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 B2.2 semester


My name is Bas Bakx, born in 1994 in Bergen op Zoom. From birth I lived in Ossendrecht where I attended the local primary school

If you were to ask me what I would want to be when I grow up at the turn of the century I would have exclaimed “inventor”. Becoming inventor, sadly, had to be put on hold for a moment as I learned 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 I had different ideas about what was “right and wrong”, of course there is some basic knowledge everyone should know, but what about self-development? Isn’t being able to educate yourself for whatever is going to come at least as important as learning current knowledge?

After high school I could finally start realising my dream of becoming an inventor. At this point I have been developing an interest for graphic design specifically but I am developing myself as designer in the widest sense of the word at Industrial Design at the TU/e.


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, but, apparently like Floris van Bommel, I don’t like explaining why they are nice. While it is valuable to discuss design and its interpretations, I consider a design failed if it doesn’t evoke immediate response from observers. This makes it vital to me to keep an open mind to interpretations of my and anyone else’s work.

I try to look further than the 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 resource and commitment meet a good idea no matter what the current trend might be. It will be a success.

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.


Like my previous semesters, this semester offered me a lot of opportunities to develop myself further, both within and outside of my study. What was special however is dat this semester I really was able to explore some of my interests deeper, instead of only broadening my view.

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

See my previous showcase
Read my PDP


One of the biggest things I did this semester was working on SLANG. SLANG is a Dutch, independent magazine. It is focussed on prose, poetry and graphics. All texts are written by amazing upcoming writers and each number a new graphical artist is chosen.

I was fortunate enough to become the graphic artist of the eleventh issue of SLANG: #11 Dode Zee, with the Dead Sea as theme. The issue is currently being sold in several bookstores around the country and also through their site.

SLANG allowed me to see how it is to actually see how the production of a magazine goes from start to finish. It was great to work together with the art director Saskia Buddelmeijer and have my work cricitcally looked at by passionate people. Eventually having my work published was an amazing experience!

SLANG website

Part of SLANG number 11

Adobe CS Package

Like last semester the Adobe CS package played a mayor role in most of the things I did. I used Photoshop and Illustrator do do illustrative work like making posters and combined it with Indesign to create my reports.

However I also used Illustrator in tandem with autoCAD to create lasercut templates that were cut at FabLab brainport!

What was new this semester however was exploring video editing software. After trying out some programs and getting frustrated with limits and watermarks some try to push I settled on yet another Adobe program, namely Adobe Premiere. I proceeded to use it to create all my videos this semester, as it massively improved my workflow by both working together with the other adobe programs and being far more intuitive than any video software I have tried up to now.

One of the videos I made


This semester I attended two workshops of the Industrial Design Faculty. The first one was the Branding workshop, given by Yolanda Hübner. The workshop consisted out of a number of assignments and focussed on writing up personal abilities and how one can efficiently convey what he has to offer.

The second workshop was a Portfolio workshop, by Sjors Eerens. This workshop was about what is important in creating a portfolio. We discussed some portfolios and after finding out what we all thought is crucial in a portfolio, we got an opportunity to quickly create our own in 10 minutes. I created a portion of a portfolio for design great Dieter Rams, about the SK6 record player.

See the portfolio

Space-S brainstorm

Earlier in the semester I attended a Space-S brainstorm. Woonbedrijf is building a new housing complex in Stijp, Eindhoven, and they're looking for ways to help future inhabitants collaborate on it. This was our objective, pitch an idea for a kit that enables people to convey their ideas about the upcoming complex.

We wanted people to be able to physically work with the buildings, but it would be impossible for Woonbedrijf to ship a kit out to everyone who asks, so it would have to be something people at home could easily get.

Because we were convinced no-one would print and put together an entire maquette we came up with an idea. We would assemble a list of things to buy at a grocery store, just regular products (butter, cornflakes etc.) combined with simple instructions, people would be able to make their own model, while also having their groceries.

