I am from the Netherlands where I grew up and obtained my Bachelor degree in Graphic Design at Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. Shortly after I moved to London, UK, to continue my studies at Central St. Martins where I received my Master degree in Communication Design. I stayed in London for 15 years or so where I started a design agency with some friends named Bullet, with clients ranging from small arts based clients to huge corporate giants such as Nike, where we launched their now hugely successful action sports brand, and, for example Cape Farewell, an organisation raising awareness about climate change through art and science. From 2010 onwards I moved to the north of Sweden where I have been running an innovation lab; Floda31, a place for specialists from various disciplines to meet, collaborate and create. Here we worked with institutions such as Super/Collider, Umeå University and had many individual arts residencies. Floda31 also has been doing commercial work with clients such as the Design Research Society (DRS), Converse and Nike. I have been lecturing in design at Umeå Institute of Design (UID) since 2012. Besides teaching and F31 I am also part of a small initiative, Foundation 5, set up by some friends and myself, for innovation in emergency medicine. Foundation 5 is currently using design to try to help out in the Covid-19 pandemic, collaborating with the National Health Service (UK), TU Delft, U-Create and other stakeholders. This collaboration is a good example of combining research and applied practices to a real-world problem. This pandemic itself, although terrible, is highlighting many areas that need to be addressed, and opening up for making lasting change.
What I do at UID
I contribute to design education in various programmes from a communication perspective. This can mean graphic design, information design, concept design, speculative design and so on. I am part of the design research community where I have worked with speculative design and what it may contribute to difficult ethical issues. Currently I am collaborating with some colleagues in developing a guide for Hybrid teaching in response to the current pandemic.
I finished my PhD in Design Research at Loughborough University in the UK in 2020, focusing on how design can help solve ethical dilemmas. I mainly used speculative design to create artefacts and stories to create ‘applied thought experiments’. I investigated how this way of working could support conversations about euthanasia in dementia. This approach of using speculative design is a useful way to investigate design for change and highlight (unintended) consequences.