Wii controller – part II

As promised, here is a temporary render of the 3D model of the Wii controller, made in SolidWorks and rendered in Photoview. It is not just a shell, what you see is the sum of all the components that make up the Wii controller. This has been done in order to be able to create an exploded view.

It is quite interesting to really scrutinise the components of the Wii controller. For example: you can see how much thought the developers have put into facilitating assembly, by giving each button a unique shape and by using colours where possible. I can admire the injection moulding architecture of the casing as well, to improve both its appearance and its functionality/rigidity. Not having to wire the speaker to the circuit board is quite brilliant too. Clearly it is a very well designed product.

SolidWorks render of a Wii controller

Wii controller

I’m currently working on recreating the Wii controller in 3D CAD, as part of my research for the course Evolutionary Product Development. The level of detail is intended to be high: an exploded view of all the components will be produced, stripping down the entire product to its basic elements. It is turning out to be quite a bit of work, but at the same time it is quite rewarding. I hope to be able to put up renders of it soon.

Progress Sketch Tablet Drawing

Sketch Tablet Drawing - retro blowdryer sketch

Here you can see the progress of my drawing skills so far, using the same basic sketching techniques you would use for hardcopy drawings. Click through for another sketch made around the same time as the one featured in this blog entry.

Sketch Tablet Drawing course

Uni offers an optional five day sketch tablet drawing course, spread over a period of two months, for students who wish to hone their digital drawing skills. It never hurts to gain additional knowledge and to try and achieve the industrial standard of seven high quality drawings a day, so I’ve decided to partake in the course. The first part of the course is about to start, so I better get moving..

Biomimicry workshop review

I’m at home now after the three day workshop, tired but contented. I felt very much at home in this high-paced inspiring ‘factory’ if you will, and it was fun to be so immersed in the creative process. Normally that’s less apparent due to a multitude of parallel projects and thus a slower paced development. Of course one doesn’t have much time to reflect, so it will be interesting to see if I still feel the same way in a week’s time.

The topic of biomimicry was very intriguing: together with Bob Giesberts and Frank-Willem Kloppenburg I am working on a lift concept based on biomimicry principles.

Nature has seen 3.8 billion years of evolution, solving problems that are encountered on the way in the best way possible. Biomimicry aims to tap into this source of information, offering infinite opportunities to apply to contemporary design. Sustainability and the environment are high on the agenda nowadays, making biomimicry a very valuable design tool.

In my limited experience thus far biomimicry works best for solving problems that relate to functionality. It also inspires to take a look at the “ecosystem” of a product and see how the product could contribute to that system. An effective method of applying the principles of biomimicry to a design issue is by combining the following steps with life’s principles as displayed in the graph underneath.

  1. Identify functions and context.
  2. ‘Biologise’ the functions (e.g. “transmit” would become “communicate”).
  3. Look at nature’s solutions.
  4. Choose materials.
  5. Choose a production process.
  6. Pay attention to the end of the life cycle and the overall entropy.

Life's principles.

As mentioned, as test case we are developing a lift concept based on biomimicry principles, to be more specific: it is based on peristaltic movement. As example: the building is the lift’s ecosystem, offering opportunities with relation to exploiting the lift system for ventilation of the building. In addition to that, the lift system is overhauled to cater to individual transport.

Oh by the way, click on the image at the top to see a few photos taken throughout the three day workshop.

Biomimicry workshop at D’Andrea and Evers Design

Dock 36 - workshop for creation, inspiration & communication

“but the assumption is that technology and the way we engineer things represent the best. [..] this is an untenable assumption”, Prof. Julian Vincent

This afternoon will see the start of an intense three day long workshop about biomimicry at D’Andrea & Evers Design at Dock 36. The topic seems quite useful in a time where environmental awareness is valued so highly by consumers and companies alike, so what better place to look for inspiration than in nature?

The workshop marks the beginning of a whole course about biomimicry, where we eventually have to create our own biomimicry inspired design. I’m curious to see where this’ll lead to.

Producing music 2.0

  1. Take me down

Back in 2005/2006 we have produced our own music with our three person band. More recently, with a different band, we have been creating music again. The group is more diverse and more experienced, and we’re striving for a clean sound this time around. I’ve attached a first sample to this post.

Design Management & Organisation

After last Wednesday’s lecture and workshop by Franci Wessels about company/brand identity and positioning, today we had a lecture about design management by Joffrey Walonker, the Design Manager at Royal VKB.

Design management is a very interesting discipline, one that gives direction to brands and their design, creating coherence in product families and generally improving a brand’s performance and increasing its long term viability. Design management is a comprehensive activity that applies at all levels of business, throughout every stage of the product and its development. The strategic approach and effect design management has on a brand and its products is quite fascinating, and the value of design management cannot be denied.

I quite like being aware of all the intricate connections involved in the process of design management: keeping that macro view in order to create a better brand and thus a better product. I’m already looking forward to the next week’s lecture by Mark van Iterson, Manager Global Heineken Design & Concept.

TRIZ course by Valeri Souchkov

TRIZ, an acronym for Теория решения изобретательских задач, is a problem-solving, analysis and forecasting tool derived from the study of patterns of invention in the global patent literature.

TRIZ is better known in English as the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TIPS). The method was developed by the Soviet inventor G.S. Altshuller and his colleagues in the former USSR between 1946 and 1985, and it tries to define generalisable patterns in the nature of inventive solutions.

Valeri Souchkov is the founder of ICG Training & Consulting: TRIZ and Systematic Innovation Expertise with over 20 years of experience developing and applying the TRIZ method. He is currently teaching a course at the University of Twente about TRIZ and how to apply it, in order to better manage the innovative front-end of product development. His lectures and examples are very engaging; TRIZ strikes me as a very valuable design tool and I’m glad to have been offered the opportunity to participate in this course.

The art of product design

“Only the marvellous is beautiful”, André Breton

It is important for a designer to have a wide array of tools at their disposal as each project (and product) calls for its own unique approach. A product and its (re)design is more than the sum of problems that it solves: creativity can lead to inspiring and clever designs. Art is a perfect muse: it inspires and offers an infinite wealth of examples by free thinkers.

The past 300 years has seen a great development in art styles and movements. Styles and ideas merge or split up to take new directions, at a faster rate than ever before in human history. The evolution of art goes hand in hand with the ideas and morals of a generation, ultimately reflecting in the items they surround themselves with. In our current society of mass production and consumption, it is easy to overlook this point of view.

To acquire a deeper understanding of both the process in general as well as the characteristics of the art style, I have used art styles as a basis for a design analysis followed by a redesign. Record players were a perfect candidate for this study due to the product’s long existence and well recorded history (pun intended). You can see my redesign in the concept design section, hopefully it shows how valuable art can be as a tool for product design.


My blog describes events from my life related to design and engineering. Hopefully it will give you more insight into my work processes and personal interests.

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