Basic Design and the Design Basics

Tool design of the Value Design Canvas resembles me the basic design studio that I had at the beginning of my design education: Order, pattern, hierarchy… the beginning, the end… rhythm…

You come up with the principles, define the rules, make them repeat in a systematic way to communicate order, then you play with them to express, to create emotions and response through your design.

When I am designing the new version of VDC, I am thinking the same: what is the guiding principle? How do you communicate that principle? What is your order? How do you impose order?

It requires a lot of understanding of your material. With its requirements and boundaries.  Then when you understand it, it is possible to propose principles that defines your design, and then play with the  juxtaposition of  orders with reference to each other. The outcome is a set of possibilities that need further detailing.

It was the grid pattern and colors that I used to play with. Now it is the design process, dimensions of the design problem and the right questions that need to be asked at the right time to make people create.

I had a central idea with the early versions too, but it was very blurry compared to now. With the development of my understanding of how the design process works, now I am able to define my principles regarding the VDC process.

The canvas is just an interface. It can be in many different forms. It is just an outcome under the effect of many different variables. The essence is getting the right principles and applying the order right…

Value Design Canvas is Being Exhibited in Dutch Design Week

Dutch Design Week is one of the most lively events of the year in Eindhoven. The Dutch creative professionals and students meet with public with many interesting events and the most contemporary designs. As a designer, it is quite an inspiring event for me too.


This year, one of the exhibitions during the Dutch Design Week is Design Changes by Design United. And I am happy that Value Design Canvas is being exhibited, in the Creating Tools section. This is the first occasion that I present my  research and design to a public audience.

In the opening it was really nice to observe visitors’ interest. I also had the chance to talk with a number of them. It was quite motivating and even mind-opener! Corporate designers and architects found the tool very useful, since their profession is quite multi-disciplinary. They all gave examples of how the worshops taking days but ending up with vague results.

As a designer and researcher, I think that observing the real-world impact of your work is one of the most valuable gifts that you can get from your profession. It made me really happy that I spotted my contribution well. Still long way to go… But really motivating to see people excited with your work 🙂


For the Exhibition I prepared an example case that demonstrates Glowsteps, the interactive open-ended play system by my colleagues Linda de Valk and Pepijn rijnbout. I also prepared a video-presentation explaining the idea behind the tool design.