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UT students help people with a disability

Over the last ten weeks, fifteen teams of second-year students from the Bachelor’s programme in Industrial Design Engineering at the University of Twente developed a product for persons with a physical or cognitive disability. The students will be pitching their prototype during an online completion event for a panel of judges on Friday afternoon 9 April. Lecturer Dr Jelle van Dijk: “It is extraordinary that our panel includes not one but two candidates who took part in the recently aired programme ‘We Gaan Het Maken’ (We’re going to make it, ed.) by BNNVARA. Wouter Eggink and Edwin Dertien took on a challenge comparable to that of our students.”

According to lecturer Van Dijk, the fifteen teams designed a product in close cooperation with the persons who had a physical or cognitive disability. Every team started by contacting their own ‘co-designer’, and as a group they went in search of an important challenge. Next, they designed a tailor-made product as a solution for this challenge based on various ‘co-design’ techniques.

Support in daily life

All designs are products that can provide people support in their daily lives. Examples include prototypes for people with a physical disability, a visual disability, people with congenital brain injury, young people with autism, people suffering from dementia or those with Down’s syndrome. This is in keeping with the University’s goal to contribute research and technology to improve people’s well-being and offer them a better future. 

On the panel 

Edwin Dertien is an enthusiastic maker, lecturer (Creative Technology), researcher and creative robot developer (department of RaM at EEMCS). His research builds bridges between the soft skills of designers and co-designers and the hard skills of engineers. Dertien works at the University of Twente and elsewhere on robots for industrial and healthcare applications and works of art. 

Wouter Eggink is a design professional who works as a design researcher at the Faculty of Engineering Technology. He is specifically interested in the relationships between design, technology, and society. Eggink teaches several courses (‘Design History’ and ‘Design the Future’) on this subject as part of the Bachelor’s and Master’s study programmes in Industrial Design Engineering.

Vera van Lieshout, secretary for the Daedalus (Industrial Design Engineering) study association.

Final presentation online on 9 April

Students will be presenting their final prototypes this week. On Friday 9 April there will be an online closing event with pitches from 14.00-16.00. An award ceremony concludes this event. Contact person for more information: Dr Jelle van Dijk (Faculty of Engineering Technology, University of Twente).

drs. M.M.J. van Hillegersberg - Hofmans (Martine)
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