Delft Design Stories
A new home for the Black-backed GullThe complicated relationship between humans and gulls is resulting in a declining gull population. A major cause is the disappearing wasteland in the port of Rotterdam, home to the bird. IDE student Joanna van der Leun designed a nest for the gulls which can be installed on the roof of harbour sheds. This protects them from weather and foes, and keeps them away from the city.
19 October 2021
How do you design objects with an intention?Designing smart objects for everyday life demands a new approach: no longer focused on a single object and a single user, but on an ecological system of countless objects and users. This approach is central in the new Delft Design Lab for Expressive Intelligence and the recently published book Designing Smart Objects in Everyday Life.
19 October 2021
Design for Deaf culture and healthPatients failing to take their medication in the prescribed manner is a widespread problem across society. But a combination of social barriers, discrimination and difficulty with written language mean that the Deaf community has a greater struggle. This medication non-adherence can be dangerous for patients, prolong sickness and strained healthcare systems. Ph.D. researcher Prangnat Chininthorn wanted to find ways to improve this and help Deaf people better manage their own health.
22 September 2021
Is the robe in that painting velvet or satin?Staring at one of the richly drawn paintings in Amsterdam’s famous Rijksmuseum, you might recognise that the robe worn by the subject of the painting is made of velvet and the cup on the table is made of silver. Your eyes only see swirls of paint but your brain understands what the artist was depicting. As part of his thesis research, Mitchell van Zuijlen wanted to understand how this is possible.
15 September 2021
Why do innovations end up in the Valley of Death?When it comes to innovating in large organisations, why do so many concepts die before they are realised? Barend Klitsie’s PhD research explored what organisational conditions help innovators to mitigate the Valley of Death and achieve sustainable implementation.
20 May 2021
What makes a circular designer?It makes sense that designing for a circular economy requires something different than the traditional linear approach. Because it’s not just about creating sustainable products, it’s about an entire system aimed at reducing resource use and waste. For her PhD research, Deborah Sumter wanted to find out what competencies designers need to develop to be successful at circular design.
18 May 2021
How to paint convincing stuffIf you see a bunch of grapes, how does your brain understand that those are real grapes and not ones made of plastic? And if you see those grapes in a painting - say a 17th-century piece of Dutch Golden Age art - how does your brain understand that those are also grapes? That’s what Francesca Di Cicco wanted to know for her PhD thesis.
03 May 2021
A robot with a soft touchTry and picture a robotic hand and an image of metal fingers with rigid joints might come to mind. Imagine instead one made of soft materials that can dextrously grip an apple, automatically adjust to its shape, and pluck it from a tree. Rob Scharff, through his PhD research, explores how the emerging field of soft robotics has the potential to revolutionise the future of robotic manipulation.
Delft Design Stories
Read the stories of researchers and students at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, and discover the scientific questions on which they work and the solutions they present.
Out of the Blue #13: Big Fat NonsenseFrom fat shaming to self-acceptance. Join Ianus in a conversation designed for taboo topics as weight and mental health. He talks with IDE alumna Sam van Eijk about her graduation project Big Fat Nonsense.
In the IDE Podcast Series ‘Out of the Blue’, Teacher of Practice Ianus Keller and PhD candidate Frithjof Wegener talk with our designers, researchers, students and teachers about their stories. Thankfully, we’re allowed to listen in.
A box full of jerry can water filters for refugee campsIn early May, Olivier de Gruijter packed a large box of Jerry Can Water Filters. Each one is handcrafted in his workshop. Finally they are going out into the real world, something he has been looking forward to for a long time. Refugees in Gaza and Iraq are going to use the prototypes for the first time. After studying Industrial Design Engineering, De Gruijter came up with a smart, compact water filter that you can screw onto any standard jerry can. A unique and sustainable filter system that rinses itself clean.
Lights of the LakeFour designers from Delft University of Technology travelled to Lake Victoria, Tanzania and partnered with Sagar Energy Solutions to design a solar-powered fishing lamp for the night fishing industry. This effort aims to put an end to the reliance on dangerous and expensive kerosene lanterns.
