Welcome to my Showcase. I am Bas Bakx, Graphical Designer and Student of Industrial Design at the University of Technology in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. This website details my vision on design, my work and how I have been developing myself as a designer during my time at the TU/e. Focussing on my B2.1 semester

Personal Development Plan

B1.2 feedback B1.2 Showcase


I'm Bas Bakx, born in 1994 in Ossendrecht, where I attended the local primary school.

If you were to ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up at the turn of the century, I would have said "inventor", becoming an inventor was put on hold for a few years in favor of learning to read and do maths.

In 2012 I got my Gymnasium degree studying at Het Juvenaat in Bergen op Zoom.

Throughout high school I more and more realised that I had different ideas about what was “right and wrong”. There is some basic knowledge everyone should know and I won’t claim anything I learned in high-school is abundant, but what about self-development? Isn’t being able to educate yourself for whatever will come at least as important as learning current knowledge?

After that I could finally start to realise my dream of becoming an inventor. At this point I had also developed a heavy interest in graphical design. I started studying Industrial Design at the TU/e, where I am developing to become a competent designer.


As the owner of my favourite shoe brand Floris van Bommel kindly wrote on the sole of my shoes:

"I like to make nice shoes."

I too like to make nice things, what I don’t like is explain why they are nice. While it is valuable to discuss design and it’s interpretation, I consider a design failed if it doesn’t evoke immediate response from its users. This makes it vital for me to keep an open mind to interpretations of my and anyone else’s work.

I try to look further than a user’s preferences; I design to anticipate and get immediate reaction.

When famous designer Dieter Rams was asked how much consumer research he did at Braun he simply answered:

"Never. We wanted to change the world."

Good design is timeless. If the essential resources and commitment meet a good idea, no matter what the current trend might be, it will be a succes.

When I create I focus on details and context, any design choice should be justified, it should have a reason behind it, an opinion, a story. I design the same way I would write a book, piece by piece, justified and expressive. This makes it impossible for me to separate form and function.

I like to lead a design back to its roots to make it nothing more and nothing less than it should be. This results in an inherent preference for minimalism and artistic properties, reflected in this very showcase.


As you, the reader, can read on this website, this semester was good to me. I was able to explore my interests further, but also scrape the top of some others. I did a lot of extra-curricular activities to broaden my view, but also some activities to deepen and develop the things I know I like, mainly graphic design and music.

Through the menu left you can check out my activities of this semester

See my previous showcase


I took an incredibly inspiring trip to Germany last semester, to the industrial town of Oberhausen. In the immense “Gasometer” (a redundant gas storage building) was supposed to house Christo’s latest art object. It was the world’s largest air sculpture without a skeleton, and from the outside, the Gasometer seemed capable of holding that.

When I stepped into it however, it felt like it could house a city, it was massive. The sculpture filled the entire building from the first floor onwards, so there was no single point at which the scale of the sculpture could be taken entirely in. When entering the sculpture itself it felt serene, like a cathedral, surrounded by nothing but infinite white. Impossible and incomparable in every way.

Entering the Big Air Package

Centre for International Light Art

After visiting Oberhausen I visited Unna, a sleepy town in which time seems to have stood still for two or three decades, including the outside of the museum itself. This all changed when we went downstairs. Abandoned beer cellars had been emptied and not renovated at all. Then artists were invited and simply asked: “choose a space and build an installation inside the room”

This allowed for very diverse forms of (light) art to take place. I think context is of essential value when anything is designed and this museum definitely seemed to agree with this idea. The art took various aspects of the actual rooms into account and are permanently attached to it. This exhibition can only be experienced in the sleepy little town of Unna.

one of the art installations seen trough the floor

Dutch Design Week

I love the dutch design week (DDW). Last year I only got a taste of it on my first visit last year, so this year I decided to get a passe-partout to go to all big things on the ddw. Het Klokgebouw, the Design Academy’s Graduation show, DDW awardsand the “Van Abbemuseum” (which I sadly did not get to visit).

DDW shows me where big names and rising names are going in today’s society, and how they are using the growing, nearly infinite possibilities of today.During the dutch design week I can take a breather in-between the project and focus on the design world at-large. I can explore, unrestricted by time or context. All ideas and

A stand in het Klokgebouw


Less about art and more about the history and future of graphic design and media, the MOTI in Breda is fantastic. Starting out with a lovingly assembled exhibition on the history of Dutch advertisement design (which is surprisingly rich)and moving on into “MOTI hotel”, a micro village that seems to be constructed entirely out of carpet tiles. Each hut in it was devoted to a single object or idea to be displayed.

