Hi! I am Joris Zandbergen, an interaction designer/maker, working with emerging technologies to build a more climate restorative and humane future.
My Vision on Design
While the future may often seem blurry, I think designers help to envision near and distant futures through giving form. While technology is a driving force forward, we as designers help to steer it in a preferable direction...
While the future may often seem blurry, I think designers help to envision near and distant futures through giving form. While technology is a driving force forward, we as designers help to steer it in a preferable direction. We aim to make our world more beautiful and just; however, we can also misjudge and create unfavorable impact. Designing is not inherently a positive or negative practice; I think, it is more so the act of giving direction. By designing, I think we should give direction to what we believe or feel is right, ultimately helping to create value for others.

Sadly, for a substantial amount of design in practice, this often boils to primarily create monetary value for shareholders, risking to blind ourselves for thorough consideration and reflection to the potential negative impacts. Whether it be a simple like button, aiming to increase engagement and advertisement sales on Facebook, yet leading to an unforeseen effects of misinformation and polarization (Guess et al., 2019). Or the increasingly compact and seamless designs of modern smartphones, contributing to huge piles of unrepairable e-waste and planned obsolescence (Rivera & Lallmahomed, 2015). Our design decisions have impact, but by actively acknowledging this we can also use design to steer towards a more preferable future.

I want to steer towards a more sociable and climate-restorative future. To restore ecological balances that we have been pushing out of their boundaries and, in doing so, create a more joyful, empathic, and honest society. While this aim might seem big, the approach towards this goal starts small. Through designing for and with emerging technologies I hope to nudge towards this envisioned future and contribute to solving big challenges by addressing everyday problems. Within my recent effort I aim to take this approach towards designing within our energy transition, where engineering and business perspectives often hijack the debate. I believe design can provide a source of thorough reflection on the aesthetics, sociable and environmental aspects of the energy transition and I have started putting this into practice with the projects in my masters, but also for my working life to come.
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My Professional Identity
Within my designs, I always hope to evoke the values I hold true to myself. These values are inherent in how I try to interact with others and the world around me, and I think design should do so in a similar way. The following set of values summarize how I aspire: to be empathic, curious, joyful and honest...

As an empathic designer, I hope to sensitize my designs to societal context and to stakeholders needs. Through a more-than-human centered perspective I aim to also be empathic towards stakeholders that might not have a loud voice to attract all the attention: like the plants in our homes and the non-technical user in our energy transition I aim to serve in my FMP. I also try to be empathetic towards the people and other students, experts and companies I collaborate with. By pro-actively investigating the perspectives of others I hope to let all ideas have an equal say in the design process.

As a curious designer, I aim to dig in and get dirty with a variety of perspectives in the field, which in my case has often meant exploring various perspectives within our energy transition. Making is a key process through which I carry out this curiosity. By making, whether crafting with physical materials like wood, coding with complex AI models or tinkering on digital manufacturing processes, I experientially learn, quickly fail, and profoundly explore into a design space. I see it as a way to approach the complexity of problems I work on, and gather conceptual ideas and theory through every step of the making process. It helps me to tackle these problems in a more practical manner, since I find it difficult to approach a design challenge from a conceptual way of working alone.

As a joyful designer, I always hope to encourage a sense of playfulness in my designs and through the way I work. In design and academic culture there can often be a daunting sense of urgency and seriousness, which I think might not always benefit from seeing our work from a fresh and nimble set of eyes. By, e.g., introducing a sense of quirkiness in the visual design of my research poster or introducing some weird and creative new brainstorming techniques in ideation sessions, I hope to let others and often also myself approach design less tense and more open.

As an honest designer, I hope to be open to failures and be truthful to the people and stakeholders I work with. By reflecting on what went wrong and always being open towards critique, I hope to create an environment that encourages growth and learning. Taking responsibility for the environmental, societal, and individual impacts of my designs is also key to this value. Honesty is also about being genuine in the expression of my creative ideas and not merely copying or following trends, but bringing forth authentic, reflective ideas that genuinely reflect my unique vision on aesthetics.
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Working Experience
  • Product Designer at Bureau Moeilijke Dingen | March, 2024 - current | part-time
  • UX Specialist at Too Much Tech | March, 2024 - current | part-time
  • Freelance Creative Developer | January, 2020 - current | part-time
  • Digital Designer at Groene Groei | December, 2021 - May, 2023 | part-time
  • Smart Systems Designer at Team VIRTU/e | 2020 - 2023 | full-time
  • Industrial Design Internship at HeijltjesAkkaya | September, 2019 - February, 2020 | full-time
  • Master Industrial Design at Eindhoven University of Technology | 2020 - 2024
  • Exchange Semester at Tsukuba University in Japan | 2023
  • Bachelor Industrial Design at Eindhoven University of Technology | 2017-2020

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