Woonbedrijf later got back to us, informing us that they liked the idea and had the intention to develop it further, which one of my team members took upon her. Though sadly, the idea as of yet has not made the final cut.

Me pitching the concept


My project this semester was Crafting Stories, Promoting diversity. My goal was to rediscover and emerge lost stories about cratsmanship. With people increasingly getting disconnected from their products crafting stories are in danger of being lost.

Read the report
Feedback on the project

In my first individual Industrial Design project I got to explore one of my big passions: Graphic design. I got to visit some different kinds of printers and actually got to see how both my and everyone elses graphic work is converted to a physical form. I tried to tackle the problems that presented themselves in the printing world by building Print and Press, my project this semester.


The exploration of Print and Press really revealed the value of Crafting Stories. Modern technologies certainly aren’t bad, but if we stop being critical of our means of production we run the risk of losing touch with our work.

Creating graphical work nowadays happens on a computer, it is finished on the computer. Then it has to be made physical somehow and we usually elect to use the thin paper and limited ink the printer offers us.

If we do want to print on canvas or shirts we will have to send it away, at which point we are not present when work is printed, distancing us from our work and introducing the possibility of ending up with 150 shirts that are not as they are supposed to be. The other option is buying a shirt printer or a printing press ourselves, costing hundreds, if not thousands of Euros.

Result of the first week of exploration

For my project I decided to approach some printers, to really get a feel for the world of printing. So I contacted the printer of SLANG magazine, a magazine I was working for on at the time. This was Thijs Wielinga of Dutch Quality Printing.

Thijs talked about how the radical change to printing in the last few decades. Printing used to be a slow process for which a lot of time was to be reserved because of the large amount of craftsmanship involved. Recently the direction has been more towards it being quick and easy, taking down the quality of print work and increasing the speed by introducing digital printing.

After modern printing techniques, the next logical step was jumping back in time and look at traditional pressing techniques. After a lot of searching had to be done to find someone who still did any form of letterpressing in the netherlands, but eventually I found Silvia Zwaaneveldt, secretary of a community of traditional printers, called "Drukwerk in de Marge".

Silvia talked about the huge changes printing has gone trough in the past few decades. Ever since the printing press was invented around 500 years ago technologies moved relatively little, letters were arranged in a window, tightened, inked and pressed into a medium. But after hundreds of years, in the second half of the 20th century, offset printing came in.

Silvia works in the same city as one of the few still-standing commercial printers still using relief-printing and letter-pressing techniques. This printer is “Drukkerij Mostert“, run by Frank Turenhout and Hans Dessen.

Hans and Frank are among the last printers still actively involving letter-pressing in their process. By knowing the machines, their paper, their ink and everything involved inside and out they can make prints that would otherwise be impossible to make. Drukkerij Mostert loves to propagate the legacy that these machines hold ad taught me all about new and old printing techniques.

"De Baaierd" Silvia Zwaaneveldt's printing shop

To read more about Dutch Quality Printing, de Baaierd and drukkerij Mostert,
Read the Report!

Press Design

It was strange how the effect of a printing press are so strong, yet so overlooked in everyday life. How many people have even seen a printing press in their life, let alone used? The problem, as always, is cost and space. Printing presses have a huge footprint, with their large metal frames and levers. But their price is a real obstacle, if someone is only interested in experimenting, or not sure if letter-pressing is their thing, they will probably not be looking to spend hundreds of Euros (plus costs to get a press weighing hundreds of kilos home!). Getting letters was also a problem, nearly none are available anymore today, complete fonts can consists out of dozens of cases, filled with lead. The goal was to reduce costs and size, make it accessible to anyone.

I started the building phase out by creating a press. Had to be affordable, space saving and easy to use and assemble. I decided to create it out of materials that can be bought in any hardware store. The press is basically made out of wood, metal profiles and a winch (more details can be found in the report). To create a type acrylic letters were laser cut, this allows the user to only cut what they need and removes the need for having a big heavy lead letter collection.

