Introduction Fieke Thijssen
MSc Student Design for Interaction
Fiekes’ graduation project aims to design a concept with a group of BUCH residents, that lowers barriers for circular behaviour and triggers motivations to contribute to a circular centre. The circular centre is a concept invented by Rijkswaterstaat and proposes to reduce the amount of residual waste that is collected at bulky waste collection facilities. This is done by adding thrift stores, repair cafes, disassembly halls and workshops under the same roof. By applying a participatory design approach Fieke aims to co-create a concept for circular waste management specified to the wishes and needs of the residents.
Participatory Citymaking Lab
Only last semester, Fieke found her way to participatory design. Out of personal interest in the social design domain, she took several electives that opened her eyes to the new role of design that is currently evolving. Societal challenges require the designers’ ability to quickly understand a complex situation while focusing on the ‘user’ perspective. By applying a design approach that works closely with users we see the distinctive roles of designers and users become blurry. Taking this further, one can say that designers start to function as a catalyst for innovative thinking and can empower others to start creating. This way of thinking strongly resonated with Fieke’s moral sense, and brought her to Participatory City Making Lab.
Fiekes’ favorite part of the design process is the context phase. She likes to explore the world she is designing in. This can be done using all kinds of methods like; context mapping, interviewing or ethnographic research. With these methods, one is able to capture the richness of a context that cannot be grasped from desk research or through quantitative questionnaires. Even though it seems hard to engage people into a project, generally people like to share their opinion or talk about their experience. These conversations are the beginning of a relationship with the user and often lead to a certain spark. This spark is what drives Fieke to continue exploring and eventually design for.
Achieve in this project
During her graduation project, Fieke hopes to connect to people living in the BUCH municipalities and build trustful relationships. By working closely together in a fun way she aims to let residents envision a circular waste system that is desirable, viable and feasible. By applying knowledge from cognitive-behavioural sciences she hopes to shape the solution(making-process) in order to make it transferable to other municipalities.
Overall she hopes to explore the value of designers within the societal context and see whether she will start her career in this field.