During my bachelor Industrial Design at the Eindhoven University of Technology I explored the basic principles of design, got familiar with self-directed learning and learned the fundamentals of how to run a design project.
During my Final Bachelor Project, I focused on improving and stimulating social interaction between multidisciplinary students in a university setting.
The project has used a user-centered design approach, involving the user from the very beginning. Starting with the aim to understand what drives people to, or to not, seek social contact and exploring what is valued most in a social interaction. From there, the design challenge became focused on how to lower the boundaries of asking for help, feedback or assistance to a point where it is not an intimidating experience anymore.
To address this challenge, technology and data are used. The visualization is designed to stimulate an interaction between students. To make this interaction most beneficial for all involved, data plays an important role in the background to match the users based on expertise, skills and knowledge.
The final design is an interactive system to be used in a co-working space. In this workspace, the tables are put together in a circular shape, to work with an open posture towards each other and to make sure every student is always able to see the others. Upon sitting down in this work space, the student scans their student card at the table, which loads their ‘profile’, containing their expertise areas, based on courses completed and learning activities done. When a student is in need of assistance, a request for help or feedback can be made. A line of light will connect the student which has asked for help, with the student who has the expertise to do so. Helping out other students comes with fitting rewards and the data gathered from students asking questions, can be used as useful insights for the university.