Reflection on designing

As part of the ‘Reflection on Designing’ course, I thought I would spend some time doing something I enjoy, which for me, at the moment, is making a website. So enjoy the next few minutes and read about what makes me, me.

Who am I?

I’m Charlie, and if you are reading this, you probably already know that I am a Design for Interaction student at TU Delft. But I suppose the question is, why? In all honesty, I wasn’t actually planning on doing a Master’s, in fact I was very ready to start working straight after finishing my Bachelor’s back in Loughborough. But then Corona happened and my hopes of landing a suitable job faded, and my interest in coming back to Delft blossomed.

What am I?

Well throughout my Bachelor’s degree I only ever thought of myself as a Product Designer. To be honest, it’s all I really knew when I first started uni and after all, I had signed up for a ‘Product Design and Technology’ course. I spent a lot of time in workshops making things, trying things out and putting things together, and I loved it. It was a point in my life where I was learning a lot and becoming someone who I wanted to be.

This was me

I think this video of ‘Me as a designer’ sums up who I thought I was. Not only as a person, but also as a designer. I was brought up to be very ‘product’ focussed and never felt like I got a chance to change from that.

So how did I get here?

I don’t really know why I initially came to Delft, other than on a whim of writing a motivational letter late one Tuesday evening. I had never planned on studying abroad, and it wasn’t until almost the end of my Erasmus exchange back in 2018 that it actually hit me.

This is where I really got a sense of UX and more specifically, the interaction side of it. Speaking to people, prototyping and really engaging in a ‘new life’ so to speak.

I completed the Interactive Environments minor as part of this exchange scheme, where I, as part of a group, created a ‘meeting timewheel’ for a new-build set of offices in Amsterdam. It was my first client project that I carried out and after this short 5 month period, I saw myself as a UX designer…the talking to people, the interface design, the quick iterations, I really felt it was for me.


I completed a number of internships within this ‘UX’ area. Throughout these I felt as if I was pushing myself to work on digital UX, or more specifically UI. Don’t get me wrong, I loved working on interfaces and making visuals and websites because it was something that I hadn’t done as much before, however a part of me was still being drawn back to the workshop to get my hands on materials to help put machines and parts together.

And what about now...

Coming back to Delft for my Master’s was another spontaneous decision that was influenced by external factors, this time, Covid. I always told myself that if I were to do one, it would be ‘Design for Interaction’ at Delft. I had good memories from the minor and heard good things about the Master’s. I felt that Product Design was too product-y and UI design was too digital. This DfI course seemed as if it was the good mid-point between the two, and potentially something that I could go into in the future..

In the first semester introduced me to a number of things that I otherwise wouldn’t have done. I was able to explore service design, had my first attempt at making a documentary and perform in-depth analysis and re-design of Airpods. This freedom to explore all corners of design and step out of my comfort zone allowed me to reflect on who I am as a designer.


Throughout all this designing and problem solving that this past year over this past year, the one thing that I feel I have been lacking is some ‘me’ time. Just time to do things I like and take a break away from my desk and Zoom.
That’s where this ‘Reflection on Design’ course has come in handy the past 10 weeks, and one task has especially stuck with me. Photos. Just go out and take photos of things you like and find interesting, so that’s what I did. Throughout this task I found myself taking photos of things that were quintessentially Dutch. Things that I wouldn’t necessarily find back in London nor am I used to seeing growing up.
I found that walking around Delft and taking photos was something I didn’t do enough and since, have done much more. Not only is this what I am experiencing now, but these photos allow me to experience it again in the future.

Click here for the Miro board

So what did this teach me?

Whilst carrying out these tasks, I wasn’t exactly sure what the goal of it was. I was blindly following some instructions mainly because it was a nice break from the other, heavier courses.

However as I write this, and reflect back on the last 10 weeks, I realise now what it provided me with. It allowed me to focus on what makes me happy, and have that hour or so a week to take time away from my desk and get out and explore, or work on something different where I didn’t feel the stress of other courses baring down on me.

I have realised throughout that although I am still unsure about what area of design I want to go into, as long as I am happy and doing something I enjoy, the rest will follow. There is still time to try out different areas and this course has taught me not to rush, but take time and spend some time on ‘me’.

Last words

Overall I feel that as a designer I have become more interested in my surroundings. Whether that be on the street, what’s happening around the world or just around my room. I have seen that everything can be used as inspiration in my design work.