Projects & Courses

Reflection on the past

I learned in the field of User & Society, where research through design methods [2] can be used to examine how emerging technologies can be integrated into daily life. My master shows the course of the introduction to shape-changing interfaces, with which a foundation was first laid with exploration at a lower level and looking at the aesthetic value, such as with the Interactive Materiality course, to creating a value for shape-changing interfaces in society. The latter is especially reflected in my research projects, which have looked at the relevance of shape-changing interfaces in More-Than-Human Design [1] to Artificial Intelligence (AI). Whereby I believe, looking at my vision, that shape-changing interfaces can contribute to a multi-sensory experience and make AI understandable, transparent, and reliable.

In addition, my expertise in the field of realizing shape-changing interfaces was expanded, such as with the course Designing User Interfaces with Emerging Materials, and my skills in combining materials with electronics continued to improve. This is reflected in the explorations within projects where there was a lot of experimentation with techniques such as 3D printing on fabric and expressive movements with servos. In addition, I believe that exploring with shape-change and interactive materials can contribute to future investigations of shape-changing interfaces and Tangible User Interfaces (TUI). 



Besides, in the field of Math, Data & Computing, a foundation has been laid in understanding the complex world of AI. In addition, more experience has been gained in  3D printing and changing g-codes, such as in the MIS project, which can be of great value for 3D printing on different materials to design interactive materials.

Looking at the whole, my Master’s started in the business world, where I first did an internship at the NS company. As a result, I experienced how my knowledge can be applied in a business context. In addition, at the start of my Master’s, with the User Experience Practice & Theory course, I learned how concepts could be developed with different methods in the style of a company. However, after publishing my first paper, I started to delve more deeply into the research world. This interest continued to flourish, resulting in two papers and conferences participation. In the future, I hope to be able to combine this world of business and research in my job.

All in all, with the courses and projects, I have learned to work together in teams and individual within the study of Industrial Design and in multidisciplinary teams. Creating the same language is essential here, and I see the value of the different expertise to progress within a particular field, such as HCI and Material Science. In summary, this contributed to all the knowledge for my Final Master’s Project in the field of doing user studies, shape-changing interfaces, AI, and material aesthetics.

  1. Behzad, A., Wakkary, R., Oogjes, D., Zhong, C., & Lin, H. (2022, April). Iterating through Feeling-with Nonhuman Things: Exploring repertoires for design iteration in more-than-human design. In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts (pp. 1-6).
  2. Zimmerman, J., Forlizzi, J., & Evenson, S. (2007, April). Research through design as a method for interaction design research in HCI. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 493-502).
Material Explorations
Exploring Material Behavior

Furthermore, the materials influence the aesthetic values ​​in the field of color, shape, and texture, but also movements and behavior. During my master, I learned more and more in the field of combining materials in the field of aesthetics. This has taught me ” Less is More, ” where interactions can be elicited with different textures and striking colors with fabric can attract attention. This in the area of not wanting too much in my designs and paying attention to what is really important. So what do I want to say with my design and what are the functions?

In addition, various user study methods were used in the courses and projects, from Focus Groups to First-person perspectives. This has expanded my user study repertoire so that I can better evaluate in the future which method can best be used for which research. In addition, analyzes were performed at a quantitative level, such as in the course Device Integrated Responsive Materials​, and at a qualitative level, such as in the Exploring Inter-shape Change Interaction project, in which the Affinity Diagramming method was used.

Analysis overview of the study with MOTUS
Customer Journey Map

Below are all projects and courses from my Master Industrial Design and the internship at the NS with learning points described.


Exploring Physical Artificial Intelligence Personal Assistant for Prioritizing Messages

This project explored how Artificial Intelligent (AI) personal assistants can be made tangible to give them more expression and new interaction possibilities. The context in which this was investigated was the context of prioritizing messages on a smartphone. A new tangible and physical body for the smartphone was created as a new tactile layer that can be placed around the smartphone like a phone case. With this artifact, the priority of messages on a smartphone has been reviewed. Furthermore, there was explored how these different priorities and expressions are communicated through shape change. Through this tangible new body and shape-change, there is a new possibility for communicating the uncertainty of the output of the AI personal assistant.

Learning Points
An important learning point in the project was to be led by my research questions and use them as a common thread within my research. In addition, this project has allowed taking the first steps in the complicated world of AI. The whole project was a stepping stone to my FMP, where the first iterations were done by combining shape-change and AI.

Individual research project as pre-project for my FMP.

