Moved.... again.

On the 17th of December, I rented a car in Umeå, packed all of my stuff there into it, and drove some 9 hours south, south-west, arriving at my new home for the next few months in Örebro.

Bridge leaving Umeå, start of the trip - on Kolbäcksvägen (not sure if there's a name for the bridge or not).

For anyone needing my new digits:

William van Beek
Köping-Hultgatan 4/809
703 63 Örebro

Very happy and excited to be starting my internship tomorrow with Atlas Copco.


MA APD - Term 3, Part 1: Visual Design Prototyping

Part 1 of the third term, was 4 weeks long - 'Visual Design Prototyping', a storytelling course where we are given the challenge of creating a 1 minute long video, telling the story for one of our previous projects.

Here are the results of my first real attempt in film:

Hydrologic is a closed loop laundry system that is not connected to the home's water infrastructure.
The water inside runs through a series of filters and bio-filters to be recycled in a continuous loop, thus preventing any harmful chemicals from entering the water system.

Visual Storytelling Course
MA Advanced Product Design
Umeå Institute of Design


Umeå Intermission Part 3: Summer (working) Holiday

The summer had me back in Canada, helping on the farm, and also occasionally visiting friends.
It was good to be back.

Super hipster Canada Day - in Almonte at Peter and Danielle's

Warm and Dry - I had but one word to describe the weather of the past summer in Ontario: Oppressive - this picture was taken in the shade!

Foodie Weekend - on one of my trips to Ottawa, Grace and I had a pretty unrivalled 24hr foodie experience

Home on the range - some nice cloud formations (I think this was shortly before something stung me in the leg - just my luck)

Behind the barns

Summer sunset on the farm

Moo - a shot of the girls just before I left for the memories


End of MA APD Year 1

The first year in Umeå was great!
Umeå is really a unique and cool place to live, and UID is a really really great school, delivering a great experience, great projects, all on a really high level.
The daylight, from super short days to super long really messed with me (and many other people I'm sure).  The days around the start of June were amazing, and to bike home at 02:00 felt like having completed an all-nighter and be biking home at 07:00.

00:06 in Umeå - May 15th

Umeå at 03:20 - June 1st

Umeå at 03:20 - June 9th

Midnight in Umeå - June 9th


MA APD - Term 2, Part 3: Strategic Design Project

Part 3 of the second term, was 11 weeks long - 'Sensing the Future', a strategic design project in sponsored collaboration with Whirlpool.

This was an interesting project giving the opportunity to test out my ideas and visions for strategic design - an area that seems to be interesting me more and more these days.

With the theme 'Sensing the Future', (one of Whirlpool's research and design initiatives to imagine solutions that would enhance the evolution of the domestic experience), I decided to look into laundry as a general topic.  For some background context:

Global Distribution of the World's Water - To give a little perspective on how precious and scarce freshwater really is

Levi's WaterLess Jeans - campaign where Levi's is making strides in production processes and technology to reduce their water consumption in jeans production - Shows how other major global players are taking pro-active steps towards tackling such issues as water consumption and pollution

Common Core - as one of our exercises into strategic design, in groups we made an abstraction of the current brand design language, interpreting a range of their appliances, into this 3D shape, including both logo sizing/placement, as well as a bit of CMF

Brainstorm Session - we brainstormed together in a group on the already identified project directions

Laundry Machine/System Concept - my initial concept sketch

Future Common Core - as part of the process to identify what the future design language manifested in the product we would create would be, we also created a future version of the common core

hydrologic - my final concept design as presented at the conclusion of the project


Idealism vs Realism

Came across these (among other philosophy posters) on the ISO50 blog.
Very nice.

Idealism - experience is ultimately based on mental activity.  It is contrasted with realism, in which the external world is said to have an apparent absolute existence.  The only things that can be known for certain are just ideas.

Realism - reality exists independently of observers.  In ethics moral realism takes the view that there are objective moral values.  Representative realism claims that humans cannot perceive the external world directly.


Mad Men Pub

To conclude the screwdriver project, we had a pub - initially the screwdriver pub, which we turned into "the Mad Men Pub".  (screwdriver -> cocktails -> hard liquor -> Mad Men)  Gave us a chance to dress up and act all classy while drinking and having a good time.

