Vignesh Balakrishnan's experiences in Delft
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES AT IDE
Bikes, Delft, and Nederland!
Vignesh Balakrishnan | April 2021
If you are planning to start masters in the Netherlands, polishing your biking skills should be in your priority list because on Dutch streets, bikes rule. Bikes are an essential part of Dutch culture and holds even more importance in student life; Your bike is your best friend. Be it going to campus, grocery shopping, visiting a friend or to just for leisure, bikes make life easier. Delft is a beautiful city with both narrow alleys and picturesque streets. Most roads have dedicated bike track and with having a maximum speed of 30 kmph in every living area makes biking even safer. Biking can be a really enjoyable experience in Delft especially with lush green nature surrounding the city. If you are coming here to Delft, here are a few tips and trips in relation to biking.
Getting a bike
In a country where bikes outnumber people, choosing a bike for yourself is going to be tricky. You have to decide which bike suits you best and where to get it from. You have a lot to choose from depending on your preference and there are multiple ways with which you can buy one. Here are some useful links.
Long term bike rental - https://swapfiets.nl
Short term bike rental - https://www.ns.nl/en/door-to-door/ov-fiets
Bike stores – Fietscyclette, Decathlon, Wijtman Tweewielers.
Maintaining a bike
Every bike deserves attention but sometimes it attracts bad attention. It is always a good practice to chain the frame of your bike to the rack even if you’re just running errands for a few minutes. Maintaining the bike regularly could save you good money as repairs are not cheap. In case you need a repair, the train stations usually have bike repair facility priced reasonably.
Using a bike
In addition to helping with your day to day chores bikes can also be an energizing hobby. I find it refreshing to go biking in the weekends in and around Delft for a few hours. Getting away from screens to get some fresh air enhances wellbeing. Although there are quite a few places I'm yet to discover, here are the three routes that I would recommend you trying.
(click to view route)
Until next time!
Master Variant for Engineers
Vignesh Balakrishnan | April 2021
Industrial Ontwerpen IO is a faculty full of enthusiastic teachers and ambitious students. I am one of those students with a background in mechanical engineering who dreamt of becoming a strategic designer. In this article, I’ll elaborate on the program that enabled me to follow my dream.
I was introduced to design during my bachelor's in mechanical engineering at IIITDM Kancheepuram, Chennai. It was in my penultimate year that I realized I had an interest in human-centred design and wanted to learn more about it. During this time, I followed the MOOC “Delft Design Approach” course on EdX. This was a steppingstone in my pursuit of higher education for two reasons. The course introduced me to the Delft way of designing and Master Variant for Engineers (MVE).
The MVE program gives students and professionals with an engineering background the opportunity to learn industrial design at a master's level. It starts with an intensive semester-long crash course in industrial design to prepare you for Integrated Product Design or Strategic Product Design pathways. MVE puts the theory of 'learning by doing' into practice. The first semester follows a project-based learning approach with a total of four sequential projects in the following domains:
- User-centred design
- Strategic design
- Form and experience
The projects are supervised by coaches from the IDE faculty who have extensive professional experience. The theoretical content required for the projects are supported by lectures, workshops and discussions. In addition, the MVE covers the subjects of ergonomics, design drawing, and applied electronics.
What makes MVE special?
The MVE semester provides students with an opportunity to tackle a variety of design challenges. It gets you out of your comfort zone as an engineer and gets you into the mindset of a designer. It helps you embrace uncertainty and become aware of the bigger picture, not just the technical aspects. The structure demands you to be proactive and take control of your actions. By applying different design methods and practices throughout the four projects, students build their confidence in handling complex design problems.
What was my experience?
Reflecting on my journey, the MVE semester helped me in a lot of ways. Working in groups taught me to work collaboratively with students from other educational and cultural backgrounds. This along with individual responsibilities improved my time management and communication skills among others. Being an engineer, I was always used to black and white problems and definitive ways of solving them. Following this semester made me a bit more comfortable with uncertainty, and I learnt that there is more than one way to tackle a design problem (50 shades of Delft blue). The small size of the cohort and the group projects also allowed us to get to know one another quite well, even despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic and online classes.
MVE is great for engineers with a strong affinity towards industrial design looking to bridge the gap between technical and creative realm. If you are one of them, take a leap and make a splash. It is an enjoyable learning experience.
For more information on MVE, check out the course program.
How can I help?
If you have any questions or want to discuss MVE or SPD or life in Delft, drop me a text here.