Exploring Inter-shape Change Interactions

Exploring Physical Artificial Intelligence Personal Assistant for Prioritizing Messages

What if the objects around us could change shape and communicate with each other? Could they tell us something? The world of shape-changing interfaces is increasingly explored, opening the way to a world with less Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) and more Tangible User Interfaces (TUI) with shape-changing materials. Currently, shape-change is often used to visualize data, known as data physicalization. This research explores the opportunities of interactions between two shape-changing objects to explore a new communication layer. Furthermore, this work explores the space that is created between the two objects that can shape change; Negative Shape Change. This opens up a new design space within shape-changing interfaces for further explorations.

Learning Points
This project introduced me to the concept of More-Than-Human Design [1], which involves looking at other design perspectives other than human-centered design. The use of soft materials in combination with electronics brought me to new shape-change possibilities. This expanded my knowledge of shape-changing interfaces and prototyping. I saw that different aesthetic expressions could be displayed with different shape changes, movements with different frequencies, and physical appearances. This taught me the possibilities to design aesthetically with shape-change in the field of behavior, emotions, and materials.

  1. Behzad, A., Wakkary, R., Oogjes, D., Zhong, C., & Lin, H. (2022, April). Iterating through Feeling-with Nonhuman Things: Exploring repertoires for design iteration in more-than-human design. In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts (pp. 1-6).

Individual research project.

Device Integrated Responsive Materials

Dynamic Robotic Fibers

In this course, we started researching a liquid crystal fiber that reacts to UV light and heat with a multidisciplinary team of two chemistry students, one mechanical engineering student, and two industrial design students. We have done several explorations in the field of actuating the liquid crystal fibers through heat. My main task in the project was making small-scale circuits with Arduino to generate heat and allow the fiber to move in a controlled manner. In addition, I was involved with the applications of this new way of actuating. Furthermore, I was involved in studying the behavior of fiber, in which the experiential qualities of the fiber were also examined. 

Learning Points
With this course, I learned a lot about electronics and making circuits on a small scale. Interestingly, as a designer, I often work at the same scale, often at hand size, and this allowed me to prototype at a different scale. There have been many iterations with many different small circuits using SMD resistors, and I learned to make a circuit board for an Arduino close to a PCB. In addition, working in a disciplinary team has taught me that languages can be developed in different ways, such as sketching or physical building with existing objects, to understand each other and exchange ideas. I also saw that the different expertise could reinforce each other in the field of HCI and material science.

Ultimately, this research resulted in a research paper that was published and presented at the CHI 2022 conference. The published paper can be read by clicking on the button below.

  • Technology & Realization
  • Math, Data & Computing
  • Multi-Disciplinary Teams

A chosen elective within the department of Chemical Engineering.


Life on Mars: first-person Speculation in the (Imaginary) Everyday

With a team of two other female fellow students, we went to see what life would look like on Mars. What are we going to wear there? And what about circularity? During our process, we used speculative first-person design to create a material playground for producing a set of printed textile structures to support the experience of Martian daily wear while paying attention to Earthly concerns such as material scarcity and locality of resources. The contribution is a design exemplar of first-person design in an extreme context that suggests the use of the playful speculation of space travel to ultimately explore human experience and values on every day Earth.

Learning Points
This project started as a design project but ended in a design research project, using the designs as research artifacts. I learned that research is not just about reading papers and systematically asking questions; it can go much further to large or small designs that can influence how people view the world. In addition, I learned what other valuable methods could be for research through design in the times of COVID, using a first-person perspective.

Ultimately, this research resulted in a pictorial that was published and presented at the IASDR 2022 conference. The published pictorial can be read by clicking on the button below.

A Design Project with two fellow master students.


Interpersonal emotion communication through tactile feedback on the wrist​

During the elective “Designing User Interfaces with Emerging Technologies”, we conducted research about a tactile display on the wrist within a short time. Based on previous research, we proposed a shape-changing tactile feedback system on the wrist to receive emotions during interpersonal communication in a new way. Our research investigated whether specific texture patterns on the wrists with different frequencies can be identified as particular emotions. A prototype – MOTUS – was designed to press different texture patterns onto a wrist to convey emotions. Ultimately, we did a study with the prototype to investigate whether specific texture patterns are linked to certain emotions by the participants. The results show that texture patterns can convey emotional states through tactile feedback. The contributions include the MOTUS concept and validating the associations between texture patterns and emotional perceptions.

Learning Points
During this short project, I could mainly focus on what I like: making prototypes and setting up and executing user studies. This elective taught me that in a short time frame of a course, I could create a well-functioning prototype and perform user studies with it. This has even led to my very first publication! As a result, I gained more knowledge in the field of the research world and learned to prepare the work for publication. In addition, I was able to present the work at a virtual conference.

Ultimately, this research resulted in a research paper that was published and presented at the Ubicomp/ISWC 2021 conference. The published paper can be read by clicking on the button below.

