Jeppe Groen

About me

Hello! My name is Jeppe Groen. I am an Industrial Design student at Eindhoven University of Technology, I am currently in the first year of my bachelor. Welcome to my portfolio!

Jeppe Groen

Professional Identity

I am a creative person, as well as a technical person. I like to solve problems with smart, technological solutions. I can come up with innovating ideas and concepts, and I can put this into a concrete design. I also have technical insight, I can think of how a product would actually work and how to conceptualize an idea using technology. I am a hands-on designer. I like to make, and get inspired by, designs that are functional, interactive and aesthetically pleasing.

I am a perfectionist; I always want to finish my work as perfectly as possible and improve the smaller details. This is one of my strengths, but it can be a weakness if I never stop optimizing and unnecessarily spend too much time on a certain part. I can also work organized and like to work on bigger projects. In the future, I would like to become a designer who invents new interactive products and systems that do not exist yet. I would like to think of creative ideas and design aesthetically pleasing products, but I also want to come up with the technical aspects and make it work.

Vision

The word design has a broad definition, it can have a different meaning for everyone. I think of design in general as a tool to enable humans to express themselves, help them fulfil their goals or make their tasks easier to execute. Technology and design can open up new opportunities and spark new ideas that would not have existed otherwise. I think that almost every design can be thought of as a 'tool' in one way or another. I like making music, so I would love to design new products that help people to make music in a new, easy way for example. This helps them to do something that they could not have done without the design.

I envision a future where design enables humans to do things that are now considered hard to do, or even impossible. It might even allow us to do things that no one has even thought about doing yet.

Projects

Year 1

Project 1 - MUXE

Muxe is an interactive product that allows people to create music with their own hands in a fun and simple way. No previous knowledge required! Muxe consists of separate hexagons that represent musical instruments on which small attachments can be placed to explore and alter synths, beats, melodies and to build upon your creations.

Our goal was to make creating music tangible and accessible to everyone - regardless of their knowledge of music. We wanted to focus on teenagers that are interested in music creation but are affected by the high entry barrier to both tangible/analog and digital music creation. The function of Muxe is not to teach the user music theory in a playful way, but to teach them how to make songs and create music they like. Furthermore, we wanted to create a fun, explorative and enjoyable user experience with a song the user created as a reward in the end.

Pitch video by Elena Dagg and Carmen Enriquez with music from Rodion Galiullin. 3D models and renders by Kaj Coolen. Technical prototype and video by me.

MIDI controller

For the course Creative Electronics, I made a MIDI controller as our final assignment. A MIDI controller can be seen as a digital musical instrument, it sends input signals to a computer and the computer converts that to music.

This controller has a volume slider, three knobs for sound effects, eight buttons with LEDs for playing notes, a switch for switching between octaves, and a ultrasonic distance sensor that can be assigned to any effect. With this sensor, the user can intuitively control a sound effect by moving their hand above the controler.

Creative Programming - Abduct!

For the course Creative Programming, the final assignment was to create an interactive program by combining Processing with a microcontroller. I chose to create a video game with a custom physical controller. In the game 'Abduct!' you play as a UFO trying to abduct as many cows as possible, but try not to get hit by incoming missiles.

The UFO can move left and right by turning a knob on the controller. Missiles can be dodged by moving up or down with two buttons. A shoulder button activates the abduction beam, but you cannot move up or down while abducting. If the abduct-button is pressed, the controller vibrates.

Before Industrial Design

Puzzlebox

For my so-called 'profielwerkstuk', I made a big puzzlebox. It can be seen as an escaperoom in a box; the user has limited time to solve all puzzles. The box is themed like a timebomb, it has a count down timer on top and the user has to solve puzzles to defuse the bomb before it "explodes".

There are a lot of different kinds of puzzles on the box, there are cryptic messages, codes to open padlocks, weird symbols and more. There are also electronic puzzles, such as blinking lights, pushing buttons in the right order, switching switches in a pattern, connecting cables to the right spots and placing magnets on the right places on the side of the box. Some puzzles open a new compartment that was locked before, in these compartments are new parts that are needed for other puzzles. The bomb is defused by disconnecting a cable that is locked behind a transparent acrylic glass door.

Coffee-robot

For a project in high school, I got the unique chance to work with an industrial robot arm with my group. Our task was to program it to make coffee. To make sure that the robot arm could repeat the program multiple times, I designed a dispenser for the cups and coffee-pads so the robot could grab them each time without problems. I also helped with programming the path that the robot arm takes. It is activated wirelessly with an app on the users phone, they only have to say 'make coffee' and the program starts. The user gets a message on their phone when their coffee is ready.

Development

Past

As a little kid, I have always liked doing creative things. I made a lot of drawings and I liked doing arts and crafts. As a toddler, I already wanted to become an inventor when I grew up. At a later age, I thought that inventor is not a real profession. But even later, I realized that it is when I found out about Industrial Design.

