Showcase Bas Bakx

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 B3.1 semester.


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. I want design to be able to capture an observer on its own. Design can uniquely communicate both function and form directly to an observer, by combining these an object can interest and captivate a user, while at the same time telling the user about its functionality. By having the function and aesthetics closely related I aim to intrigue and cause curiosity, allowing an object to capture a user and make a lasting impression. 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 has great potential for success.

I like to lead a design back to its roots to make it nothing more and nothing less than it should b.


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!". After all these years I still would. The inventor part of me approaches a problem from a practical, physical standpoint. It wants to create real objects that can be immediately used to test ideas out and get feedback.

By creating an object in the fastest, most direct I actively reveal ideas to me and the world around me. Thinking about something not always provides an image of the entire product, the only way to really grasp the entire concept of it is to make it.

Next to this inventor identity is a graphic design identity. This part approaches problems in a more abstract way. It looks at the function of other objects and aesthetics and what I think is important to emphasise and tone down. I try to keep graphical design as easy to understand as possible. By making important information jump out and keeping objects that could divert attention from the central message I make peaceful sometimes minimalistic work. Iterating is important within this identity, looking at the entire product can give a better idea of the overall feel of a product.

Right where these identities meet is my identity as a designer. Approaching work from both these sides provides a rich way of thinking about design, the identities match and clash all through a process and in this way give direction and stability.

Learning is central to the way I work. Instead of approaching a task with problems in mind, I like to take it head on. Being able to invest myself completely allows for a deep exploration instead of a broad one, alternating these leads to the richest possible process.


By clicking below you can see all the work i've done this semester.


My internship at OWOW

Extra curricular

What I did outside my study


“OWOW, the Omnipresent World Of Wizkids, is a design company which focusses on design, technology and engineering. We develop our own range of products, and do projects for and with brands we love. Just so you know. Thanks.”

This semester I did an Internship at OWOW, a small design company. Despite their relatively small size they do impressive projects for diverse clients. OWOW combines creative design work with creating strong brand identities. It’s hard to say what the main business is, but work for clients allows them to work on their own elaborate products. Like a series of new MIDI instruments that will launch on Kickstarter this June. My goal was to be able to both expand my own vision and process, and to be able to profit from a large network and experience. Besides this I also wanted to be a valuable member of a team. The prospect of being able to provide a valuable service to a real company motivated me.

OWOW is run by Pieter-Jan Pieters and Robin Dohmen, both of who I worked with closely. Alex Tsamakos is a full-time programmer and Iosif Macesanu part-time. They both helped me out massively with the code.

Click below to read about my work at OWOW! All projects are briefly described for the sake of brevity. The report elaborates on the projects themselves and the process. Read the Report or Read my reflection

To read what others thought about my work: Read the feedback from my company coaches and Read my competency coach feedback.

Projects I worked on at OWOW: Human Decoder

A project on music from personal information


A website for Facturis, a daughter company of Rabobank


A conceptual pitch to Heinken

Extra Curricular

Even though I got the opportunity to work on a lot of great projects at my internship this semester, I think it’s important to keep working on external projects, to broaden my view and explore personal interests.

I also took a semester off last year, to finish up Bachelor College and get work relevant to the skills I acquired in my time at Industrial Design. This semester

Read what I did next to my study this semester

Gap semester

Read what I did last semester

This semester

One of the main things I did next to my internship this semester was continuing a project I did a year ago at ID called: Print and Press (check out my portfolio for more information on it). I am working on making it an actual feasible product that can be sold in small quantities, perhaps even continue the project as final bachelor.

Earlier this semester I got contacted by Gerard post van der Molen. He was interested in the way the Print and Press combined digital and analogue interactions in print. Gerard is working on a lecture for the University of Leiden in which my press will be included. I will also be giving a demo after the reading on the 1st of September.