  • Technology & Realization
  • Math, Data & Computing
  • Contribution to the Research World

A chosen elective within the department of industrial design, project carried out with two fellow students.

  • Creativity & Aesthetics
  • Technology & Realization


Interactive Materiality

What if we do not interact with screens but with materials? In the elective Interactive Materiality, we explored materials as the interfaces of a product. We took our inspiration from nature and looked at the transition from transparent to opaque. Using different types of white materials, we explored ways to demonstrate this transition and looked at which behaviors and interactions fit this transition. The final result is TrOpic. TrOpic is inspired by the branches and leaves of trees. Patterns and shadows are created by playing with light, making them transparent and sometimes opaque. Moving back and forth awakens the user’s attention, and when it is touched, the light becomes brighter and starts spinning, and the shadow play will begin. Furthermore, we wanted to add haptics to the interactions using a haptic engine.

Learning Points
This elective was the first contact with shape-changing interfaces. I learned that there is more than just Graphical User Interfaces (TUI), and interesting behaviors can be designed with different materials. I found that shape-changing interfaces suited me as a designer as it allowed me to work with soft materials and explore and prototype a lot physically and tangible. My interest grew in combining materials with electronics to create experiences on multiple sensory levels. I learned that designing haptics and creating shape-changing interfaces can make interactions more intuitive and improve the user experience.

A chosen elective within the department of industrial design, project carried out with two fellow students.

User Experience

Two electives on User Experience

In the field of User Experience, I took two courses, one within the Industrial Design faculty and the other at the Industrial Engineering faculty. The first course from Industrial Design was mainly focused on the concept of User Experience within companies and designing within a business context. The challenge within this course was to design a concept for managing expectations for waiting times in a hospital’s Emergency Department within the company, Philips. In addition, we had to make a manifesto poster about User Experience with a fellow student. In contrast, the second course from Industrial Engineering focused on going through a design process with a multidisciplinary team. In this course, the assignment was to design a technology prototype that fulfills the need for social connectedness / reducing perceived social isolation (loneliness).

Learning Points
The main learning point within these two courses was that the term “User Experience” can be interpreted in many different ways, and it differs within a business context and a research context. In addition, I have learned to develop a concept within a larger company that matches a company’s standards, values ​​, and style. Various methods have been used and learned, such as Customer Journey Maps and Focus Groups, to clarify the user’s needs. Furthermore, I learned about Ethical Envisioning, which uses Scenario-based design (SBD) and value scenarios to look at the ethical aspects of a concept. These scenarios/stories can be discussed in the team; therefore, interesting ethical discoveries can be made within the concept. These can be modified later to make the concept more ethical and future-proof.

  • Business & Entrepeneurship
  • User & Society
  • Creativity & Aesthetics

Two elected electives, one within the Department of Industrial Design and the other at Industrial Engineering.

  • User & Society
  • Math, Data & Computing

Constructive Design Research

Developing a probe for the collection of nuanced felt experiences for ultra-personalized shoes. 

This research was conducted with five fellow students and aimed to develop a probe for collecting nuanced felt experiences for ultra-personalized shoes. This topic suited me as a designer as I am interested in wearables and curious about layered user experiences. It was fascinating to investigate how users of the shoes could express their feelings and clarify them. This involved expression with tangible probes as well as digital probes such as gifs. Ultimately, a study was done with a dairy probe where users could keep track of their shoe experiences for four days. In addition, we wrote a paper together to summarize our research and position it in existing research.

Learning Points
An important learning point in this course was conducting research in the field. This meant that for the first time, I did research outside a lab setting, in the wide world, looking at user experiences in daily life.

A basic course of the Industrial Design study.

NS Internship

Customer Experience

Between my bachelor’s and master Industrial Design, I did an internship for six months at the company NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) in the field of customer experience. This gave me the opportunity to take a look at a large company, and I was involved with design thinking and customer-friendliness with NS employees, especially employees working in the train, such as conductors. During this internship, I learned to give workshops on design thinking, worked on Customer Journey Mapping, performed user studies, made mock-ups, and started to delve into the life of a conductor. In addition, I was allowed to maintain an Instagram page to improve and stimulate the customer-friendliness of conductors and service employees of the NS. In this way, I became acquainted with user-centered thinking within a large company. I could see that I was of value, and I could help colleagues to think user-centered. Through this internship, I learned that I like to give people workshops in the concept development field and help with user-centered design.


These courses and projects have taught me a lot in the field of shape-changing interfaces, user study methods, and prototyping. In addition, I gained knowledge and experience in the research world, designing within a business context, and working together in multidisciplinary teams. As a result, I have laid a foundation to work within a company within an R&D department and doing user research, prototyping, and concept development or within the research world, such as doing a PhD.