DAY IN THE LAB
As told by Thomas Visser and
Pieter Jan Stappers
How do you describe your lab to visitors?
ID-StudioLab is part of the Industrial Design Engineering
department at Delft University of Technology, arguably
the largest academic design institute in the world, with
about 2,000 students and 200 staff. As the name suggests,
ID-StudioLab combines research with a studio atmosphere.
About 20 design researchers work on projects in the studios;
the same number work elsewhere in the department and join
in on informal meetings and weekly lab talks. We share a passion for user-centered product and service design, and aim to
better understand how to design artifacts that support individual and societal well-being. The projects in the lab range
from interactive prototypes, evaluation of user experience and
emotions, development of user research methods, and design
conceptualization tools and techniques.
Along with research, the lab is strongly involved in design
education. We provide courses on interactive technology
design, user-experience design, research methodology, user
research, and design conceptualization.
In the near future the studios will double in size and
population, as more researchers prefer studios over separate
offices. We will primarily be expanding our user-experience
research and service-design projects. The expansion will
allow researchers to further vary the look and feel of studios,
enabling them to work in an open lab, in a focus-on-your-writ-ing space, or in meeting rooms, all supporting ID-StudioLab’s
focus on creative design-research collaborations.
What is a unique feature of your lab?
The most important feature is the integration of making,
thinking, and doing. Prototypes of interactive products are
built in the StudioLab and receive critique and help from lab
members working on other projects. The short links between
designers, technology wizards, and computer scientists make
design iterations quick and relatively easy. The ability to iterate quickly is very important for the quality of our designs
The interior design combines a visual design sensibility
with a hands-on lab and includes a small workshop, lots of
prototyping materials, and space to support your discussions
with full-wall metal whiteboards, magnets, and markers, all