Anya Pozniak's experiences in Delft


Article 1

Stepping into your professor’s shoes for a day

During your entire first year as part of a Master’s program at IDE, you’ll be taking a course titled IDE Academy. The aim of each workshop in the course is to introduce students to a topic, ranging from flag design to designing minimal physical interfaces, in the span of a day. I always enjoyed these Wednesday workshops for the opportunity to work with students from the other programs and learn skills outside of my main courses. 

Typically, workshops are hosted by the IDE staff or people from the industry, who often volunteer their time to share knowledge with the students. However, as I learned during the introduction to the course, students can host a workshop too! I was inspired by the story of another IDE student who has been hosting an IDE Academy workshop on 3D printing since last year. Sharing her experience with hosting this workshop, the student said that one of the main hard skills she learned was how to prepare a workshop on any topic. Managing and getting four dozen students to speak up during the workshops was also something that she found challenging yet rewarding.

In my case, I wanted to share knowledge and tips on digital sketching. While this kind of sketching is slowly making it into design curriculums around the world, it is still less popular than analog design drawing. However, digital sketching has multiple advantages over traditional drawing techniques, from the undo button to a vibrant color palette. During my bachelor's studies at Purdue University, I was motivated to learn and practice digital sketching by my drawing professor. Having almost two years of experience now, I wanted to share this skill and knowledge with my IDE classmates.

Hi, my name is Anya, and I am following the Integrated Product Design Masters Degree in Delft. Find out all about my experiences living and studying in Delft here.

Anya Pozniak

I kicked off the process by approaching the IDE academy staff in person a few weeks into this semester. Next, I shared my plan for the workshop which included an itinerary for the day via email. We then agreed on the date for my workshop, which I called Digital Concept Presentation. In the days leading up to the workshop, I started preparing materials and thinking through activities for the day. Attending IDE academies presented by other hosts gave me an idea of what works well in a workshop and how to keep participants engaged. I created a custom concept board of a simple product, Ultimate Ear’s Wonderboom 2 speaker, to go through the workflow and tips for digital sketching with the students.

I remember arriving at the building on a sunny, chilly morning before the majority of students got to campus. With the help of the teaching assistant, we set up the big screens and waited for the room to fill up with over 50 students. I kicked off the workshop by introducing myself and the perks I see in digital sketching as well as in the Sketchbook application that I use on my iPad to sketch. Using the concept board I created for the workshop, I explained the main components of concept presentation as well as the workflow of digital sketching with the Sketchbook app. During the second half of the workshop, I let participants practice what they learned and create a concept board for a simple product that they were asked to bring with them. As students were hard at work, I was walking around giving tips and answering any questions that they had. We finished the day with three participants sharing their work with the rest of the room.

Organizing a day-long, educational workshop was something beyond any other event organization that I had done before. However, I enjoyed every part of this experience, from organizing to helping the students out. It also taught me to how to stay calm and collected when things don’t go according to plan (due to technical difficulties, we had to leave our designated room for most of the morning). One of the most rewarding parts was interacting with my classmates and seeing them improve their skills on the spot. With the feedback from this semester’s participants, I’m looking forward to improving my workshop and hosting an even better Digital Concept Presentation next time.