Gerard connected me to some knowledgeable people in the field of graphical technology. Together we made a plan how the current press can be improved to make it cheaper, better and more reliable. Right now I’m not sure where the project is going to lead to but the experience of continuing a personal project outside of Industrial Design is unique to me and a good opportunity. Back to Extra Curricular

Gap semester

Before my B3.1 internship I wanted to be done with Bachelor College. I think the Internship is an amazing opportunity to learn and I didn’t want it to be interrupted by other matters. This meant I had a lot of time to pursue personal interests and capitalize on the knowledge on design up to this point.

What I really wanted at this point was actually making money doing work I really enjoy. By doing some emailing and calling I got two nice commissions. One was creating a new website for a healthcare company called BigMove Institute, the other was making the yearbook for the study Dutch at the Radboud University in Nijmegen.

Working for BigMove was really interesting. It was the first website I got to make for a company of this size. This meant that there were a lot of things to consider, besides all opinions to account for, the site had a big amount of users. BigMove has about 40 locations where they do group therapy and a lot of independent therapists associated with the program. This resulted in over 200 people relying on information on the intranet of the site. Combine this with a complete overhaul of the website (both visually and content-wise) and you have a huge operation!

I got to work together closely with people inside the company and got a lot of artistic freedom. We planned out the entire project at the start and set deadlines, so the site was finished exactly when my internship started. I met with the bosses of the company every week for a sit-rep and to decide next steps, there was a lot of communication and some healthy pressure to it which resulted in a website I am really proud of.

Making the yearbook was, admittedly, a much smaller operation than creating the website, but still a lot of fun, it was my first paid printed graphic design. I got absolute freedom in designing the layout and graphics for the book, but because I like to work together closely with clients I made sure to keep a lot of contact.

In the end, doing a semester separately from ID was a great experience. I worked together with real people that I had to convince of my ability as designer. I had a tight timeframe in which I had to work and ended up with some great results to show for it. See the website I made Back to Extra Curricular

Human Decoder

The biggest project I worked on in my time at OWOW actually does not have a name, but for lack of anything better we called it the “Human Decoder”. It started out as a project for the Dutch festival Lowlands, but grew into something entirely different.

Originally Lowlands asked Jelle Mastenbroek to make an interactive installation based on a project he did before involving currency. Instead of hard currency, which not many people will have with them in a festival, Jelle had the idea to involve bankcards. To work on the digital element of the project Jelle and OWOW teamed up. Right at that moment I started at OWOW, so I got to work on the project.

The Human Decoder aims to collect data to convert into music and keep track of the value of the data. It is designed to shock and go just over the edge. By just clicking “yes” and “paying” with your data it’s able to process the data to music, but it can also show the monetary value of it that you may not be aware of.

I was involved with this project from start to finish, the only instructions being "It has to make data into music, here are some solenoids"

Watch a video of the project halfway trough the semester.
Read the report for more information on the project and the process.. Back to internship


Facturis is a daughter company of Rabobank that aims to simplify the billing process for both small and large companies. OWOW is in a long standing relationship with the Rabobank and so they asked them to work on the Facturis website. Because of my experience building websites I worked together with Pieter-Jan to build and design a dynamic and fresh website to help their cause.

I wrote all the code for the website, from layout to animations. Pieter-Jan did most of the design work.

Read the report for more information on the project and the process..

Check out the website! Back to internship


The project I helped out with for Heineken was a pitch for a larger plan to make smart bottles. The idea is to eventually have smart bottles, which tell you where they are if you lose them and know how much you drank. The bottles could be used to block specific numbers in your phone, automatically arrange a taxi for you, lock your car until the next morning or raffle prizes. Because right now it’s expensive and technically difficult to implement technology like this in a bottle in an unobtrusive way, a long term plan was pitched.

Pieter-Jan did the designs for the bottles, so my focus was on actually getting the designs on the bottles and exploring some other ways to illustrate the smart bottle concept, like adding a working "find my beer" option, using a phone app.

Read the report for more information on the project and the process.. Back to internship


Click on the above competencies to see my development, reflection and future plans on each of them!


