Fast Web Design Grafton

Fast Web Design Grafton

Fast Web Design Grafton

Kees (C.J.) Overbeeke
Industrial Design
Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands

I believe the following:
– Design is about people. It is about our lives, our hopes and dreams, our loneliness and joy, our sense of beauty and justice, about the social and the good. It is about being in the world.
– There is a primacy of action. In accordance with Merleau-Ponty’s and others’ approaches to epistemology, I strongly believe that meaning cannot be detached from action. Meaning is in (inter)action. There is a primacy of embodiment.
– A design theory consequently must be a theory of action and the embodied in the first place, and of meaning in the second, and not the other way around. Reflection on action is the source of knowledge.
– The methods used must be rooted in design practice, in the socio-cultural and multi-cultural environment, invigorated by experimental and technological methods from other disciplines.
– Intuition and common sense should be high on the agenda. They should be exploited to the maximum. Le sens commun n’est pas si commun, as Voltaire said.
– Design practice and research are powerful generators of knowledge. They are a way of looking at the world and transforming it. Just as classical disciplines are. Design teaching and research should therefore be interwoven.
– Twenty-five years of design teaching and research taught me that the essential power of design is in integration. Looking at the future, I see an integration of science, engineering and design, where design leads the way. This integration leads to real innovation. That is what we are doing at Industrial Design in Eindhoven. It seems impossible, but we should insist. Dreaming of the impossible pushes us to do great things.

Kees Overbeeke studied psychology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium (Ma 1974). After working there, he moved to the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, where he gained his PhD on spatial perception on flat screens (1988). He headed the group of Form Theory as Associate Professor until his move to the Department of Industrial Design at Eindhoven University of Technology in 2002. During the academic year 2005-2006 he was Distinguished Nierenberg Chair at Design Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA.

In 2006 he was appointed full professor at Eindhoven University of Technology. He now heads the Designing Quality in Interaction group (DQI). DQI consists of seven PhD-ed designers, and is one of the leading design research groups in the world. He strongly believes that design research should be theory driven, and that collaboration with industry is paramount (among others, collaboration with Philips, BMW, Unilever, Nissan, Adidas, and Microsoft).

Kees Overbeeke initiated several new subjects in design research: design and emotion, funology, aesthetics of interaction, rich interaction and design and ethics. He published extensively on these subjects in journals, books and conference papers. He initiated the “Design and Emotion” and the “Designing for Pleasurable Products and Interfaces DPPI” conferences. He was keynote speaker, and member of the scientific committee of several international conferences, and will be plenary speaker at CHI 2009 in Boston, USA. He is also editor and member of the editorial board of several leading international design journals.


Recorded on April 9, 2009 at the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Atlanta, GA, USA


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