When I demonstrated my press at the demo-days halfway the semester I got a lot of useful feedback. My direction was clear but needed some refinement, I was reaching too much towards nostalgia. There was a modern, digital element missing.

The press halfway the semester

Print Design

To achieve this I did not want to reinvent the wheel, I wanted to use existing printing technology, this would also keep the cost of the final product down. While using digital printing technologies I couldn't reintroduce the associated limitations, so I modified a printer to print on any surface. It had to be easily integrated with the press so a printing head that moves over a surface was the solution. It would be able to be mounted under the press.

While the press offered interesting options and a different view on graphic design, it was crippled in it's nostalgia. Digital printing offers options like quickly printing long texts, or making full color images, so to have the press link back to today's possibilities I wanted to introduce a digital element.

The printer in action

Final Design

In the final design all aspects of the design had to come together, traditional and digital technologies have to work together to create a machine that accommodates a rich creative process and a real emotional bond with the machine as well as the prints made in it. The machine is simply called “Print and Press” because essentially it is made out of two machines with their own personality and uses that work together to provide a rich interaction.

In the final design the printer is placed under the pressure plate of the press. The printer can move over the medium and the pressure plate can press without ever having to move the medium. This will allow for a consistent, reproducable, result, making the Print and Press a creative as well as a producing tool.

The Print and Press at work


I took two assignments this semester. The first was DG622 Exploring Intuitive and Aesthetic Interaction, to develop my User Focus Perspective and Form and Senses. I wanted a really concrete approach to applying some real theory.

I also took DG703 Complexity trough Simplicity. I have always had a hard time applying the Designing Mathematical Models competency in my process. Since this is the only assignment on that subject I decided to take it and see for myself how DMM looks, applied to Industrial Design.

DG622 Exploring Intuitive and Aesthetic Interaction

This assignment was very clearly split up into two weeks. The first week was all about theory, reading papers and presenting them. The second week was about applying the theory. Together with Gwen Klerks and Martine Bak I created an interactive Spotify playing interface. This became SPOT. SPOT is a minimalistic looking device that consists out of a round base with a rotatable lever with a single knob. The lever features a display showing the current song playing. A user

Our main goal was that it had to be intuitive, a user should understand how to use this design on first notice. We limited ourselves in using aesthetic interactions. This led us to designing a very physical interaction.

Read elaborated theory
Read longer reflection
Read the feedback

I think DG622 is a massively useful assignment, the principles of it could be relevant for any ID project, but moreover, for any consumer product. In a world where interaction richness has been seeing a decrease, I think it could be very important and valuable to look back at what made mechanical products not require a manual. Using these principles, together with today’s knowledge and research can contribute enormously to any new product brought to the market.

While user interaction can seem like a very abstract I now feel like I can have a structured approach to dealing with it. Trying things out of course remains the most important way in testing if a product will work, but using tools such as the frogger framerwork, or considering richness of interactions in a near mathematical way can give very good and valuable direction to a project or product.

SPOT, the spotify interface we made

A video about using spot

DG703 Complexity trough Simplicity

This assignment had an approach very similar to my other assignment this semester. There was one week of theory and one week of putting this theory in practice. My main reason for choosing this assignment is finding the connection between DMM and Industrial Design. I think the assignment delivered in making this connection. Especially the first week was very interesting to me, the lecture- and paper-heavy hours showed me many interesting and practical applications of mathematical models. The complex, organised chaos that multiple agents with simple rules can cause goes to show that complex problems can be tackled if broken up into multiple small pieces.

Read the report
Use the model (java required)
Read the feedback

After the first week put me on track I got the change to explore modelling myself, so I teamed up with Guus de Jonge. As a team we set out to use Netlogo to create a model and see for ourselves how simple rules can create a complex reality.