Sustainable aviation starts on the groundFlying needs to become more sustainable, quieter and more efficient. For this you need to think far beyond the aircraft itself: airports for example, can contribute as well. In the newly launched Airport Technology Lab, TU Delft researchers are testing their ideas, from better weather forecasting models to faster baggage handling. All of these ideas contribute to improved efficiency in aviation, and a more sustainable industry. Already before the current coronavirus crisis, the aviation industry was facing huge challenges in areas such as sustainability, capacity and noise nuisance. The goal of the Airport Technology Lab (ATL) is to contribute to solving these problems. Since recently, it offers a special environment at Rotterdam The Hague Airport, where new services and products can be developed and tested under realistic and “live” conditions. Knowledge institutions as TU Delft, government bodies such as the City of Rotterdam, and the business community such as the airport and its innovation foundation RHIA, are collaborating closely. Fieldlab for aviation innovation “In other words, ATL is a fieldlab for innovations in aviation, where smart technologies are conceived, developed, tested and put into production", says project manager Elise Bavelaar from TU Delft. “We actually embarked on this course back in 2016 with the Innovation Airport initiative launched by Deltas, Infrastructures & Mobility Initiative (DIMI) and the faculty of Aerospace Engineering. This originated from the need to align all airport-related expertise at TU Delft and to link it together smartly. Of course the ultimate goal is to share this knowledge with parties beyond the university. An important part of Innovation Airport is our ambition to create a Fieldlab and the collaboration with the innovation foundation Rotterdam The Hague Innovation Airport.” The sector remains strongly convinced of the need for innovation, to be honest, I think even more than before the corona crisis. Read more Huge puzzle Airport Technology Lab is meeting this ambition and is thus an important follow-up from the Innovation Airport initiative. “All in all it has been a long journey to get the ATL to take off. It has taken us more than 18 months”, says Bavelaar, who has been involved with Innovation Airport from the start. “An important part of the process was our successful application for ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) funding. It was a huge and complex puzzle to coordinate everything and everyone, with on the one hand the many parties and areas of expertise (within TU Delft alone three faculties are involved, AE, EEMCS and IDE, plus the Innovation & Impact Centre), and on the other hand the different aspects that need to be addressed, ranging from financial affairs to legal issues. A key question was for example whether there was any unlawful state aid for the project.” Personal passion This made the ATL a very special environment for Bavelaar, who has a background in technology. She graduated five years ago from the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft. “Yes, it's a completely different job I have now, but I see that it is a considerable advantage to be well up-to-date on advancements in technology and engineering.” “It is precisely the combination of technology with other aspects that appeals to me. I experienced this in Germany during an internship for my Master's degree. I was working for Air Berlin and focused on improving airport processes. During that internship I discovered I like being involved with more than just the technology.” “My personal passion is to translate academic knowledge into practice. It is important that scientific insights can have a quicker impact on the real world.” Improved forecasting Back to ATL, which was officially opened at the end of May 2020. What makes this specific project unique? “For the most part this is because of the access to relevant airport data that we can use to test and develop new innovations. Of course appropriate measures related to privacy issues have been taken.” Meanwhile, the first tangible research projects have kicked off. “We have started working on three topics”, explains Bavelaar. “They all involve technology to make ground and air activities at airports more efficient and more sustainable in the near future. The first project is on expanding and refining the radar system at the airport. An extremely accurate model for current weather forecasting is being developed which will give Air Traffic Control increased insight into the current weather situation. This model can be used to predict possible turbulence between aircraft under changing weather conditions and this will ultimately lead to more efficient take-off and landing procedures. This part of the ATL project primarily involves the faculty of EEMCS.” Pleasant working environment In the second project, researchers are developing a new tool that can predict airside disruptions using machine learning techniques. This information can be used by planners at the airport to help them make tactical and operational decisions which will also lead to more efficient procedures. As part of the first project, the ‘flight-to-gate planning’ module is being tested. And finally, a tool is being developed which can simulate the efficiency, safety and resilience of processes in the airport terminal. Among other things, this tool enables development of applications for a call-to-gate strategy and passenger flow optimisation. In addition, this tool could be used to assess how the baggage drop-off points impact the flow of passengers in the terminal. According to Bavelaar: “The researchers’ initial experiences are positive. The airport has proven to be a pleasant working environment, with good accessibility and opportunities to test innovations. Moreover, the airport staff and the other stakeholders are more than happy to work with us.” The coronavirus situation demanded a great deal from the students’ capacity for improvisation. Nonetheless, in virtually no time at all they made the necessary practical adjustments, as did the other researchers in the project. This is really something to be proud of. Student involvement “So we're making good progress”, concludes Bavelaar. “An important factor is that we continue to reinforce the vision of DIMI within the project and in particular the emphasis on a multidisciplinary and holistic research approach. Of course there is the link with teaching at TU Delft. For example several student groups of the Interactive Technology Design course, at the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, have already worked on airport assignments.” “The coronavirus demanded a great deal from the students’ capacity for improvisation. However, in no time at all they made the necessary practical adjustments, as did the other researchers in the project. This is really something to be proud of.” Bavelaar is aware that the current times have huge consequences for the aviation sector as a whole. “Yet the impact on the ATL project seems less bad than we feared, and if anything the coronavirus crisis has reinforced the need for innovation.” Read more stories of Aerospace Engineering Project Manager ir. M.E. (Elise) Bavelaar M.E.Bavelaar@tudelft.nl More stories More stories
How the Intensive Care brings music to your earsWhen someone you care about is hospitalised, the situation is difficult under any circumstances.
But during a pandemic, when you can’t visit them, the stress is even greater. Recent Best Graduate of Industrial Design Engineering Chen Chou developed a way for people to stay in touch, with music.