A graphic wall of contemplation in MOTI


After being tipped off by a friend I decided to respond to a vacancy at SLANG magazine a graphic-literary magazine that acts as platform for starting and established artists. This December I started working as guest-designer of the next issue of SLANG, which will be released early February.

This allowed me to develop with the Adobe package, which i’m hopelessly falling into love with. Indesign, never having received much of my attention, is continuously running now to capture any flukes of sudden creativity.

SLANG website

Previous issue of SLANG

Adobe CS Package

This semester I learned much about the versatility the Adobe CS package offered. It really allowed me to get things done and physical. From posters to laser-cut models.

I already considered myself fairly experienced with photoshop, but now I definitely feel confident using Illustrator in a professional setting and I feel like I am competent in utilising Indesign. This can all be read in model I have made for my project, and all graphic material made in it.

Indesign layout of my report


I decided this semester that I needed a base for a 3d modelling software package, and it might as well be Solidworks, since Lucid offered a workshop at the time. I attended the workshop and created a lamp. Of which I’m not very proud obviously but it did allow me to get a tiny basis in Solidworks.

The lamp I created


I did a project called “Group Music Improvisation Systems” this semester. It tasked my group and me to design a new way of creating music together with others.

Read the exploration
Read the elaboration
Feedback on the project

Together with Bart Jakobs I created the "Loopende Band", a physical music sequencer. It consists out of a conveyor belt one measure long. Users are able to place marbles on the conveyor belt, as soon as they fall off they trigger a sound, this way a melody can be made. After the marbles have fallen the machine will put marbles back on the conveyor belt in exactly the same place in the measure as where you left them.


I already had a huge interest in music from the get-go, combined with very knowledgeable teammates and fellow students we had a lot of information ready. Me myself being into blues and indie it was great to talk to electronic artists, ambient lovers or the classically schooled about what is important in the massive social and cultural influence that is music.

Because of the creative and expressive nature of music it was immediately clear that the concept itself would be crucial, therefore we needed a good exploration phase. I have never before had a brainstorm period that was so thoroughly prepared. After the brainstorm we all fell in love with an idea, which was an amazing way to start out.

An experiment early in the exploration


Teamwork was very important, it keeps proving to be hard to let important tasks to others but i think it is very important to realise the value teamwork can bring. During the project i realised i am definitely a teamplayer, i think it adds so much to discuss decisions and exchange knowledge. I have always been of an opinion that literally everyone is more qualified to judge your work than yourself.

Another spear point this semester was creating. We started creating the week after we decided on our concept, at first with whatever we could find at first glance, but very quickly I got a crash course lasercutting. Some time later I also had to learn to sew which I did for hours on end to create A conveyor belt. I also got to use my newfound Indesign and Illustrator skills a lot in creating the graphic material and laser cuts associated with the loopende band.

Freshly lasercut second iteration


Eventually we came up with the “Loopende Band”. At the heart it is a physical sequencer, it allows users to intuitively build measures of music, which are repeated infinitely until the user decides to add to, change or remove the measure.


This semester I took two assignments. One was DG123 Making/Materials, which taught me about various production methods and how to deal with them. The importance of optimizing a design, for it to be cheaply and efficiently produced.

The other assignment was DG409 Design For the Environment. Which was about creating and redesigning products with an environmental focus and sustainability in mind.

DG123 Making/Materials

The lecture at the start of the assignment quickly made me realise that there are many specifications for something to work with a mold. I learned for example that an “undercut” causes a lot of problems and extra costs for a cast that is already a huge investment. Another is that, though I already knew there are a lot of plastics, that there are literally thousands of different kinds of plastic! Plastics that bend, can be coloured, are safe for food, are heat resistant, etc. Everyone has to be chosen thoroughly to both meet regulations, functions and looks.

Read the report
Read the feedback

But perhaps the most important thing I have learned is that nearly everything is visually optimized to be able to come out of a mold properly. There are parting lines, slanted edges and hidden filling points in well thought out places. This is essential for any business, for a mold that has an extra moving part, or is slightly harder to use, costs millions on the long run.

To put what I learned into work I created a mold of a small, hollow lightbulb and then cast the bulb out of bronze. The biggest challenge was creating a mold that produced a hollow

The bronze lamp

The cast

DG409 Designing for the Environment

This assignment got to the point really fast for me, I liked that. It was a nice way to actually actively incorporate environmental thinking into a process really calling for it and making it the most important thing instead of an afterthought. Now realising that it is very important to include eco design early in a design if it is a spear point I can implement it into my own process.But in my opinion the most important thing I learned was learning how to consciously improve towards the environment.