We learned to use NetLogo to make multiple iterations of a forest fire extinguishing system, Netlogo allowed us to make small changes and repeatedly test what would work and what wouldn’t. The quick trial and error method appealed to us as we found it very useful to communicate our ideas to each other as well as to other students, which I think can be invaluable in a designing process.

Graphed result of tests with the model

Bachelor College

This semester I followed two bachelor college courses: 1ZSUB0 Open innovation and 1ZAUB0 Entrepreneurship in action. They are the last two courses of my USE learning line "Technology Entrepreneurship", which I am following to develop my entrepreneurial side, mainly related to DBP.

1ZSUB0 Open Innovation

Open Innovation really was something else. Instead of having lectures with regular assignments attached to them, we had lectures with a sort of game attached to it. The game was by Innovative Dutch. Every week I sat down with a group of five students from different studies to invest for our virtual company, competing with other groups of students. The investments were based on the lecture of that week.

The game was a very playful way of implementing the theory that went with the course. The company being completely virtual did make the application feel disconnected, but I am convinced that working together with others did help me place the information into perspective.

After a lot of ups and downs in our "company", we ended up at a pretty satisfying third place out of seven! We peaked at the end because our long term strategy worked out really well. Ending with a grade of 7.0. Sadly I didn't get a mark above 5.0 for the final exam, so i'll have to redo the exam.

Read the final report
Eleborate Reflection

Final Ranking of the game (I was in team 7)

1ZAUB0 Entrepreneurship in action

This course had a lot of potential. I would again be part of a group of students from multiple studies. We would get a project with client attached assigned to us, a real client to work together with on a project relating to the real world. The project we got assigned to was "Weed machine" with the TU/e Innovation lab as client.

Sadly our client would not get back at us after numerous attempts at contact, so we followed our own direction of creating a more effecient way of selling cannabis, trough a vending machine (with all legal problems attached).

Despite our problems with the client, we did find a way to apply the theory from this and previous entrepreneurship courses to our self-directed project. Because the project would of course have pretty controversial connotations it was important to explore potential clients (like coffee shops) and their clients (users of cannabis), we did this using a range of analyses. This way of working helped us realise the way our project should go with it's strengths and weaknesses and find it's opportunities and destination.

Final Report

Sketch of the weed machine


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.

Next semester I have to redo my calculus course. Because I want to have the time for this and because I don’t want it to interfere with my internship I have decided to postpone my 3.1 semester by one semester. In the meantime I will focus on doing more graphical work, working on a magazine and getting a nice internship.

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.

Coach Feedback
Read my PDP
Draft PDP for next semester

Ideas & Concepts

I consider ideas and concepts one of my better developed and I use it basically every week. It is at the start of each and every project in some way, shape or form. Whether it is to develop an impromptu idea or to start of an entirely new project. I was, for example, the one who had to come up with a new innovation in the field of personal robotics each week for my bachelor college course Open Innovation.

My main goal this semester regarding I&C was exploring individual brainstorming. I think this went very well. I always enjoy letting my boundaries go and just elaborating on ideas, but I always feared for the quality when doing this alone. I think my project and process can vouch for my individual brainstorming this semester, as I’m very proud of it.

Some of the sketches of the second diverging phase

Integrating Technology

Integrating Technology obviously is important in a design process, to have a convincing prototype you’ll need it to work right. Only when it works right, a user will be able (or not able) to see the true value of a project. I also think that it is important to not constantly reinvent the wheel and use existing technologies to your advantage.

My goal was to have a finished looking prototype this semester. I Think I partly achieved this with the press, which was made out of hard words and had type letters in a nice box. The printer, however, because it came to be later in the process did have wires hanging off it. I was able to demonstrate it like this because the looks of the printer were not crucial to it.

The Print and Press in it's full glory

User Focus Perspective

I always think it is essential in a designer that he can anticipate in what the crowd is going to want and not to only give them what they want right now. Usertesting is absolutely invaluable in testing ideas out in the context, but I am convinced that it shouldn’t be used to direct the concept of the project.

