Transitions - Design United

The Transitions programme is organised by Design United (4TU). This year, the technical universities of Twente, Delft, Wagingen and Eindhoven explore what role can design play in tackling different themes: Futuring, Politics of Design, Entanglements with AI and Neo Craftsmanships. These themes will be highlighted during the exhibition in the Klokgebouw, the afternoon programme in Microlab and in the eMagazine.


Design is a future-oriented practice. Ways to envision the future, speculate and reflect on it, and even rehearse what it may feel like to inhabit alternative futures, are all critical components of the designer's toolkit. As the fate of our planet lies in the balance, the ways design shapes our futures – the kind of relations, experiences, meanings, and behaviours it forms – need to be explored, problematized, and reoriented. We need to figure out, collectively, where opportunities for responsible innovation lie, and help society move forward in respectful, responsible, and exciting new ways. Under this topic the UT presents three projects:

How did we get this far?

Afternoon programme, eMagazine

Chiara Poli, Estefanía Morás Jiménez

Visitors are invited to experience how car transportation will be like in the future. The design aims to highlight the true cost of our transportation system by making the link between car usage and resource depletion explicit, as well as sparking reflection as to what constitutes a "desirable" future.

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Rising Water, Safer Shores

Afternoon programme, eMagazine

Funda Atun

"What constitutes children's capacities for facing climate-change-related disasters in developing island states?" Funda Atun proposes a board game that was co-designed together with children for children to teach them what to do before, during and after the occurance of a flood.

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Dream Sequencer

Afternoon programme, Exhibition, eMagazine

4TU initiative

The main goal of this activity is to inspire participants to reflect on how our dreams are an echo of the values and contextualities of time and place. Visitors are invited to reflect on past, present, and future dreams, and pick an image from a preselection of pictures to represent each of them.

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Politics of Design

What is the relationship between design, power, and social justice? How do designers navigate the complex intersections of social structures, cultural differences, biases, stereotypes, and domination? Is design equipped for collective liberation and ecological sustainability? Can design really aim at social good and if so, how does it change the way we practice design? In this theme, we aim to stimulate discussions, with a focus on projects on social justice, power, agency, and the politics of design.

Tête à Tete 22

Exhibition, eMagazine

Daniel Saakes, Young Suk Lee

A conversational sitting object designed to explore the intimate dependency in relationships that are difficult to achieve remotely. Using a pair of kinetic chairs that gradually become unstable, the installation requires its seatmates to work as a team to maintain their balance.

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Mapping controversies in smart cities


Anouk Geenen

An approach to systematically unpack, navigate and address the ‘network of conflicts’ that shape controversies (public discussions about something that people disagree about). The approach equips participants with a deeper understanding of the complex context in which they operate. More importantly, they learn how to relate these values to each other to utilise conflicts in a collaborative setting. 

Entanglements with AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is fundamentally shaping future societies. It’s therefore important to understand AI’s role as a design material. This is more than the computation - AI is a technology that can transform everyday activities and experiences and transform design practice itself. Questions we ask are, how can designers productively engage and work with AI? How can this be done collaboratively with the diverse perspectives and understandings of relevant stakeholders? And lastly, how can we do so responsibly and ethically?

SIC/R Robot


Emilie van Eps, Jorge Davo Sainz

Your email address provides enough input for a robot to come up with a surprisingly accurate story about you. The robot ‘scrapes’ the internet, the resulting data is sorted and AI creates your story. This project is a result of a collaboration of 8 first-year Creative Technology students.

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Toolkits to reflect and design AI for justice DEI4AI


Cristina Zaga (UT), Nazli Cila (TUDelft), Minha Lee (TU/e)

DEI4EAI project aims to critique and change the existing common and controversial norms and provide tangible resources for practicing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) when developing embodied AI.

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NEO Craftsmanships

With critical debates on the future directions of design in full swing, crafters of advanced enabling technologies have already started to make the new everyday a reality. Deepfake digitalisations are already out there, shape-changing food designs are served in top restaurants, and smart materials are used to weave sustainable fabrics. In this theme, we focus on the question of how new craftsmanships emerge in current design practice, presenting a 3-dimensional perspective through Materials, Machines, and Methods.

The Entoptic Field Monitor: interpreting the unseen

Exhibition, eMagazine

Benjamin Jesse

Grounded in the material analogy of entoptic phenomena, a prototype which takes incoming video images and renders synthetic outputs using a Generative Adversarial Network was developed.

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Miura-Ori Custom-Fit Bicycle Helmet Liner


Max Moester

The current design approach for bicycle helmet liners has remained unchanged since its introduction in 1975. Now, using emerging technologies, such as 3D scanning equipment and additive manufacturing, we designed an origami-based metamaterial and custom-fit bicycle helmet liner.

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