It says –a multi sensory journey- below my name on the homepage. When you design you do not only do that with your thinking but a lot of it is with a (gut)feeling and your senses. Every design project or adventure I have done, I have always approached as a journey. Most of the times you have a clear starting point when you start a design journey, but you hardly ever know where you will end up.
Where you end up depends on what you come across along the way. What actions you take, which hurdles you face, what inspiration you find, which people you meet on your way during a design journey.
I remember traveling to Africa for the first time. I arrived in Nairobi, Kenya and all my senses were stimulated as everything I saw, heard, felt, tasted was completely different from what I was used to up to that moment. The light was different, the sounds were new to me, the climate was different, the people were different, the taste in the air was so strange to me. This had such an impact on me that I was crying at my first night in Kenya. My comfort zone was stretched enormously that day. But I at the end I loved it.
I don’t see the designing I do so impactful on my senses constantly, but a lot of what I do as a designer is starting on new design journeys where I use all my senses to make sense out of things. This enables me to design something new with people I design with and/ or for. This also means I stretch the senses of the people I design with that are new to design. A lot of their mindset, skills and their sense are challenged on a new way. Which can make them feel quiet uncomfortable.
This is experienced literally at the moment as I am doing a food design project with Marieke van Dijk, Rares Tatu and 50 Food&Dietetics students for the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences where we not only ask the students to empathize with their intended customer but also with the different ingredients of the food concept they are designing.
So basically design as a verb for me is a multi sensory journey in all its elements.
Featured image: Dennis Cup