Read my development plan for this semester

Competency coach feedback

Read the feedback my study coach wrote

Company coach feedback

Read the feedback OWOW wrote

Internship Report

Read my report and reflection on my Internship at OWOW












Self-directed and Continuous Learning

This semester, combined with my gap semester before, was great for self-directed learning. The experience of finding my own clients in my gap semester forced me to learn to plan with professionals. Students have all the time in the world, but professionals require more discretion.

One of my goals this semester was to have meaningful contact with at least three professionals. I worked together with Jelle Mastenbroek, I worked for Rabobank, I’m collaborating with Gerard post van der Molen and I worked with Pieter-Jan to create a pitch for Heineken. So I’m satisfied with this goal.

This semester once again made me realise how important it is in the design world to be able to learn in a fast changing world. I had to deal with a lot of new things, having my company coaches feedback me that I learn quickly therefore is very important to me.

I really want to be able to apply the skill associated with this competency in the professional world, and look forward to become a really all round designer with the ability to dive into specific subjects when needed.

Ideas and Concepts

Though my focus really wasn’t on this competency this semester, my gap semester was really heavy on it. I had to get really creative in an entirely new way: I have these developed Industrial Design competencies, how can I use these to help people? I really had to find out what I’m capable of and how I can apply myself to a problem.

Because of the freedom I got on the Human Decoder project at OWOW, I had to get really creative too. A goal was to have a physical prototype by the midterm demo-day, even though I didn’t get to present it I was able to finish it. This allowed me to reiterate and make an even better version to show at the final demo-day.

Integrating Technology

I really wanted to work with some new technologies this semester. I had access to a lasercutter and 3d printer at OWOW, so I got to work on that! I’m now known as official “OWOW laser-guy” because of my extended use of the facilities. I was already slightly acquainted with lasercutters however, so this allowed me to really go crazy and, for example, etch rounded objects. This really came in handy when Pieter-Jan got the idea to engrave bottles for Heineken. I also got to make 3d prints which I had never done before, I feel the knowledge I gained on 3d modelling and printing will come in very handy in the future.

A big goal of me this semester was to get some real programming in. I was fairly known with HTML, CSS and the likes, but not so much with languages like Processing, Arduino or PHP. The Human decoder offered a great target to practice coding with. With help of the great programming wizkids at OWOW I think I got a good grasp on the Arduino language, allowing me to create an algorithm that converts seemingly random numbers in a credit card into a coherent short piece of music.

In the future I want to do more creative programming like I did this semester. It really gives another edge to accomplish things previously unreachable. It is an obvious extension to my identity as a designer as it allows the digital and the physical to clash and interact.

User Focus and Perspective

User focus and perspective got a different meaning to me this semester. Not only does it involve individuals, it also involves corporations. Making a website for a webdesign firm or for an invoicing service means something completely different.

Facturis, for example, required an easy way to edit texts on the website without much knowledge of HTML and Internet explorer 8 compatibility. They also had a clear message they wanted to send out to the world, without knowing how to design it. This semester, and my gap semester, I really had to focus on how clients want to use products I make and also how they want their clients to use it.

I really feel like I am starting to get that hang of working with clients. My internship of course gave me a lot of insight into this and allowed me to put myself to the test, to a point where I was trusted to be personally and individually in contact with a fairly important client to OWOW.

Socio-cultural Awareness

My focus on this competency was scattered, though prominent. It’s important to keep up with changing trends, without losing sight of a well-defined identity throughout (graphic) designs. Trends come and go, however I like to make a lasting impression, so it’s important to apply trends where they are applicable and separate the cream from the crop to provide a timeless base to any design.

I am also really excited that my social cultural focussed project: Print n Press, is making some waves in the world of old-school analogue printing, it provides a bright future for this competency.

