My education and experiences have taught me how to generate and use knowledge to conduct effective service design. I have learned how to identify and solve problems in complex situations, to understand and influence human behaviour, and to comprehend how businesses function. I have gained independence from the more directive goals of marketing, by co-creating new service concepts with a firm understanding of both the innovation process and user behaviour.
I have always operated with the objective of making things better for people.
I have done a variety of studies and worked in many different places. To get a better understanding of the workings of the individual mind I studied Psychology, and to understand it in the context of society I followed courses in Sociology and Cultural Studies. To understand design processes I studied Interaction Design, Industrial Design, Ergonomics and Consumer Product Design. I also studied Ethnography, Photography and Choreography, studies that view the process of creation from the perspective of both the creator and the user.
I have worked in different companies. I have been an ergonomist at a Dutch steel producer, an account manager at an aviation company, and a consultant at a large labour force-oriented firm. My goal was always the same: to improve the labour conditions and health of employees, within the company and at times for other firms. I studied the tools employees used and the environment in which they worked and often found it heartbreaking to see how much damage a misunderstanding between the designer and the user of a product or service can do.
Later, I tried to empower citizens to create and understand products and processes with the belief that everyone can be creative and innovative as long as they have a conducive environment. I wanted to give citizens the means to contribute to the world in which they live. Trying to help people undertake things that are usually beyond their reach was an amazing and sometimes frustrating experience.
At one point I became part of a digital media agency as usability director. Here, I continued to do the same thing I had before, but with a more marketing driven goal with a stronger focus on measuring the effects of products and services. Even though I greatly enjoyed this, I did not feel that this was what I wanted to do for a very long time. I decided that once again I would start anew, but this time it would be something that fully integrated my interests and insights. To enable myself to do this and to more clearly understand the business side of things, I returned to university and studied Marketing, Communication and Computing Sciences. Now I was ready.
A while back I became the research partner of the What Design Can Do Challenge. We collaborate to inspire and empower designers to come up with ideas that will help refugees and cities adapt to each other. I truly believe that, like this one, many problems in our society come from a disconnect. This can be between a government and refugees searching for a safe haven, between an education system and its students, or a car manufacturer and drivers.
I am not a person or a group. I am a collection of people and experiences in different times and places, seeking to bring value by identifying and solving problems in complex situations, understanding and influencing human behaviour, and creating understanding of how businesses function. I am STBY.