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Jolien van Gorkum


Product designer + end user = (re)new(ed) products
Master education in arts

The current growth in technological developments and digitization have an obvious impact on various domains of knowledge and industries in society. In her research, Jolien van Gorkum focuses on one such recent development within product design: open design. Characterized by its interactive design process, the user, citizen or consumer increasingly participates in the thinking and design process. Their input can take place at many levels: a consumer can download a design online, and get it produced at a nearby Fab-Lab, or one can design the prints for his or her own products online.
However, Van Gorkum sees a lot more opportunities to further develop this participatory process. She thinks the collaboration isn't just instrumental, but also a fundamental educative process. If the product designer really dives into the collaboration, and communicates with multiple parties, new questions and challenges can arise, that enable the product designer to create a broader foundation and support for their product, in order to effect change on a larger scale.
How can the lifestyle and product designer structure a collaborative participatory design process that entails a mutual exchange of knowledge, and a learning process that involves a community of consumers? And how does the product designer learn to structure and shape this design process?
To answer these questions, Van Gorkum designed a workshop to develop the foundation of an education product for advanced product designers.