Designing Business Processes

Throughout the years this competency has become a real tough nut to crack for me. But during the gap semester and my internship it got put to the test. How can I monetize being an Industrial Designer, what skills can I offer? I was urged to go out of my way to plan out large projects and make them both economical and timely

Of course working with real clients helped out with this competency too. Together with other companies you have to figure out what it is worth to go through to do something. Things like the Facturis website can be pretty simple, but have to be quick. However things like the Human decoder and the Heineken project can take much longer, but have to be really well thought out. They reflect the identity of the creator and are crucial to establishing a reputation and foundation for projects to come.

In the Print ‘n Press cost is one of the central factors. Continuing the project will mean a lot of attention to this specific competency as the costs are inseparably bound to the appeal of the product. But it also has to be easy and reliable to use.

Form and Senses

I got to play around this competency a lot this semester. Most prominently in the Human Decoder project. One side of it was very technical and practical but the other side very aesthetic. The Human Decoder has to be visually universal without taking much of the foreground. It doesn’t have to be invisible, but it has to be stable. This caused me to go through a lot of iterations and ideas in creating holders and looks for the Human Decoder. Ending up with the universal OWOW system in place on the table now.

On the digital front, we also really wanted the Facturis website to be dynamic and interesting to look at. Creating websites opened up a completely other kind of F&S to me. While the tools are limited (to only visuals) you do want to captivate an audience. This is directly related to my identity, it is where my interest in physical interaction clashes with digital. Effects should be under control of a user, a website should feel like a well-oiled machine, driven by the user, not an animation to be looked at.

Descriptive and Mathematical Modeling

This competency did get attention, in a sense, in me finally passing the calculus Bachelor College course; instead of failing it, passing it with an 8.0(!) average.

Where I got to apply it however was in the Human Decoder. All sorts of data have to be fed into it, but it has to provide a sensible and consistent output. To create a clear model in which any number can be used to create a variable that can be transformed into music, I had to take the chaos of the real world and break it down into tiny little pieces. These pieces together constitute code that allow a microcontroller like an Arduino to perform a seemingly impossible task within seconds and perfectly every time.

Design and Research Processes

In my internship at OWOW the best way of working for me was to have Pieter-Jan come up to me and say: “we have this client we want to make something cool for, how do we do this”. This is exactly the way I picture myself working professionally. I want to dive into a subject, and get completely lost in it for a short period of time so I can emerge with a plan or iteration we can work on.

You want to engrave a bottle? No problem!
You want lightweight scroll effects on your website? No problem!
You want to make random strings of data into music? No problem!

A lot of the things I did at OWOW I wouldn’t have been able to do before I got there. This really made me realise how central this competency is to the way I work. I love to take on a challenge head-on because I know there is always a way and I also know that finding this way will make me a more well-rounded designer every time. I feel this way of working is appreciated within a company, reflected in the feedback I got on my internship. Robin and Pieter, to my delight, want to keep working together and so do I. It is very hard to show this competency to a new client or collaborator, but when it does it can have massive value.


An internship is of course the perfect moment to work on this competency. I get to work with people who have actual stakes in a good collaboration. My goal was to be an actual part of the team, not just an intern. I wanted to be valuable to the company I worked at and I think this mentality showed too. This allowed me to get close to the core of the projects.

OWOW has a great team, very knowledgeable at what they do and super nice, but above all: everybody is really aware of their capabilities. I think this is absolutely invaluable to good teamwork. It provides a really positive work environment and just allows you to get things done.


An internship really forces you to communicate on a lot of levels. I’m pretty technology minded, I like improving my workflow, trying out new webdesign software, finding the right MOSEFETS to drive my solenoids. I get really excited by space missions, but that doesn’t mean everybody does.

In the end it comes down to having the right things to show. With the Facturis website if I got stuck on the PHP I can take the code to a programmer, no problems. But if I want to have feedback on the visuals of the site from a designer I shouldn’t show them a broken website, I should show them a mock-up of what the site will actually look like. If I want feedback from the client I have to make sure there are no distractions for them to get hung up on.

Everyone has their own strengths and experience, I think a really strong suit in a designer is being able to get that out of people and I will keep working on being able to do that.