Read the report
Read the feedback

I learned to use tools to choose the right phase of a design to improve on. To look and calculate at what part in the lifecycle of a product is the most wasteful. Then I also got to experience the next step. By reducing production cost (new materials), consciously choosing materials (sunshade, trench bench) and changing the entire paradigm of an idea to reduce environmental costs.

All in all, I think this assignment is a valuable and diverse contribution to my design process. It shines light on an important aspect of design and provides me with tools to deal with it.

A more environmentally friendly sunshade

Bachelor College

This semester I followed two bachelor college courses: 7NCB0 Design for Social Innovation and 2WAB0 Calculus (a retake). I also followed a USE learning line: 1ZEUB0 Technology Entrepeneurship.

7NCB0 Design for Social Innovation

For de design course, I was teamed up with a group of five other students all from different studies to create a project that focussed on people that do not exercise enough. Eventually we came up with a app that dramatically lowered the threshold for students to try out.

Because I was more familiar with running projects like this than the rest of my group, I became the leader of the group. Which caused me to set three goals: 1) Realise a product. 2) Succefully direct a project with a group unfamiliar with doing a design project. 3) Have an organised way of working and use this to push my team members.

I feel the goals are well achieved, which resulted in a good end product, you can read more about this in the report. But a more unexpected thing I learned from this was how to help and interest people in creating ideas and letting boundaries go. I took initiative in getting the brainstorm on the road an create as much ideas as possible to combine into one great concept.

Read the report
Eleborate Reflection
Read the feedback

The app we created

1ZEUB0 Technology Entrepreneurship

I took Technology Entrepreneurship because I wanted to broaden my knowledge of the business side of designing. I have always looked up against it, stories about patent wars scare me and I am a huge advocate of creativity over profitability. Technology Entrepreneurship however gave me the opportunity to hold my vision up to a completely different world. The most poignant thing being one sentence mentioned by the lecturer: “we will build it when they come, not if we build it they will come”. This definitely gets me, in my opinion it is passive and goes against everything the TU should stand for. “Where innovation starts” becomes: “where existing technologies are exploited”.

The Assignments themselves however were more interesting. We got issued 5 euros, to make as much money as possible within a timeframe of 3 hours (and as much preparation as needed). In which I got the change to find out about all the things needed to make money somewhere. We couldn’t just sell something in the campus, there were multiple layers of higher powers that had to give a green light, you can see the result in the video to the right. Besides the practical assignment we also got to do a lot of business analysing which can be read in the report below.

Assignment 1 Report Assignment 2 Report

The first assignment

2WAB0 Calculus

Calculus was a retake of last year. It once again lead me into deepening my knowledge of what I do consider to be a good basic course to be given to students. While I definitely showed improvement and performed well on all test before the final exam I failed the course because my exam grade was below 5.0 which is an automatic fail.

Read my previous reflection


During my time studying industrial design I have been writing everything down, tracking my development and reflecting. In my PDP I set the goals for what I had to do, what my aims were, to be on the right track to becoming a designer.

Read my PDP
Draft B2.2 PDP
Coach Feedback

My development has been split up into 10 competencies. I have illustrated how far my competencies are developed so far in the diagram to the right. Clicking the tabs to the left will give you more information on the specific competency and how I worked to achieve my PDP goals.

Ideas & Concepts

I think this is a well-developed competency of mine. I’m all about creating and ideating, in which it is very important to let all rules go. While the best ideas might not always come in an organised setting like a brainstorm, a situation in which crazy ideas come out best can definitely be made and will positively influence the process down the road.

Both my assignments were heavy on it, they required ideas within their respective contexts, but still I still try to distinguish them from cliché or short-sighted ideas. I like to consider each ideation and concept phase as if whatever I’m creating is going to be a real-world product. This semester I especially wanted to focus on pushing external students to ideate in a way that I consider meaningful, in which I definitely succeeded. In my USE learning line as well as my bachelor college course Design.

List of all ideas in my project

Integrating Technology

This competency is getting more and more crucial in my design process. After the conception phase of an idea I realise that it’s important to try creating it. This process not only exposes any problems that need to be sorted out and raises ideas, but a visualisation of a concept also allows to get more feedback on it from others, because more brains allow for wider ideas.