I kept on doing creative activities when I was not a small child anymore. I learned how to play the guitar when I was seven and I still love making music. Although, I am now more focussed on electronic music production. I also took an interest in digital graphic design and media, I taught myself how Adobe Photoshop works before I even went to high school. I also learned how to create covers and posters with InDesign. When I was young, I made a lot of stop motion videos and I learned how to edit video with Adobe Premiere and After Effects.

In high school, I followed the so-called Technasium program. This is a school subject focussed on design and research, while working in group projects that last a quarter of a year or half a year. My last project even lasted the whole year. With this program, I already learned how to tackle design problems from start to finish. I learned how to work in a group, design for real world clients and how to take requirements in account. I learned how to brainstorm, sketch ideas, build prototypes and write reports. For creating prototypes, I learned how to use basic tools and materials, but I also learned how to work with a 3D printer and laser cutter. The Technasium program introduced me to the world of design and it prepared me very well for Industrial Design at TU/e. It made me realize what being a designer entails and I learned what kind of projects I like and what I don't like. Some of my Technasium projects can be found in the Projects section.

My 'profielwerkstuk' project
My final Technasium project -
a product to help explain renewable energy.

Present

In this section, I will reflect on my developments and what I learned from this year. I will relate this to the expertise areas and the goals that I set in my personal development plan.

Creativity and aesthetics

Before starting Industrial Design, I was definitely already familiar with this expertise area. I have still learned a lot of new things however. The course Exploratory Sketching taught me a lot about how to sketch products and ideas. I mainly learned how to incorporate perspective and shading in product sketches. I used this skill in project 1, where I have made multiple sketches in the ideating phase. This showed me how to incorporate sketching in projects. I have also learned more about making posters and editing videos, two things that I did in the course From Idea to Design. The midterm video for project 1 was edited by me as well. I will definitely incorporate poster design and video editing skills in future projects.

In project 1, I learned a new way of ideating. Every group member wrote down a couple of keywords on paper, these were then cut out and put on the table face down. Two pieces of paper were flipped over and then we would brainstorm about ideas that link those two keywords. This method was effective to come up with creative concepts that we would not think of otherwise. I also learned from project 1 that it is good to keep ideating, even when you think that your concept is good enough. We did this after the midterm demoday and it made our concept much better.

Technology and realization

Technology and realization is the expertise area that I have developed the most in this year. I was already interested in electronics and soldering, but I did not yet know how to program a microcontroller, which opened up a lot of new possibilities for me. In the course Creative Programming I learned how to code interactive visual programs in Processing and I learned how to program a Teensy microcontroller. I combined these two for my final assignment by creating a video game with a custom physical controller. Being able to work with an Arduino or Teensy microcontroller was extremely helpful for project 1 and it will be helpful for future projects as well for realizing concepts and making prototypes actually work.

In the course Creative Electronics, I learned a lot about different electronic components. I learned how these work, how to incorporate them in a circuit and how they would be used in a bigger project. This knowledge will help me solve technical problems in future projects. For my final assignment in this course, I combined my new knowledge to make an electronic music instrument (MIDI controller). My insights from this assignment ended up helping me with project 1 as well, since this was also a music related project. For project 1, I ended up making the entire technical prototype. This was a challenge coding-wise because it was a pretty complex prototype, but this also helped my development in this expertise area a lot. I think that this expertise area can be linked to the user and society expertise area, because working prototypes are great for conducting user tests.

The MIDI controller I made
The insides of the MIDI controller
Project 1 final technical prototype
Custom controller for Creative Programming

User and society

For previous projects in high school I was already implementing this expertise area. I did multiple user tests for products, I conducted questionnaires and we learned how to design with the user in mind. However, the level of this implementation was not that high. I have learned a lot more in this first year.

In the course User-centred Design I learned how to design while keeping the user in mind. I have learned about different user-centred design principles and how to incorporate them. One of my most valuable new learning point from this course was how to properly conduct a user test. I understand better why it is important to do tests with users and I learned that user consent and ethics are also very important, these are things that I had not thought about previously. I applied these learning points in Project 1 when I did a user test with a technical prototype that I made. I think that user testing is extremely valuable in a project, it can help in the creativity and aesthetics expertise area if you realize through testing that a product should have a different shape for example. I will definitely conduct user tests in my future projects.

A user scenario for User-centred Design
A prototype for user testing

Business and entrepreneurship

Business and entrepreneurship is the expertise area that I have developed the least, mainly because I did not have any courses that focus on this area this year and that I am not that interested in it. However, I would definitely like to learn more about this area because I think that it is valuable for designing. In my vision, I state that I think of design as a tool to help people. But if people do not want to actually use your product, it helps nobody.

I did learn some things in this expertise area however. The course From Idea to Design showed me that it is important to do market research and I learned that it is also important to think about how much a product will cost to make. The poster that I made for this course can be linked to marketing, the purpose of the poster was to convince the client why they should use our product. For Project 1, we also took the business aspect into account. We thought about the price point of our product and because our product is modular, we thought it would be a good idea to sell a starter pack with the fundamental modules and to sell other modules separately as an expansion. One group member made a business canvas model, I would also like to do this as well for a future project to develop myself in this expertise area.

