Conference program

The conference took place at the Catharijneconvent in Utrecht on Tuesday .


Andrei Herasimchuk

Think from the Center – Design for the Edge

— Andrei Herasimchuk (Involution Studios)

Andrei will present his view on how to design for digital products in the not too distant future, urging designers to not work on the edges then attempt to leverage their work sideways, but to start with core principals and definitions, then work towards the product type.

With this mindset, one is not designing a web application, then attempting to re-purpose their design work ‘sideways’ when trying to make the mobile phone form of that application. Instead, designers must define core aspects of the product, its content, behaviors and aesthetic at a higher, more fundamental level. From here they can then use that material towards building a web application version of their product then maybe a mobile phone version of the digital product. Both of the products will be more appropriately designed and more usable for their respective mediums, while also retaining consistency and core design solutions that are shared across the products.

Andrei Herasimchuk founded Involution Studios, after he led the UI teams at four different companies, including Adobe. He specializes in user interface and visual design. Andrei publishes, the online resource for interface designers.

Coffee break

Hello, my name is E

Hello, my name is E and I am happy

— E

Hello, my name is E and I am happy to be at Design by Fire. I'm a new brand concept consisting of three functional prototypes: Exo, Evo and Eco. These products create a new platform of socially communicative consumer electronics. I am best described as a convergence between the internet and the physical world. By using Exo, Evo and Eco, I focus on qualitative forms of friendship through the creation of physical presence through a virtual channel, wearable social communities and intuitive interactions. You could call me a translation of the social Web 2.0 movement (Twitter, Facebook) to the material world.

During the session, my team will focus on the design process when they created me and my three products. They will discuss how interfacing emotion, communicating social status, context-awareness and creating social wearable communities have contributed to qualitative forms of on- and offline friendships.

I am the brainchild of four Dutch graduate students at the Utrecht Graduate School of the Arts. My team graduated in september for their Masters of Art degree, after three BAT years Interaction Design. Their ambitious project was officially launched during the graduation exposition of the faculty of Art, Media and Technology in Hilversum.

Marco van Hout, Monito

Design for Emotion

— Marco van Hout (Monito)

In this presentation, Marco van Hout will talk about the emotional impact of products, services and brands, and how designers can understand, research and integrate emotion in the design process. How can we create meaningful experiences, taking into account that we can never design the experience itself but rather for the experience?

Marco will illustrate these principles of 'designing for experience' with a specific emphasis on 'designing for emotion', by giving examples of products, web 2.0 trends, brand concepts and successful implementations of experience and emotion design. Get Emotional!

Marco van Hout is managing partner and co-founder of Monito Design & Internet, ambassador of the Design and Emotion Society, and publishes interviews, opinion and news on his internationally renowned blog Design & Emotion. He has spent the last 4 years advocating the necessity of understanding, researching and integrating emotions into the design process to create richer and more meaningful experiences.


Benny Naber

Fier on Fire

— Benny Naber (Fier)

Budget and process are killing the inspiration. Or not? How do you inspire designers & developers and in the meantime control your budget & quality process?

Benny will tell his own story and experiences as leader of Fier Concept & Design. He trained his co-workers to respect the budget constraints but also started an internal program to set the designers on fire.

Benny Naber studied Industrial Design engineering at Delft University. He specialized in interaction design and is responsible for a lot of successful productions, for example the price winning ‘virtual prison’. Under his leadership, Fier has become one off the best design company's in the Netherlands.

Sander Mulder


— Sander Mulder (Yppah) & Remko van der Lugt (HU)

On October 23rd we will witness a presentation co-developed by the target audience! Sander Mulder and Remko van der Lugt will cover the hot topic of co-creation. Join the design process by entering requests, questions and topics in their wiki dedicated to the Design by Fire Conference.

Sander Mulder was educated as industrial design engineer at the Delft University of Technology. After working for consulting firms, he started his own business Yppah in 2003. Yppah adds value for clients by co-creating new services for teenagers, using a network of 250 teens. He teaches at the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Design Academy Eindhoven and KaosPilots Netherlands.

Coffee break

Michiel van der Ros

Designing physical projects

— Michiel van der Ros (Waag Society)

How do you combine physical and software interfaces? How can user research be applied early in the design process? By using an educational and a healthcare project as examples, Michiel will look at the possibilities and challenges of these ingredients.

For more than ten years now, Waag Society has been using new media and technology in projects and research for education, culture, healthcare and society. A key ingredient in many projects is an approach we call 'User as Designers'. This means we involve the end user group as much as possible, often even before we start designing anything. The physical aspects of some projects can make it quite different from web- or application design. But wood, buttons, sensors and wires can be a lot of fun too!

Michiel van der Ros is Interaction Developer at Waag Society, Amsterdam. He studied Multimedia Design & Technology at Saxion University, Enschede and graduated with honors in 2004. Besides this he also got a Master of Arts at Utrecht School of the Arts (EMMA) in the field of Interactive Multimedia. Since then he has been working at Waag Society on a broad variety of projects and specialized in Flash development.

Geke van Dijk

Passionate for people

— Geke van Dijk & Bas Raijmakers (STBY)

Our research practice is driven by a passion to explore how people use media and technology in their daily lives. In our work we are constantly observing how people integrate new tools and habits in their everyday routines. The insights are used as material for inspiration and grounding during the early stages of service design and innovation processes.

Design is not anymore a profession that produces isolated, tangible things. It is rather contributing to a range of service elements, both tangible and intangible, that are available to people as an integrated network to choose from. And by choosing which elements to use, people are co-producing the actual services that are consumed. To cater for this process, service providers need to make these service elements seamlessly available to people across all platforms. They need to offer people freedom of choice and flexibility in use. This is what contemporary consumers expect. They want to, and ultimately are, in control.

It is crucial to engage in empathic conversations with people during the early stages of the development process, even before concepts or prototypes are produced. Several methods, such as design documentaries and probe studies, are available for in-depth qualitative people research.

Geke van Dijk, founder and strategy director of STBY, is a specialist in Communication Sciences, Human-Computer Interaction and Consumer Research. Next to her work for STBY, she has recently completed a PhD research that applies relevant principles from Marketing Research to User-Centered Design processes.

Bas Raijmakers, founder and creative director of STBY, is specialist in Cultural Studies, Usability Research and Interaction Design. Next to his work for STBY, he has recently completed a PhD research that applies relevant principles from Documentary filmmaking to Design Research.

Sunset/Suspens, closing performance by VJ DO_Ray and DJ Michel