Mad Men - me and fellow classmate Stephie at the pub


MA APD - Term 2, Part 2: Parametric Modelling

Part 2 of the second term, was the course in product analysis and parametric modelling.

For the product analysis and parametric modelling, we were given a (cheap) electric screwdriver, and tasked with coming up with a new design for it, with the branding of our choosing.

Cordless Electric Screwdriver - External

Cordless Electric Screwdriver - Internals

I thought I'd challenge myself and go for an Ikea version, given they do sell some budget, Ikea branded tools, and it fits in the theme of their products and product line, but could maybe be branded better.

Quick Sketch, Branding reference, and Design Direction - trying to determine the styling of an Ikea product proved to be difficult enough to do

Screwdriver 3D Design - Modelled in Solidworks, rendered in Keyshot

Screwdriver parts - (we get funds from the school to print the parts for this project)

Screwdriver Internals - I made a sort of rib-cage support structure to assemble the parts and hold them in place inside the housing

Ikea Family 'Fixa' Screwdriver - Top view of model

Ikea Family 'Fixa' Screwdriver - Front 3/4 view of model

Ikea Family 'Fixa' Screwdriver - Rear 3/4 view of model (my idea was to have it charge in the toolbox casing, just like a cordless home phone charges with 2 contact points in it's base docking station)


Umeå Intermission Part 2: Nordbygg

So for the water tap project we did earlier in the year, FM Mattsson; the main Swedish water tap and fixture maker, decided to exhibit the work of our class at their stand at the Nordbygg exhibition (home interiors, renovation, power tools, etc, mostly for trades workers) in Stockholm.

Given they were exhibiting our work, they felt it would be good to have some students on hand to answer questions for any visitors to the stand.  Me and fellow classmate Dawid took the time to make the trip down to Stockholm (thank you FM Mattsson for a great trip, and putting us up in a really nice hotel!).

-Dawid and me posing in front of our classes work - exhibited in the FM Mattsson stand (I was pretty tired from having not slept the night before, I think it shows)


Umeå Intermission Part 1: Northern Sweden

Hard to believe it's been 4 years and 5 months or so since I started this, and also since I more or less left Canada.

Anyways, so this past week, there was an impulsive last minute road trip on Wednesday to go all the way to Abisko to check out the aurora borealis (northern lights).  Decision made wednesday around 15:30 to go, we hired a car with 5 of us, and were gone by around 18:00.  It's funny how travelling some near 9 hours or so in a car north of Umeå makes this school no longer seem so far north or remote.

Here's the highlights:

-Abisko sky station - on that mountain, supposedly the best aurora on earth, when it's happening, and not overcast (and you pay the fee to go up to the sky station instead of watching it from the base of the mountain)

-Lapporten - Gateway to Lapland, Abisko, Sweden

-Ice on Torneträsk - east of Abisko on along the E10

-Fellow APD1 Stephanie and myself at Torneträsk

-Biting on some glass-like ice - Torneträsk

-Ice pushed up in thick large sheets along the lake edge

-Lapland mountains across the lake

-ICEHOTEL entrance - Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

-Ice and Reindeer (fur) - our road-trip in short (I did have to stop once in the night while driving for the 6 or so reindeer crossing the road, very casually)

-UID impulsive road-trippers - Carlos, Shiy-Yen, Me, Priyanka, Stephanie (l-r)

-Welcome to ICEHOTEL

-Harvested Ice for next season - as explained by our tour guide

-Ice corridor - to the hotel rooms

-THE (original) ICEBAR - Jukkasjärvi

-ICEHOTEL Central hallway - with a chandelier made of ice

-ICEHOTEL central hall - toward the main entrance

-Ice room (or was it one of the 'snow rooms) - either way, one of the 'generic' rooms, that aren't custom done by a signature artist/designer (almost just as nice or nicer then the specialty rooms)

-Ice chandelier

-Lobby entrance ceiling/wall detail - inspired by trees

-Lobby entrance wall detail - with ice benches

-Torne harvested ice - so blue, so beautiful, possibly my new favourite colour

-the beauty of ice

-ICEHOTEL chapel - where a whole lot of weddings happen every season

-Ice Breakers - me, on the thrown of the 'Ice Breakers' dubbed room, done by 2 break dancers from Norway I believe (just realized this is one of the rare occasions I've actually worn my Canadian winter coat, as it's barely been cold enough to bother with)