Math, data and computing

At the start of the year, I followed the basic course Calculus. In this course I learned more about math and complex theorems. I would classify the course Creative Programming under the expertise area of technology and realization, but it fits in this area as well because I had to use some mathematical formulas for my assignments. This is why I think that these two expertise areas are closely related.

My main development in this expertise area came from the course Data Analytics for Engineers. In this course I learned about different kinds of data and how data can be visualized to make it understandable. I learned how to work with huge amounts of data, how to order and filter it and how to create fitting visualizations. This was all done in Python, a programming language which I did not know much about beforehand. I think that knowing multiple programming languages is important as a designer because it can help in realizing an idea. Some programming languages fit better for specific tasks than others. Being able to analyse big data is also useful for me as a designer. If I gather a lot of data from a user test, I know how to analyse and visualize it. This also fits well in the expertise area of user and society.

Design research processes

In high school I already learned a design process for my projects. It starts with defining the design case and the goals of the project, then came research about the subject and design case and after that I would set up requirements. The brainstorming phase came next, and then prototyping and finalizing. I liked this design process, but I felt that it was a bit linear. In the course From Idea to Design, I learned that a design process does not have to be linear, you can always go steps back. I experienced this myself in Project 1, where we went back to brainstorming multiple times. This improved our concept a lot. In the course User-centred Design I learned a design process that constantly focusses on the user. This was a welcome new approach for me. In the future, I will keep all these processes in mind while working on a project to choose steps that fit for that specific scenario.

Professional skills

I already learned how to work in groups in high school, this skill only improved during this first year. I have also given a lot of presentations already, but at the start of the year I struggled with presenting in English because I did not have to speak it regularly. In the course of the year, I improved a lot and I feel like my English writing has also improved. I learned how to write more scientifically as well, this includes referencing and citing properly in a report. I can still get nervous when I have to do a presentation, I would like to build more confidence in presenting in the next year.

Goals

At the start of the second semester, I set some goals for myself that I wanted to fulfil before the end of the year. One of my goals was to learn how to model 3D objects with the intent to 3D print and create renders. I wanted to apply this in Project 1. I did learn how to 3D model in Solid Works for my elective course Creative Mechanical Engineering. I did not get the chance to print models myself because the university is closed. I also did not get the chance to make 3D models for project 1 because two other teammates were already doing that. I know how to make basic models now, but I have yet to learn more about rendering. I want to apply my new knowledge in my next project.

Another goal was to learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator to be able create illustrations, infographics, icons, logos and other graphics. I did learn the basic functionalities and I could quickly adapt to the workflow because I already had experience with other Adobe programs. I used this new skill to create icons and logos for extracurricular activities. I also created the logo for this website in Illustrator, but that might not be a good representative example because it is quite minimalistic and I have learned to do more than that.

My third goal was to learn more about electronics and sensors and to apply this in projects. I definitely reached this goal; I have learned a lot about different electronic components and sensors in the course Creative Electronics and I got to apply my knowledge in the final assignment for that course and in the final technical prototype for Project 1.

My last goal was to learn more about user tests and data analysis. I wanted to do at least one user test for Project 1, which I did. I also wanted to learn how to properly analyse data, I learned how to do this with Python in the course Data Analytics for Engineers.

A 3D model I made
Icons I designed in Adobe Illustrator
Circuit for Creative Electronics

Project 1

I have worked on a lot of different things in Project 1, but I mainly focussed on the aspect of how to create music and I built the working technical prototype. Making this prototype made me realize that the working prototype was not only useful for showing that we can realize the product, but it also made the concept clear and explained it really well, maybe better than our Wizard of Oz prototype. This made me think of why I find technology important.

Technology is important for me as a designer because I want to create designs that are functional and interactive. I want to create prototypes that actually work and technology is very important to achieve this. Technology is also important for my vision. I want my designs to help people to do something that they could not do without the design, this can only be possible if my products are functional.

Project 1 fits well within my vision. I think of design in general as a tool to enable humans to express themselves, help them fulfil their goals or make their tasks easier to execute. Our product is meant to help young people with an interest in making music break the high entry barrier consisting of knowledge of music theory and the complexity of digital audio workstations. I see our product as a tool to help young people make music, which they might not have been able to do without our product.

Future

For Project 2 next year, I chose the Games and Play squad as my first choice. I chose this squad because I think that play can also be an important aspect of design. I really liked my Project 1 in the theme Play to Learn, I want to discover if this subject fits me well or if it was just this project. Play does not fit perfectly in my vision at the moment, but there is still a connection. I stated that I also want design to help humans express themselves and fulfil their goals, this can definitely be done through play.

I will likely choose the elective Design Management in the first quartile next year, this is because I want to develop my skills in the expertise area Business and Entrepreneurship. In this course I will learn how work in design teams within a business context. I will also learn how to present to clients and convince the client about my design proposal. This will likely not become one of my favorite aspects of design, but I do find it important to learn about business and entrepreneurship.

In the remainder of my bachelor's program, I will develop my professional identity and vision more clearly. I would like to do more music related projects, since this is one of my main interests. After my study, I would like to design for music and musicians.