically we went just for one thing: a New Years Eve selfie with the Mona Lisa. The Mona Lisa is a painting of a woman by the artist Leonardo da Vinci, which has been acclaimed as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world".

It took us at least two hours to get in the museum. Hence, one could say that a glimpse of this young lady was the best feeling I have ever experienced when looking at art. Her ambiguous expression marked by the enigmatic smile created an unbelievable sense of harmony. Or..  Is it just the incredible hype about this masterpiece that makes this painting so powerful and made me experience it as one of the best art pieces I have ever seen. Well, we never know... 

Content by AG

Co-reflection Workshop Trucking.nl

Together with design consultancy Meaningwise and transport management system (TMS) developer Freightlive we designed and executed a co-reflection workshop. The purpose of this workshop was to evaluate the latest version of the logistic acquisition platform trucking.nl and inquire end-user and expert insights for its further development based on a designerly approach. This platform is an initiative of Logistic Force with other partners including Freightlive. Moreover, Trucking.nl matches supply and demand between charters and transporters.

The workshop took four hours.  Two moderators, three presenters, three facilitators, and sixteen participants were involved. The participants were divided over three teams with each team a different platform (desktop, smartphone, and tablet) focus. The latter was due to the client’s interest in expanding trucking.nl from desktop to other platforms as well. 

The workshop was structured in three phases: exploration, ideation and confrontation. For each phase specific templates and tools were created and used. The first two phases (exploration & ideation), were planned as such to enable participants to express their ideas while at the same time being prepared for the last phase (confrontation) to have a substantial reflection on the current trucking.nl platform design. Furthermore, presentation moments were planned between each phase for teams to synchronize their insights and ideas. 

Pictures by AG


Oase Wellness Center - House Rules Board

My boyfriend, coordinator at Paramaribo’s Oase Wellness Center, asked me to update their information boards i.e. house rules board, jacuzzi & steam bath usage board. 

An interesting visual communication challenge, since the predefined color palette - based upon Oase’s brand identity - included citrus yellow and grass green.  Very unusual for the neutral based Dutch way of defining color palettes. Due to, some of us Dutch designers might call this blogpost’s explorations out of color balance. However, I would like to challenge you to take a single second longer to truly experience this palette. To feel that these colors are vibrant, moreover, color your life.  Provide you with an instant joy. Now.. who seems to be out of balance? (:

Are you curious to the final results? Visit the Oase Wellness Center in Paramaribo, Surinam, South America.

Content by AG

Web Summit: the world came to Dublin

Welcome to Dublin, Ireland. Dublin's tourism came previous week to a different turning point. In fact, 25.000 people came to Ireland's capital city to visit the Dublin Web Summit. The Dublin Web Summit, is described as the best technology conference in the world. At those days the biggest 500 fortune companies and smallest exciting start-ups are brought together.

The reason why I visited the Web Summit was simple. A colleague and very good friend of mine, Rhys Duindam, also known as his alter ego called Nupky, bought an exhibition stand at the summit. Nupky is a 1 years old startup that has developed a new music instrument called Tingle. At the moment Nupky is searching for contacts within the manufacturing industry and the Web Summit is a great opportunity to meet the right people. Nupky approached me for help and support during the event. Together with Wisse Trooster, a fellow designer, we leaved The Netherlands for a midweek and travelled to Ireland.

Fully equipped with business cards, flyers, and a full-scale working prototype of Tingle we tried to search for the people we needed. Lists of attendees, partners, and investors were investigated, about 600 messages daily were sent trough a specially developed app to a selection of interesting people (in order to schedule in appointments), and in between media and bloggers where involved along this process.

At the end, three days of hard-core hustling, during both day and night, paid of. Rhys received contact information of David Buttler as VP from Coca Cola & Kevin Godley's manager of the WholeWorldBand, pitched Tingle to the co-founder of Arduino, and came in the media (e.g. The Irish Independent). And last but not least, Rhys took a picture with his childhood hero Tony Hawk. For Rhys, the world came to Dublin.

Pictures by AG

Dutch Design Week 2014

Last week, Eindhoven hosted its annual event called Dutch Design Week. These days are filled with design related expos, lectures, workshops, and parties. Main venues during the event are the Design Academy, Klokgebouw, Sectie-C, and Strijp-S.

We all know that design plays a vital role in daily life. However, it is so much fun to actually see how many people go crazy at Piet Hein Eek’s scrap wooden furniture section located at Strijp (www.pietheineek.nl), to watch people's corrugate look when they experience the new fashion concepts that embark aspects of fetishism (e.g. hair grown underwear (www.mandyroos.nl)) at the Design Academy, and to experience how people are getting inspired by Volvo's release of the XC60 showed at the Klokgebouw (www.volvocardesign.nl).

Design is the way we make sense of the world, moreover, shape the world. It is a gigantic theatre of visions that plugs wires into people's head and determines how they should play, work, act, travel, be at home, take care of their health etc. Due to this, the DDW is a great opportunity to assess the position and meaning of design in our current system, to explore products' relation with and in the environment, and to find out the impact of brands. To reflect on where we are and where we should go to. Hence, to figure out your role as a designer into this theatre. 

Pictures by AG

Co-creation Workshop Cubiss

This week Meaningwise and AG organised a 4 hours during workshop for Cubiss. Cubiss is a Dutch organisation that advises in education, ICT, human resource, policy and organisational development. At the moment, their consultants from the department of education are developing a project that supports libraries in North Brabant to transform their logistic infrastructure. In order to do so, a mobile app is going to be developed that the libraries' employees should make use of in the near future. The workshop’s aim was to provide insights about the app’s requirements by using design research methods that involve employees early at the design process. 

On forehand, Meaningwise and AG set up a program for which they recruited 10 participants: co-ordinators, project managers, research consultant, logistic engineer, software engineer, and drivers. During the workshop they made the participants identify and position stakeholders & users, unravel app features, and brainstorm about the app’s implementation phase. Only a simply icebreaker at the start of the workshop made the participants play with paper cut outs, draw out ideas and work towards two workable scenarios. 

Pictures by AG