I tried to focus on creating a lot of iterations in my project this semester. I didn’t want the final prototype to be the only prototype, as is the case a lot of the time. But the final prototype also shouldn’t be hanging together out of duct tape breadboards and an Arduino. This goal was partly succeeded, I soldered al electronics of my project neatly. However it still contained a loose Arduino (which was neatly hidden) and at the last moment before the exhibition we needed to put on a piece of wood quickly, which sadly had to be done with duct tape

Final prototype with all electronics hidden underneath

User Focus Perspective

Last year I did a very usertesting-heavy project so this year I decided to put my vision into movement some more. I think the job of a designer is to go further than creating a solution to a problem. A designer can look at the overall process and look where something can be optimized or bring an entirely new idea into the world, something others wouldn’t dare to think about. Innovation is the keyword here.

I sadly did not achieve my goal for this competency this semester. I wanted to create a video of people using the final prototype, but because we chose to develop the interactivity of the prototype in the last stage there simply was no time for an elaborate usertest.

Presenting the loopende band to a potential user

Social Cultural Awareness

I have come to love giving attention to this competency. I love visiting exhibitions and spot designs where you wouldn’t expect it. I think it’s important and even necessary for a designer to see and understand the design around them in everyday life like my assignments DG123 Making/materials and DG409 Designing for the Environment focussed on a lot.

My goal was to visit DDW and some museums and exhibitions, which I did (this can be found in the Extra Curricular section). Besides visiting many exhibitions and even some museums, I started filling more of my free time devoted to this competence. I check some design blogs like Core77 regularly and also started listening to a lot of podcasts like 99% invisible and Radio+love, which show the other side of what we see and don’t see daily. Besides this it remains important to see and notice the design around you, it’s everywhere, ask questions.

A stand at the DDW. Which I coincidentally also saw last year in Milano

Designing Business Processes

This competency got some more critical attention this semester. Because I chose to do the USE learning line Technology Entrepreneurship. Which I really looked up against, since I don’t like to deal with it. I did get to analyse business ideas and even perform an original business idea with my group which can be seen to the right.

My goal was not achieved. The project I did this semester did not allow for involvement of a company in any early stage, which caused me to put it on the backburner for the project. Putting all my development in my USE learning line and assignments.

Technology Entrepeneurship Assignment

Form & Senses

This competency is always relevant. Whether it is graphic design, conveying a concept trough a prototype or thinking about a way to produce a product. This study forces me to use what is around me to give form to ideas a lot, which I think is very positive. This semester, I created.

I learned about a lot of production methods this semester, especially in my assignment DG123 Making/Materials. Which I think is crucial for designers. I learned about extrusion moulding, injection moulding, bronze and aluminium casting and lasercutting. In which I feel I have surpassed my goal of learning about three production methods.

A bronze light bulb I cast

Multidisciplinary Teamwork & Communication

While this is a new competence it has already received a lot of attention. Bachelor college basically forces this competence upon ID students. I get to work with a lot of students, also from different studies and sometimes even people not even studying, like a bronze caster.

Because B2.1 has an individual accent I was afraid of losing contact with other students. I think contact is vital during a project because literally everyone can judge your products better than yourself. Because of my focus on it I did not lose contact and even included some students not in my team very closely in the project.

Working together in a brainstorm

Design and Research Process

The most dangerous thing that this competency is very close to is stretching out the research or ideation process for too long. You can get stuck on these subjects for entire semesters if you’d like, but the job of a designer is to choose a point to start from after a set time (for example a week, like I did in my project this semester).

This semester I found out a lot about how I like to go to work, and what works best for me in a project. I like a meaningful, relatively short ideation phase that is completely without rules apart from time constraints. The concept that results from diverging after this is in no way static. After cooking up the brainstorm I like to broaden again to give shape to the concept at large, after which it is refined into a prototype.

Self Directed and Continuous Learning

I consider this competency the centre of everything that happens in Industrial Design. We get a lot of free space which makes it essential to spend a lot of attention to this. We are being trained to work in the future and since we don’t know what is going to happen then, we need to learn how to anticipate on anything that could happen. This requires a certain basic knowledge, but also a lot of experience in exploring before unknown subjects.

I wanted to have a more individual development this semester and choose to work together instead of accepting the restraints put on me by this study. This resulted in me working with only one of the teammembers from the start, bus still including the others ones to get a critical look. Since all students are starting to go different ways this competency is more important, there isn’t as much definite support and more initiative to be taken.

Analyzing Complexity

This competency mainly got developed in my past semesters, through technical courses such as: Modeling, Calculus and Physics. It has not shown much relevance so far since I prefer trial and error. However that language I learned in physics and calculus allowed me to solve some more complex calculations with international students in DG409 Designing for the Environment. Which I definitely wouldn’t have been able t otherwise.

My goal was to pass calculus, which I sadly didn’t on account of being half a point short on the final exam. The 25th of January brings a retake, and I’m going to take the bull by the horns and pass this time.


Bas Bakx