My goal this semester was to have a good looking video alongside my project of users using the project, which I did not have in the end. Instead however, because I had s perfectly working press, I was able to show the project and have users actually use it instead of showing a video of it. The rest of this competency was mainly developed in my assignment about intuitive and aesthetic design where I really got a change to deepen my understanding of this competency.

video of SPOT, an entirely user-focussed device

Social Cultural Awareness

SCA was at the core of my project this semester. I love exploring the stories behind what we see around us, it’s important to never forget how things came to be for those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Because I’m not yet doing my internship next semester my goal for this semester was not applicable anymore. Luckily my project allowed me to fill it in perfectly. I was able to really go out of my way and find out what this craft has meant to the world as it is today. Combined with my daily reading of design blogs (core77, theverge), listening of podcasts (99% invisible) and the first real graphical design work I did this semester, I consider myself wel developed in this field.

Part of the magazine I worked on

Designing Business Processes

This competency has always been hard for me to implement, but because design is all about getting outside your comfort zone I have been heavily exploring it the past two semesters. Working together with students doing more business oriented studies does allow me a certain insight into, for me, the hardest competency.

To develop this competency my main tool is the USE learning line I’m following, where for the past three quartiles I’ve been following three different courses each focussing on a different part of entrepreneurship. I applied this to my project, in which I use existing innovations to make my product as cheap and accessible as possible through a platform like kickstarter or indiegogo.

The Print and Press in it's most compact form

Form & Senses

It is obvious why form and senses is considered a core competency within our study. In any type of design it is essential to thoroughly consider the shape, looks and feel of the product. Not only in the final product this is important, but also in any prototype, pitch or test.

In my project the shape was crucial, it had to be compact, cheap and durable, the design had to be carefully considered. Form and function had to be in perfect harmony, this produced the Print and Press as it is. In my assignment Exploring Intuitive and Aesthetic Interaction I deepened my understanding of F&S by exploring what feedforward and feedback constitutes what behaviour

The Print and Press

Teamwork & Communication

Concerning design, I’m absolutely a teamplayer. I think having multiple brains working on a project does nothing but positively influence it. Of course that was not an option this semester, B2.2 is an individual semester and definitely a good moment to experience it.

This project I went beyond my fellow students to work on my project, I consulted several real experts to talk about my project. I think the actual real stories of the craft immensely contributed to the project. In my other projects this semester however I still did get to work in teams, not only with ID students, but also with students of other studies, enhancing my development.

Talking to the printers of drukkerij Mostert

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

This semester’s research was different. Next to normal researching, reading papers and talking to experts in my assignments and bachelor college courses I did an elaborate individual exploration. I wanted to have my process start wide, then converge then go wide again and then finally converge to the final prototype. I think I achieved this by having a nice wide exploration with outside experts converge to the press, then diverge to digital printing work again to finally converge to the print and press.

Self Directed and Continuous Learning

This competency is important all-around in Industrial design. By this point I consider this competency to be pretty deeply developed. This semester was completely individual and forced me to explore the limits of what I can do on my own.

My goal was to not lose contact with the outside world. I think the biggest risk in working individually is blocking yourself off from the outside and only do internet research. I tried to get on the road as much as possible talking to real people. I really enjoyed this way of working and I think it worked out very well

Designing Mathematical Models

I have always found this one of the hardest competencies to apply to my process. While I do consider it fairly developed because of the three bachelor college courses I took that all heavily related to it I permanently found it hard to explicitly apply it to my process.

This semester I decided to take the only D&MM assignment available, hoping that it would clarify the competency for me. In the end I think it did, it was very valuable to see applied mathematical models in design. I feel I can now see the true value of the competency and, when the moment presents itself, apply it. Sadly I did not pass calculus, causing it to be postponed again.

Simulation of a forest fire being extinguished


Bas Bakx